There are a lot of career offerings in the medical field. One popular option is that of a medical assistant. If this sounds like a good option for you, in this article you’ll learn how to become a medical assistant.

You’ll get the basics on what a medical assistant is, the effect of COVID on this career and the steps to becoming one.

How To Become a Medical Assistant

If you want to be a medical assistant to help people right now, let’s take a look at what it takes to become one.

Education

First thing to know is you don’t have to have meet any sort of formal educational requirements to be a medical assistant. 

That said, most employers do look for those who have gone through a formal training program. Having a certificate or diploma will definitely make it easier to land a good job in the field. 

You have two options for training. One is taking a certificate or training program for medical assistants. The other is getting an associate’s degree.

Earning a certificate degree allows you to enter the workforce earlier because they take less time than earning an associate’s degree. What you learn in a certificate program gives you more hands-on experience and solid career training. 

Going for an associate’s degree also provides great training for becoming a medical assistant. It also provides general education courses that can help advance your career. 

Internship/Externship

After you earn your certificate/degree, you’ll need to put your learnings to the test. This means completing either an internship or externship. An internship or externship is a great way for you to gather clinical experience. 

The main difference between the two is the length. Externships usually last from a few weeks up to two months. On the other hand, internships last for several months. You will work with medical professionals during this phase in a healthcare facility.

Medical Assistant Certification Exam

After completing your internships/externships, you must take a certification exam from the American Association of Medical Assistants or AAMA. If you pass the exams, you will become a Certified Medical Assistant or a CMA. To maintain your status as a CMA, you will need to complete an AAMA test every five years. 

What Is a Medical Assistant?

A medical assistant is a healthcare professional who assists other healthcare professionals such as doctors and attending to patients in need of aid. They do many things, including preparing patients for medical exams, administering medications if requested by the patient’s physician, changing the patient’s wound dressing, and more. 

Aside from providing for the patient’s needs, medical assistants also do paperwork. This includes managing medical records, billing, and coding, scheduling appointments, and recording a patient’s medical history. 

Being a medical assistant means that you will need to learn how to use and manage equipment like needles, echocardiograms, blood pressure units, and more which are noninvasive. Aside from the use of medical equipment, they are also responsible for sterilizing them. 

The Impact of COIVD on Medical Assistant Careers

The ongoing pandemic brought by the Covid19 virus has led to the shortage of medical professionals, including medical assistants. There is now a big demand for medical assistants and other healthcare professionals. And, due to an aging population, the demand for medical assistants was already on the rise.

COVID has made their jobs more difficult than ever before. It has led to an increase in the duties medical assistants perform including swab tests and patient monitoring. It has also increased the stress levels of everyone working in healthcare.

We hope that this article has helped you gain some more insight on how you can become a medical assistant. 

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