Medical Assistant

Analytical skills
Precision and accuracy
Medical assistants must be able to understand and follow medical charts and diagnoses. They may be required to code a patient’s medical records for billing purposes.
Interpersonal skills
Communication matters
Medical assistants need to be able to discuss patient information with other medical personnel, such as physicians. They often interact with patients who may be in pain or in distress, so they need to be able to act in a calm and professional manner.
Detail Oriented
The little things matter
Medical assistants need to be precise when taking vital signs or recording patient information. Physicians and insurance companies rely on accurate records.

Job Description

Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice.

Medical assistants typically do the following:

  • Record patient history and personal information
  • Measure vital signs, such as blood pressure
  • Help physicians with patient examinations
  • Give patients injections or medications as directed by physicians and as permitted by state law
  • Schedule patient appointments
  • Prepare blood samples for laboratory tests
  • Enter patient information into medical records

Medical assistants take and record patients’ personal information. They must be able to keep that information confidential and discuss it only with other medical personnel who are involved in treating the patient.

Electronic health records (EHRs) are changing some medical assistants’ jobs. More and more physicians are adopting EHRs, moving all their patient information from paper to electronic records. Assistants need to learn the EHR software that their office uses.

Medical assistants should not be confused with physician assistants, who examine, diagnose, and treat patients under a physician’s supervision.

In larger practices or hospitals, medical assistants may specialize in either administrative or clinical work.

Job Outlook

Median Pay – $35,850
HS Diploma or Equivalent
No Related Work Experience
Moderate-term on-the-job training
PAY RANGE
$24,790
$33,610
$47,250
Lowest 10%
Median
Highest 10%
The industries that hired the most were:
Offices of physicians
57%
Hospitals; state, local, and private
15%
Outpatient care centers
8%

EDUCATION & TRAINING

TCAT

TN College of Applied Technology - Athens

THE PROGRAM

  • Program Length – 1 Year
  • Time Commitment – Full Time
  • Cost – $6,055

The Adminstrative Office Technology program is designed to provide the students with the skills and experiences necessary to prepare them for entry-level employment in the fast-paced, rewarding business world. Students develop clerical skills, experience hands-on training with modern office equipment, and become proficient in keyboarding and the use of business-related software and technology. Students prepare to perform efficiently a wide variety of office functions. Additionally, the program incorporates the development of interpersonal skills and professional attitudes.

Upon completion of the program, graduates have a solid understanding of office procedures, a variety of core office skills, and a thorough knowledge of business-related software. Graduates find employment in various types offices including healthcare, business, education and government.

THE PROGRAM

  • Program Length – 1 year (diploma)
  • Job Placement – 100%
  • Cost – $6,074

Medical assisting is one of the nation’s fastest growing careers, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. This can be attributed to a predicted surge in the number of physicians’ offices and out-patient care facilities. Technological advancements and the growing number of elderly Americans who need medical treatment are also factors for the increased demand for medical assistants

The major emphasis of the program is placed on clinical, administrative and general physician office practices.  The Medical Assistant program prepares students to assume the role of health professionals in the field of medical assisting by providing technical instruction and skill development that will enable students to become gainfully employed.  Students receive individualized instruction providing a combination of classroom study, practice in the campus laboratory, and clinical and administrative practice which is gained through student externships in local physicians’ offices.

TCAT

TN College of Applied Technology - Chattanooga