The medical assistance industry is one of the fastest growing professional fields in the United States, but many people are still unclear about what exactly a medical assistant does. To put it in the simplest terms, a medical assistant is probably going to be the first person that a patient sees when they visit a doctor’s office or hospital for an appointment. Medical assistants are also likely to be the last person a patient sees before leaving.
The duties of a medical assistant are extremely varied and involve a healthy mix of traditional office and administrative work such as answering phones, filing insurance forms, and verifying and entering patient information.
The heart of a medical assistant’s work, so to speak, is the hands-on medical duties that they are tasked with. Things like drawing blood samples and properly preparing them for testing in the lab, administering injections, and ensuring that patients’ medical histories are recorded accurately for the doctors treating them are just a few of the responsibilities that a medical assistant has.
With the baby boomer generation in America well into its retirement years and needing professional medical care, the demand for medical assistants is steadily increasing. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for medical assistants in the United States is projected to grow nearly 30 percent over the next 8 years, which is exponentially higher than the average for all occupations in the country.
Over the course of the period, nearly 163,000 new medical assistant jobs are expected to be created. This level of growth makes medical assistant one of the top jobs in the health care field with the highest-paid positions expected to be found in places like Fairbanks, Alaska and the Californian cities of Vallejo and San Francisco.