The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts medical assistant employment will grow by around 18 percent by 2030. Approximately 104,000 openings will become available each year, according to statistics, offering those who move into the healthcare industry an incredible opportunity to gain secure employment.
Medical assistant jobs are increasing for several reasons. The first is the shift in demographics. The U.S. population is aging. And while this graying isn’t going to be as dramatic as in other developed countries, like South Korea or Italy, it will still impact healthcare.
In 2021 alone, the U.S. population aged by 0.3 years, and it has aged more than 3.4 years since 2000. By 2060, the projected number of older adults in the U.S. will rise 69 percent, up from 56 million today to 94.7 million. As people age, the disease burden accelerates, leading to higher demand for medical care and staff. The sheer number of people will increase the requirement for administrative workers who can carry out basic clinical functions.
The second change is technology. As medical equipment improves and diversifies, hospitals and clinics require more supporting staff to operate it. Medical assistants will need to perform technical tasks as doctors continue to deliver primary care.
The last change (and one of the least talked about) is the inevitable shift towards lifestyle care. Doctors will likely reduce their reliance on pharmaceuticals, and increase preventative efforts, such as diet, sleep, exercise, and, perhaps, supplements. They will require medical assistants to facilitate such programs, liaise with patients, and keep them informed of progress. This post lists the top assistant medical jobs available right now.
Physiotherapy medical assistants work alongside qualified physiotherapists to rehabilitate patients, usually clients who have sustained injuries. Most patients are athletes, professional trainers, or those recovering from surgical and non-surgical injuries.
Physiotherapy medical assistants are primarily involved in monitoring patient recovery. They explain stretches and exercises recommended by the lead physio, keep tabs on the patient’s progress, and keep accurate records of their condition.
Physiotherapists are also valuable in helping with long-term recovery plans for patients. They may help formulate programs for use many years after the patient leaves the clinic.
To become a physiotherapy medical assistant, you will need a bachelor’s degree in a related subject, including biology or physiotherapy. Having CPR and first aid training may also help your application, particularly if you have no prior experience in the medical sector.
Qualifications required: Bachelor’s degree preferred
An emergency medical care technician is someone who provides medical assistance for emergency situations. Roles include administering CPR and oxygen, treating diabetic patients with glucose, and providing interventions to deal with severe asthma attacks.
In some institutions, urgent medical assistants work at the front desk, directing patients and coordinating with other staff. For this reason, good bedside manner and excellent communication are essential.
Qualifications required: Certifications preferred, such as Certified Medical Assistant or Registered Medical Assistant
Children’s hospital medical assistant is an ideal job for anyone who wants to work with children. In this role, you will be responsible for facilitating medical care for children and infants under the age of 18.
Most employers divide children’s hospital medical assistant responsibilities into administrative and clinical. On the administrative side, you will help check patients in, take payments, and reschedule appointments over the telephone or by email. On the medical side, you may assist with vaccination administration, x-rays, and taking vital signs. In most clinical roles, you will work under the supervision of a trained physician.
To become a children’s hospital medical assistant, you need an associate’s degree in medical assisting. Other skills you can learn on the job.
Qualifications required: Associate’s degree
Telehealth is becoming more popular, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, doctors’ offices and clinics are seeking people to assist them with their telemedicine operations.
As a telehealth medical assistant, you will work closely with patients, providing them with support when their physician is unavailable. The role might include providing patients with additional information, offering patient care directly via telehealth platforms, and helping patients connect to doctors. You may also help with connecting patients to other health professionals outside of your practice.
To become a telehealth medical assistant, you need a medical assistant qualification. You will also require excellent verbal communication skills. The majority of your job will involve talking to patients via digital communication tools.
Telehealth medical assistant is an evolving role, due to current circumstances and changes in patient preferences. In most cases, you will work as part of a team of doctors and nurses, offering patient support. Pay tends to be higher than in other medical assistant roles because of the job’s technical aspects.
Qualifications required: Bachelor’s degree in a related field
Nephrology medical assistants work alongside nephrologist physicians. Their duties typically include observing patients, performing rounds of dialysis, and, sometimes, providing lifestyle advice, such as salt and protein intake reduction.
All nephrology offices and departments require assistants to carry out their functions. Many treat patients with end-stage kidney disease, providing palliative care, or attempting to keep them alive until a donor organ becomes available.
Nephrology medical assistants may also need to perform administrative tasks. These could include handling calls from patients or their relatives, conducting hospital rounds, and filing paperwork. You may also have to explain various medical treatments at the suggestion of the lead physician.
The workload of the average nephrology medical assistant can be intense. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, staff in this role observes 110 outpatient dialysis cases every week.
