What does a medical assistant do?
Medical assistants fulfill a variety of roles within a clinical or medical setting. From taking vitals before a doctor visit to advising patients on treatment plans prescribed by physicians, medical assistants are an essential part of every physician’s office. Medical assistants often fulfill both clinical and administrative duties, and they may even assist with billing, product inventory, and other important processes. The job duties and functions of a medical assistant vary depending on the size and location of the clinic, hospital, or other setting in which they work, but in general, the duties performed by medical assistants include:
- Greeting and Checking In Patients
- Compiling Patient History and Medications
- Taking Vitals and Drawing Blood
- Taking and Preparing Lab Specimens
- Submitting Prescriptions and Refills to Pharmacies
- Scheduling Appointments and Lab Work
- Obtaining Patient Records and Lab Results
- Updating Patient Records and Medical History
- Handling Referrals, Admissions, and Other Paperwork
- Advising Patients Regarding Treatment Plans
- Reviewing Proper Use of Prescriptions and Medications with Patients
- Managing Product and Supply Inventory
What does a medical assistant make?
Most entry-level medical assistants make between $10-$15 per hour, although the range can vary by geographic location, work setting, skill level, experience, and other factors. The nationwide average salary for medical assistants is around $35,000, which is fairly standard for entry-level careers. On average, medical assistants in hospitals and physicians offices have higher salaries than those in other work settings.
What do medical assistants make in Colorado?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in Colorado make, on average, $32,000 per year. However, skill set, level of education, experience, work setting, and other factors can have an impact on how much medical assistants make. For example, medical assistants working in hospitals in Colorado can make as much as $55,000 per year with less than 5 years of experience working in the field, while entry-level registered medical assistants in physicians’ offices can expect to make between $30,000 and $35,000 per year.
Where do medical assistants work?
If you have ever visited a physician’s office or a hospital, chances are you have encountered a registered medical assistant. In addition to physicians and nurses, medical assistants are an essential part of every health setting. Medical assistants work in a variety of settings, including:
- Physicians’ Offices
- Nursing Homes and Retirement Communities
- Community Health Centers
- Sports Medicine Clinics
- Physical Therapy Centers
How do I become a medical assistant?
Becoming a medical assistant requires some level of technical training, but unlike becoming a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN), becoming a registered medical assistant (RMA) does not require a college degree.
What does it take to be a medical assistant?
You can become a registered medical assistant by completing a medical assistant certification program. Colleges like IntelliTec offer registered medical assistant programs with a relatively quick training period, so you can become a registered medical assistant in as little as 10.5 months.
What is the difference between an RN and a RMA?
A registered nurse, or RN, is different from a registered medical assistant, or RMA, in that becoming an registered nurse requires a college degree and a higher level of specialized training, while registered medical assistants are able to fulfill a variety of roles with significantly less time spent in school and with a much lower education cost.
While some of the duties of a registered nurse and a registered medical assistant may overlap, RMAs are often also active in the administrative side of a clinic or hospital setting, and may even work alongside practice owners and managers to implement marketing campaigns and other important functions outside of patient care.