An exciting new career as a Medical Administrative Assistant can open up a whole new world of possibilities. The path to becoming a Medical Administrative Assistant is one that will not take an extended amount of schooling or one that is filled with high tuition costs. Starting out on this new career path is easy to do and it can quickly lead to a rewarding future that is filled with great benefits, flexible work hours and competitive pay.
General Job Overview
A medical administrative assistant plays in an integral role in the day-to-day operation of a medical facility. Patients generally encounter a medical administrative assistant as soon as they enter a doctor’s office, hospital or health care facility. This encounter involves checking patients in and getting all their paperwork in order, in addition to detailing their medical histories.
Medical administrative assistants also compile medical charts and records to better assist physicians. There is sometimes the added responsibility of making sure lab results are transferred to the appropriate place. Medical administrative assistants handle a wide range of responsibilities when it comes to inputting data into computer systems. If there is any kind of information vital to a patient’s history or situation, it is usually documented with the help of a medical administrative assistant.
- Penn Foster offers two programs that can be beneficial for those interested or currently working in the healthcare field. ICD-10 Training for ICD-9 Coders is a shorter certificate program that focuses solely on teaching skills needed to process ICD-10 codes.
Due to the diversity of job responsibilities, medical administrative assistants are capable of handling a variety of tasks. Scheduling appointments and processing payments require precision and a close attention to detail, two common traits of a medical administrative assistant. People skills are also very valuable in this type of profession as patients are always looking for an effective means of communication before seeing a doctor.
Being as medical administrative assistants deal in customer service, there is a high level of professionalism that exists at all times. Physicians and health care professionals count on medical administrative assistants to begin the health care process. Furthermore, the last person a patient typically encounters on a visit is a medical administrative assistant, who can significantly impact the overall patient experience.
The work setting for medical administrative assistants vary as they can often be found working in hospitals, clinics, private practices and research labs. Some of those facilities are fast paced while others are open 24 hours a day. Medical administrative assistants are up to the task in each of those situations as they are entrusted with a wide array of important job duties.
Job Prospects and Potential Pay
The average U.S. salary for medical administrative assistants is $33,040 on a yearly basis. Those with more experience can expect an increase on that yearly average while those administrative assistants working in the area of research can expect to make well over $40,000 per year. There has also been a steady increase in job growth for medical administrative assistants as that number is expected to increases more than 10% in the next few years.
The required level of education needed to begin educational training as a medical administrative assistant is a high school diploma or GED equivalency. Although, many medical assistant professionals complete a medical assisting program through a vocational school or community college. There are many one year programs leading to certificates or diplomas, although some choose to further their education with a two year associates’s degree program.
Some Expected Program Coursework
Medical Assisting program coursework consists of academic courses along with practical experiences in a hospital or Physician’s office. Below is some of the expected coursework to study:
- Medical Terminology
- Medical Ethics
- Medical Office Insurance and Billing Procedures
- Computer applications
- Pharmaceutical principles
- Anatomy and Physiology
Medical Administrative Assistant Certification Requirements
Companies looking to hire new medical administrative assistants look very favorably on applicants who have earned some kind of certification. A medical administrative assistant certification is available through vocational schools or online training programs that specialize in teaching the essentials in this field. Certification programs can last anywhere from six to twelve months and they cover all the details involved with being a medical administrative assistant.
Certification programs teach students about the functions of various health care facilities while also highlighting the medical terminology and abbreviations used in these environments. There is also a comprehensive approach towards understanding the regulations and guidelines that come with processing health care information. Medical coding is also part of most curriculums that conclude with a medical administrative assistant certification.
A two-year Associate’s Degrees in Applied Science also cover the skills needed to perform the job of a medical administrative assistant. Additionally, a host of nationally recognized certification exams are offered to those looking to enhance their credentials. Completion of a medical administrative assistant certification goes a long way towards being able to pass a nationally-recognized exam, although it is not necessary to acquire a job.
Browse through this specialized listing of medical administrative assistant job openings around the country.
Browse through the U.S. Department of Labor’s salary figures and statistics for professional medical administrative assistant salaries.
The AAMA provides a wealth of resources for those working as medical administrative assistants in the United States.
This website provides a long list of links to websites that cater towards those working in an administrative position.