Medical Assisting 101: Reporting Lab Work to Patients
Patients go to the doctor all the time, coughing, sneezing, and with a sore throat. Most times, the provider diagnoses the patient
You may not know it, but you’ve likely had many interactions with medical assistants over the course of your life. Medical assistants work alongside medical doctors and they have enormous career potential within the healthcare field. They have the ability to specialize in almost any area of medicine, assisting physicians and other healthcare personnel in clinics, hospitals, private offices, and more. But there’s more to medical assistants than just handling a doctor’s chart. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about medical assistants.
Medical assistants are often the first and last person a patient interacts with during their medical visit. A major part of the job is helping to put patients at ease and ensuring a smooth and stress-free appointment. Medical assistants work to help patients feel more comfortable about upcoming procedures by translating complex medical language into terms the average person can understand when doctors may not have the time to do so. In fact, it’s not uncommon for patients to think that their medical assistant is actually a nurse due to the amount of patient care they provide.
Although receptionists and front office staff may have a lot of control in how things operate, it’s ultimately the medical assistant that controls patient-flow through the waiting room and into the physician’s office. They communicate between the front and back offices and are responsible for moving patients through both. Depending on the size of the practice, it be the medical assistant who runs the front office all by themselves. From scheduling patients’ appointments to checking vitals, we’re responsible for a lot.
Once you have some experience under your belt, medical assistants can move into leadership roles and beyond. By advancing their education, medical assistants can become healthcare managers, nurses, and beyond. Certain medical assisting programs prepare students for administrative and clinical roles, providing a clear pathway for upward mobility. Graduates from medical assisting programs can apply their credits toward bachelor’s degrees in health management, health information management, and all types of nursing programs.
One of the best parts about medical assisting is the variety that comes along with the job. Medical assistants work with every kind of doctor in every kind of medical setting which means lots of opportunities to get to know where your interests lie. Medical assistants can specialize depending on the type of office they work in or based on where their interests lie. From pediatric health assistants who specialize by working with children to x-ray and surgery assistants, there are all types of specialty positions available for medical assistants.
The healthcare industry is booming, and it’s anticipated to continue growing in the near future. Medical assisting is among the fastest-growing professions in the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the number of medical assistant jobs will increase 29 percent through 2026, compared to 2016’s total. This is due in part to the increased need for healthcare services, preventative and otherwise, among baby boomers. This need has resulted in more healthcare facilities that treat the ailments associated with aging
These are just a few points that should be taken into account when considering a career as a medical assistant. It’s an evolving, patient-centered, and important position in the healthcare field which will bring you face-to-face with challenges, interesting people, and hopefully provide you with the fulfilling career you’re looking for. It’s also a great way to fast-track other careers in healthcare. In fact, most PA and medical schools require a certain number of patient-care hours before applying and working as a medical assistant is a perfect way to get involved with the healthcare field, see how things work, and get those hours of experience under your belt. So, if you’re ready to learn more, check out our guide on how to become a medical assistant now!