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Medical Assistant/Medical Admin. Assistant

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Old 04-22-2005, 11:05 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2
GAGirl2 HB User
Medical Assistant/Medical Admin. Assistant


I am a 45 year-old female that is considering a career change from a general secretary to a medical assistant or medical administrative assistant. I have always been a secretary. The company I currrently work for is closing the office I have worked in for 11 years. I have always had an interest in the medical field and feel that this is a field where job opportunities should continue to grow.

Could anyone tell me what it's like to work as a medical assistant or medical administrative assistant? What do you recommend for schooling, a technical college (of which there is one close to me) or a school that specializes only in medical careers? Both have degree and certificate programs. What are the benefits and pay like in this field? Any information would be greatly appreciated. I would like to enroll in the fall if possible. I have heard it is a good career choice.

Thanks in advance for your help.


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Old 04-26-2005, 05:24 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 40
steph444 HB User
Re: Medical Assistant/Medical Admin. Assistant

I went for a Medical Assistant Diploma program (business school) 9 years ago. I live in southeastern Michigan. Honestly, for me I did not like it. I liked School, but not the job, it just wasn't for me. In my area Medical Assistants are not paid that good. But, I did get my foot in the door. Actually, I would like to go back to school for something else, maybe an ultrasound tech.

Some people do like it. Consider looking more into it. You may like it. I am like you, I find the medical profession very interesting.

Good luck!

Old 04-27-2005, 11:05 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2
GAGirl2 HB User
Re: Medical Assistant/Medical Admin. Assistant

Hi Steph444:

Thank you very much for your reply. I was wondering if anyone was going to reply to my post. I was wondering if you could tell me more about what the medical assistant job was actually like, i.e., duties, benefits, etc. Did you work in a private practice? Any further info would be appreciated.

It was interesting that you mentioned an ultrasound tech, as that was what I originally had an interest in. However, I am under the impression that you have to become a radiology tech first, then go back for further training specializing in ultrasound. Do you know the training requirements for ultrasound?

Again, thanks for your reply, and hope to hear from you again.


Old 04-27-2005, 10:46 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 538
woodfaery HB User
Re: Medical Assistant/Medical Admin. Assistant

Hi, yes you could take a Health Care Assistant Program through college. Make sure it is an accredited program. Also, if you are interested to know the job duties and description: Rooming patients,Charting patients history,filing charts,having good intercommunication skills to speak with both patients and doctors.Good multitasking abilities, answering phones,calling in prescriptions for doctors,taking vital signs (good at taking pulse and Blood pressure) some urine tests, possible phlebotomy skills,being able to be on your feet for long periods of time,working close to medical professionals, know medical terminology (which will get easier once you take a class and also spend time in the medical field. Know insurance, maybe some coding (this will be taught in class.)Above all, you have to be a "helper" and not be afraid to lend a hand when needed. You could work in many medical departments: Family Practice,Pediatrics,Urology,Occupational Medicine,Internal Medicine,Cardiology,Walk in clinics,OB/GYN,Oncology,Radiation Oncology,Sports Medicine,Orthopoedics,Research,Gasteroen terology...hmm, I think I have named most departments.Being a Medical Assistant is rewarding because you can make a difference in peoples lives by simply caring and doing your job to the best of your abilities.Being a Medical Assistant may also allow you to work in Medical Office which is where you schedule appointments and complete paperwork. Whether you work in the Medical Office in clerical, or in the clinical aspect--any healthcare professional can tell you there is always paperwork to be completed.Please let me know if I was any help. Being a Medical Assistant has its pros and cons, but if you are a friendly caring, and organized person perhaps Medical Assisting is right for you.

Old 05-27-2005, 06:29 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 30
cturn27 HB User
Re: Medical Assistant/Medical Admin. Assistant

I am a Medical Assistant. I have been working in this field for a little over a year. I went through school with NO problems at all. I LOVE my job!!! Not many people can say that, but I can. I work on the clinical side of being an MA. I do just about everything though. I answer phones, do phone triage, call in Rx's, room pts. and take vitals, urinalysis and blood draws(my favorite part). I do have a lot of contact with pts. It does take a lot of patience, but if you are a people person, this is for you. I work in Internal Medicine, so I do a lot of EKG's, Pulmonary Function tests. I just became the asst. office manager after one year. I am now in charge of ordering all the supplies, making sure the office runs smoothly. That is a challenge right now because we just moved our office so it is very hectic. You do have to be willing to work the hours though. Even though the office closes at 4, I am usually there til 5 or so. Hope this helps. Any more ?'s just ask.
Oh, my benefits are pretty good.....I pay 20% of my health insurance($30 per week with dental and vision coverage) I started out at 9.00 then after 3 months I went up to 9.50. Now I am making 12.75. It really depends on the area and specialty. I live in IL, so the pay not be as much because of the malpractice insurance rates. They are really killing these drs. Hope this helps

Old 07-01-2005, 06:59 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North East, USA
Posts: 95
Vanguard HB User
Re: Medical Assistant/Medical Admin. Assistant

No disrespect to our hardworking MAs but my advice is just go for LPN if you're going to spend that much time in MA school anyway. A lot of times if a person works for a facility (hospital or nursing home), the facility will reimburse that employee (or pay in advance) if they complete the course or semester. Again no disrespect to MAs but I think they are not getting paid sufficiently for their hard work and skills.

Old 07-01-2005, 08:40 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Delran, NJ (near Philly)
Posts: 17
mana278324 HB User
Re: Medical Assistant/Medical Admin. Assistant

I would have to agree. I am currently attending ultrasound school and a few of the women in my class are MA's. All of them say that the pay is awful. (that is in NJ & PA..not sure of other places) At my school there is an MA program and it's 12 mths long, where my ultrasound program is 18mths long. So, if you were intrested in Ultrasound I would look into that also. Not sure about GA, but I have never heard that you would have to be an Xray tech before becomming an Ultrasound tech. I attend Sanford Brown Institute, I know they are all over the US try looking into that before making any choices.
Good Luck!!

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