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Medical assistants are multiskilled health professionals specifically educated to work in ambulatory settings performing administrative and clinical duties. The practice of medical assisting directly influences the public’s health and well-being, and requires mastery of a complex body of knowledge and specialized skills requiring both formal education and practical experience that serve as standards for entry into the profession.
The role of the Certified Medical Assistant , CMA(AAMA) varies depending on the location, size and specialty of the practice. Administrative duties may include using computer applications, updating medical records, handling correspondence and scheduling appointments. Clinical duties include taking medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, giving injections, performing EKG's, and assisting physicians during examination.
Where CMA's work:
According to the United States Department of Labor Occupational Employment and Wages:
- Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 34 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the healthcare industry expands because of technological advances in medicine and the growth and aging of the population, there will be an increased need for all healthcare workers.
- Helping to drive job growth is the increasing number of group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities that need a high proportion of support personnel, particularly medical assistants who can handle both administrative and clinical duties. In addition, medical assistants work mostly in primary care, a consistently growing sector of the healthcare industry.
- Jobseekers who want to work as a medical assistant should find excellent job prospects. Medical assistants are projected to account for a very large number of new jobs, and many other opportunities will come from the need to replace workers leaving the occupation. Medical assistants with formal training or experience—particularly those with certification—should have the best job opportunities, since employers generally prefer to hire these workers.