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Medical Assistants Jobs

Medical assistant jobs perform common tasks around the offices of different types of physicians to ensure efficient operation. They complete a range of administrative and clinical tasks that vary from office to office depending on the size of the establishment and the practice. Smaller offices generally delegate more tasks to their medical assistants, while larger offices allow for specialization with their medical assistant work. Full time assistants work a standard 40 hour work week but may also be required to work part time, evenings, or weekends.

Medical assisting programs can be found in vocational-technical high schools, post secondary vocational schools, and in community or junior colleges. Programs that last a year culminate in a certificate or diploma, while two year programs result in an associate degree. Coursework involves physiology, anatomy, and medical terminology, as well as administrative skills such as recordkeeping, accounting, typing, and insurance processing. Students learn basic lab techniques, first aid, pharmaceutical principles, clinical and diagnostic procedures, and how to administer medications before entering medical assistant careers. Employers tend to hire experienced assistants that are certified and have excellent interpersonal communication skills.

In 2006 there were 417,00 medical assistant jobs with 62 percent of those jobs employed in doctor's offices and a smaller percentage employed within public and private hospitals. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistant employment is expected to grow by 35 percent during 2006 to 2016, which will be much faster than the national average for all occupations. This demand stems from an aging population and an increased need for health care services which will create great job prospects for qualified medical professionals.

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