With the medical field growing leaps and bounds every year, many people have begun to ask the question “what is a medical assistant?” Everyone is familiar with what doctors and nurses do, but the less known position of medical assistant is becoming a larger and larger career field for many people interested in healthcare. The reason for this is that they are in fact a very important part of how the healthcare system runs, and certification and training is less time intensive and less expensive then becoming a doctor.
So, what is a medical assistant, and why is that position becoming so popular? In general, the medical assistant, or MA, is responsible for helping doctors and nurses with administrative and clerical work that the other staff doesn’t have time for. In particular, this involves much of the organization of the office, and the medical assistants are what enable an office to run smoothly. From client scheduling, billing of insurance, to medical paperwork and doing basic drug administration and preparation work, it is clear that without medical assistants, the office would be a much more stressful place.
While thinking about the description of an MA, it is also very important to think about what is a medical assistant not responsible for. The term medical assistant is very easy to confuse with the term physicians assistant, but they are two very different positions. A physicians assistant is much closer to the doctor, and actually treats and manages patients under the mentorship of a doctor. This requires more schooling, and generally eventually leads to becoming a doctor as well. A medical assistant on the other hand, is only able to administer drugs or take clients vital signs, and this is only if they take the appropriate coursework to do so. For the most part, their workload involves organization , office management, and making sure that the doctor has the space and clarity to do what he or she needs to do. In this regard, having attained your Medical Assistant training in an accredited college or school will be pivotal for you future employment in this industry
Overall, being an MA is a great choice if you do not want to spend four to seven years at college learning to become a nurse or a doctor. With simply an associates degree, or a CMA certification from online or local colleges, you can begin your career in the medical field much earlier. It also allows a lot of versatility going forward, and it may be the best step to take before you decide to become a doctor or a nurse – the American Association of Medical Assistants can provide more information on this if you so desire. You can get a good feel for the industry, make useful contacts, and see if the healthcare field is the one that you are truly passionate about. The actual question of “what is a medical assistant?” may be best answered with your own experience by jumping in!