Flash Forward: What You Can Do with a Medical Assistant Degree

The aging baby boomer generation is driving great demand for healthcare professionals — and medical assistants are at the top of that list. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical assisting field is projected to grow 23 percent by 2024, a rate much faster than the average for all occupations.

As this demand for healthcare increases, the number of medical practices, health clinics, and other facilities will need to hire several medical professionals for both administrative and clinical duties. Who better to call on than those with a medical assisting degree?

Certified medical assistants work in many sectors of the healthcare industry, from primary care to specialty practices to larger hospital settings. Their responsibilities range from administrative to clinical, depending on their preferred profession and work environment. The medical assistant career options are ever-growing: Within a decade, the field is expected to gain almost 163,000 new job openings.

If you are considering a career in medical assisting, the time is undoubtedly now. These five developing careers should be kept on your radar as you complete your medical assistant certification.

EKG Technician

An Electrocardiogram (EKG) technician is an excellent, hands-on career option for medical assistants interested in cardiology. As an EKG tech, you are exposed to many different day to day tasks, from interacting with patients to administering EKG tests, to evaluating stress test results. Because heart disease is so prevalent in the United States today, trained EKG technicians are in high demand across hospitals, physicians’ offices, and clinics nationwide.

Phlebotomy Technician

A phlebotomy technician is another rising career option for medical assistants. Similarly to an EKG tech, those in phlebotomy work directly with patients to administer tests. These medical assistants are responsible for taking patient vitals, collecting patient blood samples, and further processing other clinical specimens in a sterile, laboratory setting. Pursuing a degree in medical assisting or certificate in phlebotomy is a crucial component to this career choice, as phlebotomy techs are dealing directly with blood-borne diseases and must be trained accordingly.

Patient-Care Unit Clerk

Hospital unit clerks take on both an administrative and a clinical role, working alongside medical staff and patients to fulfill day to day duties. This clerk is typically the first person to greet patients and families that enter the unit and the last contact they have before leaving. A unit clerk does not solely greet patients but also fulfills various medical assisting tasks such as processing medical records, entering patient information into the system, and maintaining unit operations.

Medical Administrative Assistant

Medical administrative assistants can work in a variety of different medical offices and practices — podiatry, ophthalmology, and gynecology are some popular fields that medical assistants pursue. Most often, these medical office assistants are responsible for clerical tasks such as filling out insurance forms, scheduling patient appointments, as well as medical billing and coding. Those in this profession usually work full-time alongside doctors, nurses, and practitioners.

Health Insurance Claims Examiner or Processor

Medical claims examiners are primarily responsible for validating health insurance claims. Their role is meant to warrant patient care, while simultaneously helping protect the insurance company from fraud. A medical processor for insurance companies predominantly decides what medical coverage patients’ receive depending on their policy. These processors review patients’ insurance forms and are in direct contact with patients to make sure insurance information is complete and correct every step of the way.

To learn about Goodwin’s Medical Assistant program in CT, or for more information on your various medical assistant career options, call us toll-free at 800-889-3282.