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Top Five Careers in Medical Assisting, Without the Blood

Posted on January 9th, 2017 by Florida Technical College

Medical assisting jobs are in high demand. It takes a small army of professionals with different skill sets to provide medical care in our world today. Physicians and nurses who are deep in the trenches require a competent support staff to help them treat those who are sick or injured and cover all of the many aspects of modern patient care. Men and women who are drawn to the medical industry and a career where they can help others have many different opportunities available to them. Traditionally, many people who were well suited for the industry but uneasy about blood, needles and intense trauma have turned to other fields. If you’re one of those people, there is great news for you! There are a large number of medical assisting careers that allow you to earn a great living while helping others, with a focus on technology and patient care, without the blood. Learn about the top five careers for Medical Assistants, and how obtaining your certification or AS degree in Medical Assisting from Florida Technical College can open up a lifetime of opportunities for you.   What is a Medical Assistant? By definition, medical assistants complete administrative duties and clinical tasks supporting doctors, nurses, their patients and the medical environment. Their duties vary based on the location of their work and the specialty of that practice. Medical assistants work in physician offices, chiropractic offices, hospitals, outpatient centers, and other healthcare facilities. Like physicians, medical assistants can specialize in many areas including sports medicine, weight loss, rehabilitation and more. In 2014, there were 591,300 people working as medical assistants in the U.S. with an average pay of $30,590 per year.   There are many different fields for medical assistants today that don’t require you to work in traumatic environments. Helping patients and healthcare professionals extends way beyond drawing blood and cleaning bedpans. There are many important jobs for medical assistants in the growing healthcare industry.     Five Great Career Paths for Medical Assistants   #1 – Pharmacy Technician Medical assistants can apply their training and skills to a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, helping the pharmacist provide medications and other health care products to patients, consumers and other health care professionals. Pharmacy technicians perform routine tasks to help prepare prescribed medications. This may include counting tablets, labeling bottles and dispensing prescriptions in preparation for sale at grocery stores, drug stores and hospitals. Medical assistants that work in the field of pharmaceuticals generally work in a non-critical environment away from blood, pain and trauma, yet are helping patients who are in need of medicine. Retail sales are a big part of this job and a great fit for medical assistants who have strong interpersonal skills. You can become a pharmacy technician by completing a medical assistant program and obtaining your certification. The medical field of pharmaceuticals is a $300 billion annual industry in the U.S. and expected to continue to grow rapidly over the next three years. Increased demand in prescription medications will lead to an increase in demand for pharmaceutical services. Professionals who specialize in pharmaceuticals are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor, pharmacy technicians earned an average annual salary of $30,410 per year in 2015.  #2 – Medical Transcriptionists Medical assistants can apply their training and skills to a career as a medical transcriptionist. Medical transcriptionists listen to voice recordings that physicians and other healthcare workers make during the course of their daily work and translate those audios into written reports. Medical transcriptionists use word-processing software and speech recognition technology to conduct their work from physician offices and other healthcare facilities. These medical assistants must be able to interpret terminology and abbreviations with a basic understanding of anatomy and physiology in order to prepare written accounts of patient medical histories, discharge summaries and other important medical records. Medical assistants that work as medical transcriptionists generally work in a non-critical environment away from blood, pain and trauma, yet are helping physicians accurately document patient treatments and records. Advanced technology is a big part of this job and a great fit for medical assistants who are technically adept. You can become a medical transcriptionist by completing a medical assistant program and obtaining your certification. According to the Bureau of Labor, medical transcriptionists earned an average annual salary of $34,890 per year in 2015.   #3 – Health Information Technicians Medical assistants can apply their training and skills to a career as a health information technician. Health information technicians work in a wide range of medical facilities from physician offices to hospitals and clinics of all kinds. These medical assistants organize and manage health information data. They ensure that the information collected from patients, physicians and insurance companies is properly documented and secure in both paper files and electronic systems. Health information technicians ensure health information is accurate and accessible and use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes from databases and registries. They also maintain patient medical and treatment histories. Health information technicians generally work in a non-critical environment out of the direct line of blood, pain and trauma, yet are helping patients receive the care they need by maintaining accurate and complete files that are accessible to physicians and other professional who treat those patients. Documentation is a big part of this job and a great fit for medical assistants who are technically inclined and enjoy data entry. You can become a health information technician by completing a medical assistant program and obtaining your certification. The demand for health information technicians is projected to grow 15 percent from 2014 to 2024 as the demand for health services increases. According to the Bureau of Labor, health information technicians earned an average annual salary of $37,110 per year in 2015.   #4 – Home Health Aides Medical assistants can apply their training and skills to a career as a home health aide. Unlike […]

