Medical assistants work doing general nursing tasks, giving you a way to get started in this field even if you have little to no formal education.
Working as a medical assistant doesn’t require much more than some on-the-job-training, so the tasks you’ll perform in this field are not as advanced as the tasks you’d perform as an RN or LPN. Some of the tasks you will be qualified to do include recording a patient’s medical history, checking height and weight, taking blood pressure, and assisting patients with changing into medical gowns. Some medical assistants deal purely with administrative tasks like filing paperwork, getting patients to sign release forms, calling patients to remind them about appointments, driving patients to appointments, showing patients to their examination rooms, and answering phone calls. Your specific tasks will depend on your employer.
Salary and Career Options
Since you have less education than nurses, you can expect to earn a lower salary. According to reports, medical assistants earn an average of $29,450 in the United States, but this is an extremely fast-growing field, with more and more workers needed every year. Working as a medical assistant allows you to get a taste for this industry, and with your training, you can go on to earn certification as an LPN or even get an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree to become an RN.
Medical assistants legally only need a high school diploma or GED to work in the United States, but many employers require at least a short training program for your to work in a medical assistant position. Many colleges offer diploma or degree programs in medical assisting, and some employer have their own training programs for those who want to work in this field. Your classes will cover general nursing skills and anatomy classes so you’re prepare to provide basic patient care.
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