Overview of the job of Medical Assistants

A Medical Assistant (MA) or Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) assists doctors, nurses and physicians with a variety of administrative and medical tasks. Medical assisting is one of many allied health careers. Most medical assistants work in a doctor's office, and some work in hospitals. There are many different types of medical assistant jobs available which makes it a versatile career choice.

Required Education for M-A:

There are two types of educational programs available to aspiring medical assistants. Some schools offer a one-year certificate, or you may complete a two-year associate’s degree from an accredited school. The coursework for medical assistants will include medical terminology, math and science, first aid, medical billing, and more.

Certification for M-As:

After completing the program, MA’s can sign up to take the certification exam to become a CMA. The course is offered three times per year by the American Association of Medical Assistants. The certification must be renewed every five years. Some employers do not require the certification, but CMA’s will typically have more job options than MA’s.

Duties and Responsibilities Of A Medical Assistant:

Medical Assistants help with a variety of tasks including checking patients in, taking vital signs, and medical record-keeping such as updating and filing charts. Medical Assistants also may give shots, and some help with medical billing and insurance coding.