Different Medical Assisting Jobs: A Day in the Life of a Medical Assistant

Posted on November 4th, 2016 by Florida Technical College

If you have been thinking about a career change, you love helping people and you’re interested in health and medicine, consider looking into medical assisting jobs. Life as a medical assistant is often busy, challenging, and at times difficult, but one thing it can never be is boring. If you’re ready for a better career, a career that is meaningful, then you are ready for a career in health care. Medical assistants perform a variety of tasks in medical offices, including administrative tasks like filing paperwork and making a schedule, to clinical tasks like taking patient vital signs and assisting doctors during exams and procedures. These professionals have been trained in medical assistant programs and have the credentials necessary to work directly with patients. Medical assisting jobs are meaningful and challenging, but they also offer security and a good income. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be over 100,000 new jobs for medical assistants over the next several years. The industry is growing faster than average and trained medical assistants are in high demand and will continue to be needed in all parts of the country for years to come. In this career the average salaries are around $30,000, which means there is a potential to earn even more than that. To help you figure out if medical assisting jobs are right for your future career, consider what a typical person does on the job on a typical day. From checking out patient charts and planning the rest of the day to taking care of files and other administrative work to holding the hand of a scared patient, the daily duties of a medical assistant are varied and never boring. In Medical Assisting Jobs, No Day is Typical A description of a day in the life of a medical assistant isn’t necessarily a general one. No day is ever typical because these professionals work with a different set of patients every day, each with a unique set of needs. This is one of the things that makes this career so exciting. You will face daily challenges in your role as a medical assistant, and you will never get bored doing the job. One day you may be helping a patient with routine care for diabetes and the next you are comforting someone who doesn’t feel well and can’t figure out why. Most Medical Assisting Jobs Begin with Preparations For most medical assistants, a typical day will begin with a review of the charts and the schedule. In this job you will probably enter the office in the morning, take a look at the patient schedule for the day and then start pulling out the files for those patients. The doctors need to review these files before meeting with each patient, and having them out and ready to go is a big help. After reviewing the schedule and patient files, your next task will be to prepare the rooms and equipment that the doctors will need to see these patients. You might need to get out the right equipment, clean and sterilize it, and set up the exam rooms with all the necessary tools and forms that the doctors may need. Because the day starts with all this prep work, most people in medical assisting jobs are expected to be in the office at least a half an hour before the first patient’s appointment time.   Getting Patients into Their Appointments Another important duty in medical assisting jobs is to ensure that patients get in the door and into the exam rooms in an organized fashion. In some offices, medical assistants are responsible for all parts of this process, while in others duties are split between administrative and clinical medical assistants. The administrative medical assistant is responsible for getting patients signed in, making sure their charts are ready, verifying a patient’s identity and health insurance, and helping them fill out the correct forms. A clinical medical assistant calls each patient in for their appointments and gets them settled into the exam room. In these types of medical assisting jobs you are responsible for taking vital signs, like measuring the patient’s blood pressure and weight, and asking any necessary preliminary questions. The medical assistant in this role records all the information as well as patient answers in the same chart the doctor will be referencing throughout the appointment. Medical Assisting Jobs Also Include Working Side-by-Side with the Doctor In medical assistant schools you learn how to perform many of these duties independently, but in this career you will also be expected to work with doctors. An important part of the workday is being side-by-side in the exam room with the doctor or doctors depending on the size of the facility. Your job in this capacity is to assist the doctor in any way necessary, making sure you’re close at all times is key. Working in the exam room with the doctor and patient may involve handing instruments to the doctor as needed for examining the patient or for a procedure. You may also need to open up sterile bandages or tools, provide the doctor with personal protective equipment, and add notes in the patient’s file as the doctor dictates them to you. Helping the Patient after the Doctor Leaves Once the doctor has completed an examination or procedure, it is up to the medical assistant to wrap up the appointment. This means explaining to the patient what to do next, any home care that he or she needs to do, when to schedule the next appointment, or how to use any medication. The medical assisting jobs also include answering any questions the patient may still have about what the doctor said. It is important to be a good communicator in this role because you will often be the person translating what the doctor has said and making it easier for the patient to understand. The End of the Day in Medical Assisting Jobs The time at which the […]

