Medical assisting is a fantastic career choice! It is a vocation that offers a great working environment, excellent pay and benefits, and the opportunity to help others. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the field of medical assisting to increase by 29% by 2022. This growth translates into roughly 163,000 new positions! Today is a great time to think about a career in medical assisting. The field offers two unique career paths: Administrative medical assistant and Clinical medical assistant. Here is information about each of the distinctive jobs.  

Clinical Medical Assistant 

The clinical medical assistant provides direct patient care. Working alongside physicians and nurses, the clinical medical assistant performs a variety of duties directly under the supervision of a licensed physician. The training for this job takes less than a year for a certificate and two years for an associate degree. The training includes an on-site clinical assignment. The median salary for a clinical medical assistant is $38,000 per year with benefits.  

The clinical medical assistant spends the majority of the day in direct contact with patients. These assistants’ duties may include the following: 

  • Welcoming patients and escorting them to exam rooms 
  • Taking vital signs such as height/weight, blood pressure, and pulse 
  • Note-taking regarding the patient’s symptoms and possible allergies 
  • Assisting physician with exam 
  • Performing routine in-office tests 

Administrative Medical Assistant 

The administrative medical assistant is the front of the office assistant. These professionals handle office communication, schedule appointments, and file insurance claims. They may even be responsible for overseeing other office staff. The training for an administrative medical assistant is a few months in length and is available online. The administrative medical assistant makes an average salary of $35,000 per year.  

The administrative medical assistant works primarily in the front office. These medical assistants have limited contact with patients unless they are checking them in or out of an office or clinic. The primary duties of an administrative medical assistant include: 

  • Filing insurance paperwork 
  • Scheduling appointments 
  • Bookkeeping 
  • Medical billing 
  • Patient records 

CMA Certification 

The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers the CMA certification that recognizes the highest standards of education and credentialing for medical assistants. Graduates of medical assisting programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are eligible to take the certification exam. Contact the AAMA for further information. 

A Bright Future 

Medical assistants are versatile allied health professionals with crosstraining in clinical and administrative clinic duties. Multiple job opportunities are continually opening in outpatient care facilities, medical offices, and clinics.  

Speaking of opportunity, if you are a medical assistant looking for an assignment, check out CnStaffing. We offer full-time, part-time, and temporary work assignments that will work for you. 

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