Medical Assistant Qualifications
The minimum educational qualification for medical assistants is often no more than a high school diploma or equivalent; however, most positions now require some form of additional training. There is wide variety of accredited medical assistant programs to choose from, ranging from vocational education lasting several months to a two-year associates degree. The more extensive your education, the more desirable you will be to potential employers. Coursework will typically include medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, basic computer and office skills, and medical office procedures. Some states may require completion of an accredited program and/or passing a qualifying exam before you can become a practicing medical assistant.
If you're going to be a medical assistant, you should enjoy working with people. You'll need good written and verbal communication skills, both in conversing with physicians and patients. Medical assistants must have a good grasp of medical diagnoses, billing and coding, and interpreting medical charts. It is important that you are highly detail-oriented and have strong organizational skills. It will be your job to keep a medical office running smoothly. The clinical tasks that medical assistants can perform vary from state to state, but you will most likely assist in tasks such as injections and changing dressings. Medical assistants should have good manual dexterity and the ability to be on their feet for much of the workday.
Medical offices and hospitals always prefer medical assistant applicants with some prior experience in the medical industry. A training program that includes practical experience can be a great benefit to your qualifications. Even if you are already an experience medical assistant, there will generally be a period of on-the-job training while you settle into your role in a new environment.
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