Earning your Medical Assisting Degree and balancing your time

Posted on September 26th, 2016 by Florida Technical College

Have you been putting your future on hold? Florida Technical College offers medical assistant classes that could have you earning a Medical Assisting Degree during your spare time. Getting a degree in Medical Assisting has never been more possible. With the demands of a busy work schedule and home life, many are choosing to return to Technical Institutes to advance their skill set and career path. With an open enrollment policy, earning an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting from FTC allows you to manage your time and start your future now. Here’s why earning an Associate in Medical Assisting is the right choice for your busy schedule.   Flexible Classes Technical schools preparing for a medical assisting degree offer their students a variety of class times, including day and night classes, as well as online programs. These flexible class times allow students to maintain a job while completing the requirements for their medical assisting degree. Community and Technical Colleges are the leading providers for online learning, allowing students to remain focused in their professional lives, not having to take time off for classes. While online classes are always an option that makes time management easier while in school, students should assess their individual skills before deciding which route will benefit them most. Some of these assessments include considering your knowledge of computer programs and technology, your level of reading comprehension, and the time you are able to devote to each online course. Not only can class instruction time be scheduled to suit your own individual needs, the required laboratory portions for medical assistant classes, and medical assistant externships are often offered during night hours, as well as during the day. While earning a medical assisting degree, students are required to complete 160 hours in an externship. Students earn class credits towards their degree with the completion of their externship, which offers an expansive array of medical offices, or companies to choose from, and can lead to employment directly after graduation. This opportunity gives individuals the chance to build a relationship with medical professionals giving them favorability when it comes time to pursue entry-level positions. Many medical practices must operate during all hours, and facilities and services such as residential care and assisted living, hospital administration, and Urgent Care make completing the requirements for a medical assisting degree easier than ever. Flexibility is just one of the many advantages of medical assistant programs, allowing you to balance your time and needs. Hands-On Training Many medical providers are willing to hire students in training, offering them positions before completing their degree. Many of these opportunities offer round the clock care, making early morning, or late night shifts available. The training a medical assistant student will receive works double duty as each student receives an education and hands on work experience all at once. In today’s society time is money, and why not spend your time on the fast track to a successful career? Instead of waiting for graduation to decide on the environment in which you would like to work, why not start while you are still in school? The externship offers a chance to get started on your professional goals, allowing students to choose a field to focus on and complete the externship at a practice or facility that specializes in this field. Finding your niche, or field of focus, saves time and allows each student to make strides toward obtaining a specific position, or a job at their desired practice within the medical field. While earning a medical assistant degree at a technical college like FTC, students are given the opportunity to choose from courses like microbiology, or medical theory to satisfy their elective requirements, and these allow students to study in their area of interest. If you have a desire to work in neurobiology you may want to fulfill an elective requirement with microbiology, however, if your desire is to work in primary care, medical theory may be the right elective for you. Managing your time while earning a degree in medical assisting is important, and your time can be best used when your focus is clear. If you are returning to school, holding a full-time job, or have the responsibilities and time constraints that come with being a parent, it is important to tailor your schooling to your own time restraints. These electives, along with the option to choose a field of focus for the required externship are just some of the ways medical assistant programs can make balancing your time between career, family, and education possible.   Shorter Duration When managing the dynamics of work, home life, and schooling, it is important to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With a shorter duration, medical assistant programs make it easier to plan your life. Medical assistant schools offer associate degrees in a short two year program that helps you stay focused on the finish line. With an end in sight, managing your time and planning your future becomes much easier. With the option of attending a technical college and enrolling in a medical assisting program you could be on the path to start working in your chosen career field before most jobs can offer raises and promotions. Not only will you be able to begin working a full-time job sooner, but the time you will save by choosing a medical assistant program or medical assisting school will save you money. When our independent lives begin every minute of our time has value. When your time comes at a price, a school that offers medical assisting classes gives you the best value for your time. In fact, a recent study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute shows that the unemployment and underemployment rates for graduates of a four year college have nearly doubled in comparison to those in 2007. With the high cost of attending a four-year institution, this statistic makes trade and technical school a smart investment of your time and money. Career Centered What better […]

Patient Care Technician vs. Medical Assisting

Posted on April 29th, 2016 by Florida Technical College

How Being a Patient Care Technician is Different from Medical Assisting  If you’re looking for a career in health care, and you want to get into that new position as soon as possible, a diploma from patient care technician schools like Florida Technical College may be just what you need. In reading about your health care career options you may be confused to see that there are programs and job descriptions for both patient care technicians and medical assistants. What’s the difference? Both of these are exciting careers you can get into with the hands-on training of a diploma program, but the day-to-day work and responsibilities are very different. Patient Care Technicians Work Directly with Patients The job duties of a medical assistant are diverse. They work with patients; they may do lab work; they also do office work and man the phones and patient records. Patient care technicians, on the other hand, only work side by side with nurses and doctors to directly care for patients. They may do some medical assisting work like inserting catheters or taking vital signs, but they are mostly responsible for just helping patients feel comfortable, making sure they can eat and helping them stay clean and take care of hygiene. Patient Care Technicians Do Not Do Administrative Work  The work of a patient care technician is always with the patients, unlike a medical assistant who may be expected to do filing, update patient records, and do other office duties. Patient care technician schools do not focus on these kinds of office skills because the work of a patient care tech is all about patients and their immediate needs, not the administrative needs of the office. Educational Requirements May Be Less for a Patient Care Technician While patient care technician schools like FTC offer diploma programs for both types of health care workers, many employees require more education and training for medical assistants. Regardless of which career path you choose, getting hands-on training is crucial to being able to do the job well and take care of patients. Every Day as a Patient Care Technician is Different As a patient care technician, your main responsibility is to care for your patients. This means that on any given day your duties depend on what they need. One day may involve helping a new patient get situated and adjusted to a long stay, while the next you may be helping to transport your patients to physical therapy and making sure their rooms are clean for their return. Both of these health careers are rewarding and interesting, but only patient care is totally focused on the needs of patients. If you want to be directly involved, every day, in making people feel better, this could be the career of your dreams. To get ready to find the right position, check out patient care technician schools like FTC. Contact us today to find out more about the diploma program that will give you the skills and credentials you need to land your first health care job.   RELATED ARTICLES: What it Means to Be a Patient Care Technician – Part 1 What it Means to Be a Patient Care Technician – Part 2