Medical assistants are responsible for performing basic administrative duties in hospitals and clinics. Their specific duties vary based on region and the size of the facility. Typically, administrative medical assistants handle insurance forms and keep a full stock and inventory of equipment, while clinic medical assistants perform more lab tests, draw blood, instruct and inform patients on their medication, and help with basic procedures. The extent of a medical assistant's duties depend on the state he or she works in, but all medical assistants typically need a minimum of a high school diploma or GED certificate. Medical assistants can then take classes from community colleges or vocational schools, culminating in a certification or associate's degree. This added education is highly beneficial, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of medical assistants will grow 29% by 2022.
A major development in medical assistant work is the advent of electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs supplant traditional methods of recording patient information, storing all data online rather than on paper. Medical assistants can enroll in several programs to learn how to use EHR software. Criteria Corp's employee assessment tests can help predict how well medical assistant applicants will perform with software. The Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) is very popular with employers screening prospective MAs, as it tests traits such as verbal and communication skills, basic math, attention to detail, and reading comprehension, all crucial elements of job readiness in this particular field. It has been shown to predict "trainability" and to reduce turnover. Tests like the CBST become increasingly useful as more and more individuals apply for available medical assistant jobs. To ensure employees will be a good fit for patient-facing positions, many healthcare providers also will use a personality test, such as the Employee Personality Profile (EPP) or the Customer Service Aptitude Profile (CSAP). The EPP measures twelve personality traits and analyzes how well a candidate might mesh with a particular job, and the CSAP, as the name implies, evaluates how well an applicant will do in any kind of customer/patient –facing role. More than any applicant-submitted materials, employer testing tools enable managers to focus on the most promising candidates for a more efficient hiring process, saving them time and money.
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Rank in HireSelect:
15 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
$31,220/year or $15.01/hr
Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
Number employed (2014): 584,970
Education level of Medical Assistants: