What Is a Clinical Medical Assistant?

Medical assisting is a high in demand health care career due to the knowledge and skills that medical assistants possess. They provide hands-on patient care, assist doctors with medical treatment and procedures and help to ensure the office runs efficiently. There are two common types of medical assisting careers available: clinical and administrative. Administrative medical assistants often work in the office performing clerical duties and assisting with the general operations of the practice. Clinical medical assistants work directly with patients, doctors and other health care providers caring for patients and assisting with procedures.

Common job duties of a clinical medical assistant

Clinical medical assistants primarily work in the back office of a medical center or practice. They provide assistance to doctors, nurses, other health care providers and patients. Clinical medical assistants work directly with patients performing hands on care and testing under a physician’s supervision. Common job duties for a clinical medical assistant include taking a patient’s medical history, obtaining and recording vital signs, performing specimen collection and testing, administering injections and assisting with patient examinations and medical procedures.

Common places clinical medical assistants find employment

Clinical medical assistants find work in a variety of settings. The most common place for a clinical medical assistant to find employment is working for a doctor’s office or medical practice. Other common places for clinical medical assistants to find employment include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers, research facilities and therapy centers.

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Education requirements to become a clinical medical assistant

Currently there are no formal education requirements in the United States for medical assisting however there are training programs available across the country. Medical assisting programs provide students with the knowledge they need through classroom education. The skills needed to perform the job duties are learned through the hands-on laboratory training portions of the programs. Most employers prefer to hire clinical medical assistants who have successfully completed a medical assisting training program. Medical assisting training programs are offered through community colleges, technical schools, vocational training centers, universities and through some employers. Most medical assisting programs are one year in length and provide graduates with either a certificate or diploma upon completion of the program. Other medical assisting programs are two years and provide graduates with an associate degree.

How do I become a clinical medical assistant

The most common way an interested person can become a clinical medical assistant is by successfully completing medical assisting training either through a structured training program or on-the-job training through the employer. Some clinical medical assistants choose to specialize in a specific field in the health care industry. Those who choose to specialize in a specific field, such as ophthalmology, optometry or podiatry, may be required to take additional training or education classes pertaining directly to the specialty prior to being eligible to work in the specialty. Additional training in computers and electronic medical records may also be required for those interested in becoming clinical medical assistants, if this is not included in the medical assisting program. Once training has been completed the clinical medical assistant is eligible for employment.

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Article Written by Rachel Dennis

Rachel Dennis works as both a professional writer and health care provider. She has been a licensed health care provider since 1998, with work experience as a medical assistant, certified nursing assistant and emergency medical technician. She has been writing since 1994 and has been published both on-line and in print.

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