Qualifications required: Medical Assistant Certification from a board-approved organization
A midwife assistant is a medical professional who supports the work of the midwife, both during labor, and in preparation for it. In some cases, midwife assistants may provide postnatal care, particularly in busy wards.
Most midwife assistants perform basic roles. Tasks include taking regular vital sign readings, preparing medicine for women about to go into labor, and interacting with the mother during birth. Midwife assistants may also work with mothers to prepare them mentally and physically for the challenge of childbirth.
Because the work is front line, you will need excellent communication skills. You should also have the ability to remain calm, even under challenging medical circumstances.
Qualifications required: Bachelor’s degree
Family practice medical assistants tend to have the most varied roles of any medical assistant. Family doctors rely on them to perform a wide array of clinical and administrative tasks, often ad hoc.
Administrative roles include answering the telephone, working behind the reception desk, filing medical documents, contacting pharmacies for prescriptions, transcribing minutes, sending letters, keeping financial records, and scheduling appointments. In some busy offices, doctors may also lean on them to triage patients over the telephone.
Clinical tasks include escorting patients to examination rooms, preparing them for exams, removing and changing dressings, and cleaning patients’ rooms. Other responsibilities might include issuing prescription reminders, instructing patients on special diets, and providing immunizations.
To be a successful family practice medical assistant, you will need to feel comfortable performing a wide array of roles. You will also need to react to the needs of the practice daily, performing high-priority tasks when they arise. Depending on the size of the practice, the workload may become intense at certain times of the year, particularly during winter.
Qualifications required: Associate’s degree in a medical field
As the population ages and our natural and social environments deteriorate, cancer becomes more common. As a consequence, oncology departments are demanding more assistants.
As a medical assistant working with cancer patients, you will be responsible for a range of clerical and clinical tasks. Duties include recording patients’ medical histories, collecting specimens, preparing examination and surgery rooms, and informing patients of treatment protocols. In some cases, you may have to explain to patients in-depth what various treatments involve and any side effects that they may experience.
To become an oncology medical assistant, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent GED. Some clinical practices and hospitals may require you to have a bachelor’s degree, though not all.
The hardest part of the job is dealing with so-called “administrative emergencies.” You may have to put in overtime to deal with these issues when they arise.
Qualifications required: High school diploma or equivalent
As an outpatient medical assistant, you will work with patients who do not need to remain as residential patients for ongoing care. The majority of the work is desk duties, however, it depends on the employer to an extent. Some hospitals and clinics ask outpatient medical assistants to take patients’ medical histories, perform basic lab tests, and help during examinations.
To be a successful outpatient medical assistant, you will need excellent communication skills and telephone manners. You will also need to be good at working with a large number of patients who require minimal medical assistance.
Qualifications required: High school diploma or equivalent plus one year of experience in a medical role
Perioperative medical assistants work with patients before and after surgery. Key roles include preparing patients for medical procedures, escorting them to operating rooms, shaving body parts, and sterilizing surgical areas. Other roles include preparing patients for anesthetic, taking vital signs after surgery, and discussing pain management and post-operative care procedures.
Perioperative medical assistants do not usually work in operating theaters. However, they may help other medical professionals position the patient for the operation before leaving.
To become a successful perioperative medical assistant, you will need high energy, fortitude, and resilience. You’ll also need to be self-reliant and have a preference for variety because the job tends to vary considerably from day to day.
Qualifications required: Associate’s degree, diploma, or certificate
Women’s health center medical assistants specialize in providing support for healthcare professionals who administer treatments for women. Clinical roles and responsibilities include measuring vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature, assisting doctors with in-office procedures, and providing patients with instructions on healthy lifestyle choices. You may also be called upon to administer medications.
To become a women’s health center medical assistant, you may need to be Medical Assistant Certified in Women’s Health. Work will involve prescribing birth control, dealing with infertility issues, and, in some cases, preparing women for sonograms.
Qualifications required: Associate’s degree and, in some cases, Medical Assistant Certification in Women’s Health
A pathologist assistant is a highly trained professional who works alongside a pathologist physician to provide various pathology services. Assistants aren’t allowed to make final diagnoses, but they can take part in surgical procedures and even autopsies.
Working as a pathologist assistant includes preparing for post-mortem examinations, dissecting surgical specimens, and performing anatomical photography. To be successful, you will need to have good critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You will also need to be able to communicate with both patients and colleagues. A bachelor’s degree plus two years of pathologist assistant training is required for this role.
Qualifications required: Bachelor's degree plus two years of pathologist assistant training
Medical assistants are in high demand right now. The sheer volume of work that hospitals and clinics need to perform is mind-boggling and continues to increase. Support staff is needed to help physicians deal with the number of patients coming through their doors. For anyone looking to get into the sector, it is a wonderful opportunity. With demand so high, jobs are likely to be secure for a long time to come.