There are two different certified medical assistant jobs: working for a medical practice and teaching. A certified medical assistant provides procedural and office assistance to the doctor. The primary role of a medical assistant is assisting the doctor in the daily operations of the medical practice. In a small office, the medical assistant may be the only support person, while in a larger, multi-physician practice, he or she would report to the medical office manager.
In order to become a medical assistant, you will need to complete a post-secondary educational training program. These programs are available from a wide range of community and career colleges. A medical assistant program is typically one to two years in length. The training is focused on proper procedures for the administration of a medical office.
Most certified medical assistant jobs are in a doctor's office. The types of tasks they perform are separated into two areas: administrative and working with the doctor. Administrative tasks include booking appointments, scheduling follow-up appointments, and obtaining test results and providing this information to the doctor. Working with the doctor may include scheduling appointments with other physicians for patients, printing patient histories, and partially completing medical forms.
Certified medical assistants can become instructors at local community or career colleges, teaching courses to medical assistants. In order to become an instructor, many people complete a certificate program in adult education. Learning the most effective way to teach adults can be a huge help when making this career transition. Keep in mind that only candidates with significant working experience qualify for this type of position.
People who report the greatest satisfaction in certified medical assistant jobs enjoy teamwork and helping people. Interpersonal skills, confidentiality, and attention to detail are all very important in this career. The doctor needs to be able to rely on the medical assistant to provide accurate information and manage the administrative process. Naturally outgoing people who are upbeat are highly valued in any medical practice.
Many people who have certified medical assistant jobs, look for opportunities to move into a different position or career after three to five years. The best way to increase your career options is to return to school. Programs to become a medical office manager, health information technologists and other health related fields may provide advanced credit for courses and work experience gained as a medical assistant. Talk with the admissions counselor at your local college about the programs available to you.