Example #1 – Health Career Research Paper: Certified Medical Assistant
There are many exciting careers in the medical field. One of them is the position of a medical assistant. There are many things that one is able to do as a medical assistant. Their main duty is to assist, as the title implies, their coworkers, usually doctors and nurses. Their duties can range from medical paperwork to some forms of clinical tasks such as taking vital signs.
The job responsibilities of a medical assistant vary depending on where the assistant is employed. Medical assistants may find employment in hospitals and doctors? offices and their duties depend on where they are employed. If the medical assistant works at a hospital, chances are that their jobs will be more patient-based. They would have to do things such as take vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate), take height and weight measurements, draw blood, do lab tests, give injections, and possibly help doctors with minor surgical procedures.
In a clinic or doctor’s offices, the medical assistant could still do some of those duties in addition to greeting patients, answering phones, keeping medical records, ordering and maintaining supplies within the office, and filling out insurance forms. Medical assistants in hospitals may also be called upon to perform duties such as these. Also, medical assistants may specialize in certain areas such as chiropractor assistant, optometric assistant, and podiatric assistant. Many of the duties of CMA’s coincide with those of nurses and medical secretaries.
Just as with the responsibilities of a CMA, their co-workers also vary upon location. CMA’s generally work alongside nurses and doctors. However, depending upon location, a CMA could work with a medical secretary, a nurse?s assistant, or public health agent.
There are many characteristics of a qualified CMA. They must have good “people skills”: Ability with words, good listening and explaining abilities, good telephone skills, good grammar, and an ability to follow specific directions well. In addition, a CMA must have good motor coordination, ability to use hands and fingers well, ability to check written materials accurately, ability to move from one task to another quickly, word processing skills, and an ability to handle several jobs at a time. A medical assistant must also have knowledge of basic anatomy, basic medical skills, first aid, physiology, medical terms and insurance, psychology, and related regulations.
One of the advantages of being a medical assistant would be that you get to work constantly with other people. You would be able to make life easier for your co-workers, learn about the medical world first hand, and if you are an aspiring medical student, a job as a certified medical assistant would give you a great experience on your way to furthering your medical career. You would learn the great business as well as communication skills and get paid decent money for it. Finally, the certification to become a CMA doesn’t take very long, and probably will not cost very much.
As with any job, there would be some disadvantages to being a CMA. One is that you would not get the same respect as someone higher up on the chain. If you are trying to support a family on a CMA’s career, the salary would be a disadvantage.
CMA’s usually work anywhere from forty to forty-five hours per week, which could be a disadvantage if you have children that you want to be home with.
Although certification is not required everywhere, it is required at most locations and is a definite bonus. You can get certified as a medical assistant at community colleges such as the one that I researched, Clackamas Community College. For certification, you need a total of fifty-one credits that can be earned in three terms. For the first term, the required classes are
1) Introduction to human biology.
2) Medical insurance and billing.
3) Survey of computing.
4) Medical Terminology
5) Medical office practice.
During the first term, you would earn sixteen credits. For the second term, the required classes are
1) introduction to medications
2) clinical lab procedures
3) examination room techniques
4) Medical office practicum 1
5) Communication skills: occupational writing, and
6) technical mathematics, for a total of seventeen credits.
In the final term, the required classes are
2) Medical office practicum II
3) Clinical lab procedures II
4) Human development
5) Psychology of human relations, and
6) Basic speech communication.
In addition to these classes, current first aid and CPR certificates are required. These should be taken care of before the third term. This certificate can be earned at Clackamas Community College: 19600 S Molalla Ave. Oregon City, OR 97045-7998.
CMA’s can be employed in a variety of locations, depending on the preferences of the CMA. Facilities that employ CMA’s are physicians and other health practitioners, hospitals, and public health agencies. This is a medium-sized career which means that if the medical assistant is certified, he or she should not have too much trouble finding a job.
In Oregon, there are approximately 3,400 people working as CMA’s (CIS, p 3). The salary for a beginning CMA is about $9.00/hour. The national average is about $10.00/hour. The only real opportunity for advancement is to get a higher education. Without a higher degree, advances are not normal.
Example #2 – Why I Chose Medical Assisting
There are many reasons that I decided to begin the journey of becoming a Certified Medical Assistant. For instance, one reason I chose medical assisting is that there are so many available career opportunities and options available for career advancement within the medical field.
