At Kirtland Community College, one of our newest programs is a tremendous foot-in-the-door opportunity for those interested in the healthcare industry.
Our Medical Assistant program is a two-year degree, which prepares students to perform an array of duties in ambulatory care settings – like administrative and clinical skills. During the program, students will go through classroom, laboratory and internship instruction. Following the program, students participate in American Medical Technologists (AMT), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) and Registered Phlebotomy Technician (RPT) certification examinations.
Medical assistants are found all over the healthcare industry. Most, however, work within physicians’ offices, a hospital or outpatient center. While a medical assistant’s duties vary by location, the common thread among them is the taking and recording of patients’ personal information. It’s something they handle tactfully and confidentially.
The array of duties a medical assistant handles also consists of: measuring vital signs; helping the physician with examinations; scheduling appointments; administering injections to patients as directed by the physician; and, preparing and handling blood for laboratory tests.
Medical assistants are engines of a physician’s office as they make sure things keep running smoothly. It’s a full-time job that requires analytical, technical, and interpersonal skills. Precision and attention to detail is also important, as accurate record keeping is critical to a functioning office or hospital. The changing landscape of record keeping is another example of how up-to-date education and training is necessary for the job. With the emergence of electronic health records, a medical assistant needs the proper software erudition.
It’s also currently a position ripe for growth, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasting 29% growth through 2022, which is much faster than average. In 2012, medical assistants held about 560,800 jobs with a median pay of $29,370.
An aging population spurs the strong outlook, resulting in numerous clinics, practices and other healthcare facilities sprouting up with the need of support workers. It’s a steady job with a robust task list. Furthermore, as a two-year degree, it serves as a promising avenue for those looking to get into the medical field and want to further it. It’s a foot-in-the-door opportunity where following the completion of the program, finding work is easier, and you can make career-based decisions as you go.