A registered medical assistant carries out all duties related to the administration and smooth running of a health care facility. Read through this story to learn about their duties and requirements, as well as how much one can expect to earn in this profession.
The job of a registered medical assistant is one which consists of tasks that are clinical and administrative in nature. This means that along with helping doctors in their day-to-day job of treating patients, they even work towards maintaining the facility they are employed in.
Being from the health care sector, the demand for such jobs is predicted to grow at a faster rate than any other job in their class. According to a survey conducted in 2019, there were approximately 686,000 registered medical assistants actively working, out of which around 60% were providing their services in the offices of doctors.
Others were employed by private medical health care centers and clinical settings. In few cases, these professionals may be provided on-the-job training. However, some may find employment after completing a one or two-year educational program in the same field.
Their work includes responsibilities which are both administrative and clinical. Administrative duties include handling the front office and reception, greeting patients who come for treatment, keeping patient information, handling medical records, dealing in the facility's accounts and expenses, performing medical billing and claims, carrying out health insurance formalities, and other similar duties.
On the other hand, there are certain clinical duties which include assessing the medical condition of the patient and informing it to the medical practitioner; looking after the operative and medical equipment, cleaning them, and preparing them for procedures; explaining to the patients about the treatment; assisting the doctors in taking X-rays and performing other therapies, etc. All clinical duties have to be strictly carried out under the guidance of the physician or any other licensed medical professional.
In order to get into this profession, there are no formal requirements; however, it is good to have a certification or some education in this field to advance your job prospects. Vocational and technical schools offer certificate programs requiring one year study or an associate degree of two years.
Certification is not required; however, bodies such as the American Medical Technologists and the American Association of Medical Assistants offer them in two categories namely Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) and Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). Some employers demand certification for service, whereas other may not.
You also need to note that if you have been employed as a medical assistant for five or more years without completing the related training program, you may still be allowed to obtain the certification. Another important point to remember is that the certification needs to be renewed every five years.
Yearly Salary by Work Experience
Freshers: USD 24,000 to USD 28,000 1 - 4 years: USD 26,000 to USD 33,000 5 - 9 years: USD 30,000 to USD 39,000 10 - 19 years: USD 35,000 to USD 45,000 Over 20 years:USD 43,000 to USD 48,000
As you can see, this is not the most lucrative of the health care professions, therefore, one must be willing to opt for further education. Nonetheless, job prospects are especially strong for those with formal education and certification, as employers prefer to hire these individuals.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of jobs in this field to increase by 23 percent from 2018 to 2028.