I believe becoming a Certified Medical Assistant will be a very rewarding career choice for me in the long run. I have always had a thriving passion for working within the medical field and have also always absolutely adored being helpful and assisting others in need.
Medical assisting is becoming a quite popular career and is in pretty high demand due to many different reasons. One of those reasons being the fact that the popular “baby-boomer” generation is reaching the later stages of life and are retiring and needing to seek more and more medical attention themselves.
That is making the need for medical assistants, along with many other careers such as doctors, nurses, etc. , to be in high demand also. There are so many different job duties within the CMA scope of practice that they constantly have something to do during the workday that keeps them very busy.
Staying busy during the workday is always a plus because it makes the day go by faster and you’re not just sitting or wandering around looking for little petty things to do just to pass time.
A CMA with spare time on their hands can always find something useful to do such as catch up on paperwork, filing documents in patients’ medical records, documenting inpatient charts, working on scheduling for the next day, cleaning supplies, clean or set up exam rooms, or many other tasks with their job description in order to keep them busy.
Along with the above-listed reasons, there are other more minor reasons I chose medical assisting. One of the lesser important reasons being salary. I’m not saying salary is not an important aspect to consider when choosing a career because it definitely is but, it’s just not at the top of my list of reasons for choosing this career.
The fact that there is high job security, it is a fast-paced work environment, and that it fulfills my want to pursue helping those in need are more important reasons than the monetary reasons.
Example #3 – Why I Want to Be a Medical Assistant
Medical assistants are health care workers who help healthcare professionals in administrative and clinical tasks. Some of the major duties and responsibilities of a medical assistant are; measuring patients’ vital signs, providing medications and injections at proper times, recording vital information about the patient’s health conditions periodically, helping the patients in preparing documents needed for the hospital and insurance companies, preparing and handling medical instruments, collecting bodily fluids and tissues for laboratory testing, etc.
One of the major problems in the healthcare industry is the shortage of manpower. At the same time, the number of patients who take shelter in hospitals because of chronic diseases is growing day by day.
There are three major reasons which motivated me to select the career in the field of medical assistants: American patients are facing difficulties in communicating properly with foreign hospital staffs, America is losing huge amounts because of outsourcing of clerical and administrative hospital jobs to foreign countries and Medical assistant profession is highly secure and decently paid profession. Most of the people working in the American health sector are foreigners.
Because of the shortage of Americans in the healthcare industry, patients are facing problems in communicating effectively with foreigners. It is difficult for an American to communicate effectively with a foreigner, even if the foreigner has some knowledge in English. Many of the foreigners who are working in American hospitals do not have proper knowledge about the verbal and nonverbal communication channels of the Americans.
More than 60% of the messages are usually conveyed through nonverbal means. Unfortunately, foreign hospital staffs do not have adequate ideas about the mannerisms and body languages (Gestures, facial expressions, etc) of the Americans and they fail to understand the needs of the patients adequately.
Because of the above problems in communication, Americans are not getting adequate nursing care in hospitals from foreign professionals. Many of the administrative and clerical works in the healthcare industry are currently outsourced to countries like India, Philippines Pakistan, etc. America is losing billions of dollars in this manner. President Obama already warned Americans about the dangers associated with the outflow of domestic capital to foreign countries.
He is doing everything possible to discourage American organizations from outsourcing. As mentioned earlier, a lot of clerical jobs in the health sector are outsourced because of the shortage of qualified medical assistants in America.
For example, hospital bill preparation, the preparation of documents for getting medical insurance benefits, etc are currently outsourced to foreign countries because of the shortage of medical assistants in America. I want to help my country as much as possible in preventing the capital outflows to foreign countries which is another answer to the question “why I want to be a medical assistant”. The job of a medical assistant is one of the highly secured jobs available in America at present.
The demand for medical assistants is huge at present. Under no circumstances, we can anticipate that the number of patients taking shelter in hospitals is going to be reduced. Under such circumstances, the jobs of medical assistants are highly secure even amidst unfavorable economic conditions. Americans are currently in search of secure jobs.
