What’s the Current Job Market for Medical Assisting Professionals Look Like?
The Current Job Market for Medical Assisting Professionals
Medical assistants play an intricate, behind-the-scenes role in many medical facilities. They are the people who take medical histories, deal with patients, and serve as the first line of communication between patients and the medical facility. With that being said, medical assisting is still a fairly new field, and many people wonder what medical assistants really do, and whether or not the field is one that could provide long term job security.
What Do Medical Assistants Do?
The job description and job scope of a medical assistant differs widely depending on what type of setting they are employed in. Some medical assistants, however, are trained to perform both clinical and administrative duties within a medical office or clinic.
Medical assistants may be responsible for filing, medical coding, dealing with insurance, answering phones and greeting patients. Their duties may also include more clinical work, such collecting specimens, taking medical histories, preparing medication, and drawing blood. They may also serve as patient liaisons.
Becoming a Medical Assistant
Medical assistants can either learn on the job, or enroll in an associate’s program. Many certificate programs are currently available to students interested in becoming medical assistants. All those who wish to become medical assistants must be over the age of 18 and must at least have a high school diploma. While the field is growing rapidly, there is also competition and those who have certification, have passed medical assisting exams, or those who have received an associate’s degree in medical assisting are more easily employed.
Medical Assisting Is a Rapidly Growing Field
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that medical assisting will grow exponentially in the next ten years. AS of 2012 the medical assisting profession employees over 500,000 people. The BLS predicts that an additional 169,000 jobs will be created by 2022, which is a growth of 29%. The growth of the medical assisting field is considered well above average.
There are a number of reasons the field is growing so quickly. First and foremost, the number of outpatient clinics and medical service facilities are growing each year. Secondly, the number of aging individuals is growing as well. As baby boomers become elderly, they will require a greater amount of care, and the number of medical assistants that will be needed to keep up with demand will continue to grow. Finally, doctors are finally seeing the benefit of staffing medical assistants to deal with basic medical care. This frees up the doctor’s time to deal with more in-depth medical situations.
The Bottom Line
As the world changes, and the population ages the need for medical services will only increase. Better technology, and more streamlined medical services are also making more staff necessary. While many new nurses and doctors will be needed in the coming years, support staff will also be necessary and important in ensuring everyone receives the care they need. The BLS notes that medical assistants will be in demand over the next ten years. The field is among the fastest growing in the nation and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Because of this, the field offers job security, although upward mobility is below average.
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