How to Become a Medical Assistant?

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The healthcare industry is a central part of every economy as medical professionals work relentlessly towards ensuring the health and well-being of every citizen of a country. You may find experienced doctors, caring nurses working day and night in the service of the public, but we often overlook the arduous contribution of hardworking medical assistants. Also known as Clinical Assistants, they work closely with hospitals and clinics and are responsible for managing administrative and clinical duties. If you are eager to pursue a career in the healthcare industry and want to work as a healthcare assistant, then this blog is for you! Read this blog to learn about the roles and responsibilities of a Medical Assistant as well as the training and certifications you can pursue to follow this career path!

What does a Medical Assistant do?

To put it simply, Medical or Clinical Assistants play a mediating role between the patients and hospitals and healthcare centres as they handle the administrative aspects of a hospital and keep the track record of patients, along with tests conducted, administrative formalities, amongst others. Taking up the arduous organisational tasks, these assistants work as a link between a doctor and their patients as they ensure that all administrative formalities are taken care of during a patient’s treatment. They also handle patient records, schedule appointments, tackling correspondence, billing as well as hospital admission and laboratory services.

Types of Medical Assistants

Commonly known as the backbone of the medical industry, there are various profiles that you may find under the career path of a medical assistant. Depending upon the qualification one has, you can explore a wide range of profiles in this field. Enlisted below are the popular types of healthcare assistants-

  • Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA): The assistants that are trained in managing the patients and tasks related to them such as preparing them for tests, collecting necessary documents, performing minor treatments or tests are known as CMA. 
  • Administrative Medical Assistant: As the name suggests, the staff that is trained in supervising the institution and managing the tasks like maintaining records, fixing appointments, etc are known as administrative assistants. 
  • Specialized Medical Assistants: The assistants that have higher qualifications in one particular area of work regarding the administration and management of a hospital as specialized assistants. 

Skills Required

Before pursuing a career path, you must familiarize yourself with the set of skills needed. Here are the major skills you need to become a Medical Assistant:

  • Patient etiquette 
  • Medical or clinical terminologies
  • Well-versed with managing Electronic Health Records 
  • A knack for administering various tasks
  • Must learn to empathize with patients 
  • Fluent communication skills
  • Knowledge of administrative software and database management systems used in hospitals, clinics and the like

How to Become a Medical Assistant?

A Medical Assistant generally possesses educational qualifications in Healthcare Administration and Hospital Management. There are various training and certification programs available for those aiming to become a Medical Assistant and some of the prominent ones are:

Hospital Unit Clerk Certificate Medical Office Assistant Certificate Certificate in Veterinary Medical Assistant
Bachelor of Science in Premedical and Health Studies – Physician Assistant Studies Pathway (BS/MPAS) Diploma in Health and Applied Management  MSc/PG Diploma Physician Associate
Master of Physician Assistant Medicine Physician Associate Studies (MPAS) Postgraduate Diploma in Rural and Provincial Hospital Practice

Check the top universities providing various courses in Medical Administration and Hospital and Healthcare Management:

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for the above-mentioned courses and academic institutions, you must qualify the pre-requisites and program requirements of your chosen course. Here are some general eligibility criteria for Medical Administration courses:

  • For diploma or bachelor’s courses: Formal education of 10+2 from a renowned university with BiPC Subjects 
  • For Master’s courses: Bachelor’s degree in the same field from a recognized university along with work experience. However, work experience is not compulsory.
  • If you are planning to study abroad, then you will have to provide English language proficiency scores of IELTS/TOEFL, etc. as well as LORs and an SOP.

Obtain License and Get Registered

After completing your diploma, bachelor’s or master’s degree, you can also apply for a license to become a Certified Medical Assistant. If you wish to practice overseas, you will have to qualify the licensing exam organised by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). The test comprises of 200 numerous decision questions directed in four 40-minute fragments. Once you qualify the test, you will be a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). 

Career Prospects

Medical and Health Administration is a developing field but securing your first position will take a bit of work especially if you have restricted healthcare experience. Rather than applying to general healthcare and doctor’s practices, investigate various kinds of specialist’s workplaces as well. There are always administrative jobs available at speciality centres, for example, chiropractors, paediatricians, podiatrists, etc. But it is important to note that such fields can only be targeted if you have proper educational qualifications. Here are some of the common profiles for medical assistants:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Clinical Medical Assistant 
  • Ophthalmic Medical Assistant 
  • Chiropractic Medical Assistant 
  • Specialized Medical Assistants

Thus, we hope that this blog provided you with an insightful overview of the career map of a Medical Assistant. Planning to pursue a course in Hospital Administration? Our Leverage Edu experts are here to help you find the best course and university as per your interests and preferences. Sign up for a free session with us today!

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