The recent financial crisis has succeeded in revealing the insecurity of some of the most dignified jobs in reputed organizations like automobile manufacturing, banking, etc. On the other hand, the demand for medical professionals is increasing day by day. “The average income of medical assistant is about $28,000 as per year in 2008 and by 2015 these salaries are expected to become nearly $60,000 per year” (Praveen).
In other words, the medical assistant profession is one of the rare professions in America which provides a decent salary and working conditions. In short, the high percentage of safety and security and the good salary of medical assistant job motivated me further in opting for a career in this field.
A Medical Assistant career opens the doors to working in almost any type of healthcare facility. On a daily basis, Medical Assistants provide essential support for doctors and nurses, often acting as the first point of contact for patients. Learn from an Arizona College graduate about her experience as a medical assistant.
“My job as a Medical Assistant changes constantly. I never really have a “typical” workday, since I see a variety of different things each day. My clinic accepts scheduled patients as well as walk-ins, which tends to make things very busy for me and the other Medical Assistants and staff. While things can get a little hectic at times, the fast pace makes for an exciting workday with rarely a dull moment – which I love!
Before patients even arrive, I am busy cleaning and sterilizing exam rooms and equipment that the doctors and nurses will use. I pull patients’ charts, and I make sure insurance information is current. I’m responsible for submitting new and updated insurance data to the correct place, and I also help with sending clients’ bills and invoices.
Usually, I’m the first person who sees a patient after check-in. I show patients to their rooms, and then I ask them a number of questions to help record and update their medical histories before the nurse or doctor sees them. This involves entering data into an electronic system. I take their vitals, such as blood pressure and temperature, and make sure I get a good idea of why they have come for their visit — what symptoms they’re experiencing, and any concerns the doctor should be aware of.
Medical Assistants give lots of injections and perform many blood draws. We prepare specimens such as blood and urine for laboratory analysis and even do basic laboratory tests. I’ve been able to assist doctors in many small procedures, and it’s very interesting to watch and learn during each one.
After the doctors are finished seeing each patient, I’ll check in with them about any medications they are taking. I answer their questions about ongoing care, give instructions for how to take new medications, and call in prescriptions to pharmacies.
One of the best things about being a Medical Assistant is the wide variety of work I do. Medical Assistants have the opportunity to practice seeing patients in many different medical specialties, from dermatology to podiatry to obstetrics to optometry.
This job was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but all of the experience I’ve gained while working here has been great! I have even decided, because I love the field so much, that I want to continue in my education and become a Physician’s Assistant.”
Preparing for this day
“I am really happy I made the choice to become a Medical Assistant. I thought it would be a good fit since I love working with people and I’ve always been interested in medicine, and the Medical Assistant program at Arizona College gave me the perfect opportunity to confirm that.
I got lots of hands-on practice for the practical skills I learned in the classroom, both through the laboratory at school and through a great externship, and I felt confident and prepared when I started my first job.
The flexible schedule and supportive environment at Arizona College were just what I was looking for in a Medical Assistant program. The faculty and staff provided just the right amount of guidance and helped me follow my dreams of becoming a Medical Assistant. Because I love the field so much, I want to continue my education and become a Physician’s Assistant. If Arizona College ever offers that program I would definitely go back!”
First Steps to Become a Medical Assistant
Arizona College currently offers an accredited Medical Assistant Program that prepares students for a career as a Medical Assistant by providing hands-on training, lab experience, and courses that cover administrative work as well as patient care. After completing the Medical Assisting program, students are fully prepared to earn their certification and begin applying for Medical Assistant positions.
Example #5 – Interesting Ideas
Not everyone wants to be a medical assistant. But a medical assistant is better than being a receptionist or at the front desk. Being at the front desk is better than no job at all. There are several community colleges that offer short medical assisting classes and not a whole lot of liabilities and work if working as a nurse, nurse aide, or nursing assistant.
You can become a medical assistant to the physician in private practices like taking vital signs, preparing the patients, and advising the physicians on patients’ medications they are taking before the physician’s examination. The starting salary is not too bad too like between $12.00 – $15.00 per hour, depending on experience and working hours are like 9 to 5 with private practices/clinics *.
Suggestions as starters:
- want to work with people.
- want to be of service to society.
- have always been interested in medicine.
- feel that your enthusiasm for sciences with your empathy for people in distress would be a good foundation for the role.
- responding to the needs of people is important to you.