If you're like a lot of people, then you may be interested in a healthcare career but not interested in working through many years of schooling to get there.
Here's the good news: many fast-growing careers in the healthcare field today require little or no prior training.
Careers like this still offer important responsibilities and rewarding work in the medical field for those who have a passion for helping people.
One of these career tracks is medical secretaries and administrative assistants. These positions are projected to grow 8% through 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the positions give you an opportunity to work for a healthcare facility or employer.1
Read on to learn more about this option and see if it's the right career for you.
What is a Medical Administrative Assistant?
Medical administrative assistants or medical secretaries work in an administrative capacity within hospitals, healthcare facilities, or clinics. They typically use knowledge of medical terms, procedures, and applications to do their jobs.
Medical administrative assistants can work in lots of different locations, and their job titles and specific duties can be varied and widespread depending on their employer.
The role of medical administrative assistant offers a combination of direct and indirect patient-related duties. One of these duties can be to be the first person patients interact with upon entering the hospital or clinic.
What Does a Medical Administrative Assistant Do Day-to-Day?
As a medical administrative assistant, your major goal can be to assist in keeping the office, hospital or facility running smoothly.
A few responsibilities of medical administrative assistants can include:
- Checking patients in for scheduled appointments
- Answering phones and maintaining databases
- Keeping track of medical records and charts
- Transferring lab results to appropriate technicians
- Ordering supplies and maintaining general office standards
Your day-to-day experiences as a medical administrative assistant can change depending on what kind of organization you're working for, as well as the department you're serving in that organization.
You may do a fair amount of filing and paperwork, plus interacting with both patients and medical staff.
Overall, you're likely to spend your time helping keep the facility running smoothly. You'll also help patients feel comfortable and satisfied with their patient experience.
What Skills Does a Good Medical Administrative Assistant Have?
A good medical administrative assistant can have many different skills. Some that might help you transition into this role include:
- Decision-making skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Ability to write and communicate well
Some of the skills you need to be a medical administrative assistant have to do with your personality and general interests. Some required skills can be strengthened over the course of schooling and career training.
To help you decide whether or not your skills, interests, and personality could make you the perfect fit for this role, consider checking out our fun and informal personality quiz.
What's the Demand for Medical Administrative Assistants?
Medical administrative assistants work in all kinds of healthcare organizations. Hospitals, clinics, private practices, healthcare offices, insurance companies, and other healthcare service organizations typically have a need for medical administrative assistants.
So, what does that mean for you?
First of all, it means that there is a demand for administrative assistants in the healthcare field. Second, it means that the job outlook as a medical administrative assistant is positive.
The expected growth for this position is promising as well. The demand for medical secretaries and administrative assistants is forecasted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to increase by 8% between 2021 and 2031.1 This fact is impacted by the country's aging population and resulting increase in the need for elderly care.
If you're interested in pursuing a career as a medical administrative assistant, this is all good news for you.
How Do I Become a Medical Administrative Assistant?
The role of medical administrative assistant is dynamic and it can be fulfilling.
If this field sounds interesting to you, then you may be wondering what to do to start working toward your career as a medical administrative assistant.
One of the positive things about preparing to become a medical administrative assistant is that you don't necessarily need to spend the next several years in school.
Some medical administrative assistants enter the field with no specialized training. For those who want to prepare to increase their skills or try to make themselves appear as a more qualified candidate, there are diploma and associate degree programs available for this field of study. You can find programs online, like Ultimate Medical Academy's Medical Administrative Assistant program.
In your coursework, you'll learn things like medical terminology, medical law, medical ethics, medical administration technologies, and customer service in healthcare.
If you successfully complete your training, you'll earn your Medical Administrative Assistant diploma or associate degree, depending on your program. These programs prepare you for entry-level positions in the medical administrative assistant field.
What Else Should I Know About Becoming a Medical Administrative Assistant?
While the full list of duties and job outlook for medical administrative assistants may seem slightly overwhelming, you can embrace the variety of the role.
As a medical administrative assistant, it's your responsibility to serve as the backbone of the organization's administrative tasks. You may also be the friendly face that helps patients through their visit.
For those interested in many different aspects of a healthcare office’s operations, the role of medical administrative assistant is often the perfect fit. If you're unsure as to where, exactly, your interests lie — just remember, there are options.
For example, you could look into training for Medical Office and Billing Specialist, Medical Billing and Coding, or Medical Assistant — depending on your interest in tasks like billing or clinical patient care.
If you choose to pursue prior career training, you'll come to better understand your chosen role ahead of time and how it fits with your interests and skillset.
Am I Ready to be a Medical Administrative Assistant?
If you've thought of pursuing a career in the healthcare field, but you weren't sure you could commit to many years of training, a career as a medical administrative assistant may work for you.
You'll be able to support a healthcare facility from an administrative perspective and may provide customer service to patients. As a medical administrative assistant, you'll need to be flexible and quick-thinking.
If that all sounds interesting to you, then get ready to prepare to pursue a career as a medical administrative assistant!
Can I Get Started Now?
Medical administrative assistants are an important part of any medical practice. By pursuing a career in the field, you can help healthcare providers and patients.
Check out our program page to begin the process of starting your education toward becoming a Medical Administrative Assistant.