If you are considering becoming a medical assistant, you might be wondering: where can you work as a medical assistant. This post provides you with everything you need to know about where medical assistants work.
Having said that, if you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant, you should consider enrolling in UEI’s Medical Assistant Program. The great thing about our Medical Assistant Training Program is that it can be completed, and you can earn your diploma in as few as 10 months, placing you on a fast track to becoming a medical assistant.
Before we answer the question of where do medical assistants work, let’s take a look at what is a medical assistant? For those new to the profession, a medical assistant is, as the name suggests, a healthcare professional who assists doctors, physicians, and other healthcare professionals in a medical clinic or hospital. In addition, medical assistants typically perform administrative and clinical functions within a clinic or hospital setting.
Where Do Medical Assistants Work?
Medical Assistants work in private clinics, physician offices, and public and private hospitals. Some medical assistants also work in outpatient care centers, chiropractor offices, and healthcare facilities, including urgent care centers, medical research centers, long-term care facilities, and many more places.
The type of work that medical assistants perform at these facilities depends on the specialty and size of the practice at which they work. That said, medical assistants typically perform both administrative and clinical tasks. Administrative tasks include greeting patients, answering phone calls, escorting them to exam rooms, recording medical histories, processing insurance claims, and verifying health insurance benefits. Some of the clinical tasks that medical assistants perform include assisting doctors with examinations, checking and recording vital signs, preparing exam rooms for patients.
1. Physician Offices
Most medical assistants work at physician offices or clinics. Medical assistants who work in this setting will likely see the same patients coming into a doctor’s office throughout the year. So, if you like working in a setting with a sense of community where you will see the same patients, this might be the right option for you. Furthermore, since private physician offices are small, medical assistants are often tasked with handling many different tasks. For example, a medical assistant working in a private practice may be responsible for the clinic’s administrative and clinical tasks.
Hospitals are the second most popular place where medical assistants work. Approximately 15% of all medical assistants work in hospitals. Hospitals are very different from physician offices and clinics in that the patients are always different, so you will not find the sense of community that you would at a private clinic. Furthermore, at a hospital, you might be tasked with working at different times of the day because hospitals are open 24/7 and therefore need medical assistants to be available around the clock.
3. Outpatient Care Facilities
Outpatient care facilities are neither a clinic nor a hospital. They are medical offices where minor surgeries, lab tests, and psychiatric outpatient care are provided. If you’re a medical assistant and want to work at an outpatient care facility, you may be required to perform administrative and clinic tasks. Working at outpatient care facilities is usually less stressful than working at a hospital because the type of care that patients need is less urgent, unlike hospitals where patients can come in with life-threatening conditions.
4. Chiropractor Offices
Oftentimes chiropractor offices have a single chiropractor who tends to a large number of patients. So, typically a chiropractor needs two to three medical assistants to assist with the administrative and clinical side of the practice. Also, many of the patients who come into a chiropractor’s office are repeat patients since adjustments and treatments often take time, requiring the same patients to come in multiple times. So, if you like working in a community environment where you will often see the same patients, then working in a chiropractor’s office may be the right move for you.
5. Pediatric Office or Clinic
If you love kids and enjoy working with them, you should be aware that medical assistants also work in pediatric offices or clinics. Pediatrists work with young children, so you should consider working in a pediatric clinic if you like working with children. That said, working in a pediatric clinic requires medical assistants to be great at communicating with both children and adults. Furthermore, working with children requires a lot of patience. So, if you possess these characteristics, you should consider working in a pediatric clinic as medical assistants are in great need in such departments.
6. Urgent Care Facilities
Another commonplace of employment for medical assistants are urgent care facilities. Urgent care facilities see a lot of people walk in through their doors which have various non-emergency issues. Oftentimes, the first point of contact for patients at urgent care facilities are medical assistants behind the desk and behind the scenes working to ensure that urgent care facilities run smoothly.
Another place where medical assistants work includes OB-GYN clinics that specialize in women’s health. So, if you’re interested in women’s health, this may be a great place for you to work at. As a medical assistant working at a gynecologist’s office, you may be tasked with clinical and administrative duties that include greeting patients, scheduling appointments, answering phone calls, taking vital signs, preparing examination rooms, and much more.
8. Medical Research Centers
Another place where medical assistants work that does not immediately come to mind are medical research centers. Medical assistants who work at medical research centers assist doctors and healthcare personnel with conducting clinical trials and research. Duties at medical research centers include collecting samples, preparing samples for testing, and administering tests. Clinical trials are usually conducted before new drugs enter the market, and so medical assistants are often employed to assist research centers with conducting the necessary testing.
9. Diagnostic Laboratories
Another common place where medical assistants work is in diagnostic laboratories. Diagnostic laboratories test clinical samples that come in from various locations. For example, they conduct tests on urine, blood, and other samples to screen patients for certain diseases, drug testing, testing blood sugar levels, testing hemoglobin levels, etc. So, if you don’t like working with blood or urine, a job at a diagnostic laboratory might not be the right job for you.
10. University Hospitals
Some Universities are so large that they have their own hospitals. Working at a university hospital is the same as working at a regular hospital. Working at a hospital may include administrative or clinical tasks that include answering phone calls, greeting patients, escorting them to exam rooms, preparing exam rooms, and assisting physicians with examinations.
Medical Assistants Clinical vs. Administrative Tasks
The type of work that a medical assistant performs at their place of work depends on whether the medical assistant is tasked with administrative or clinical duties. Usually, when medical assistants are trained, they are trained to handle both the administrative and clinical tasks that they will be expected to perform at their place of work.
Medical assistants are expected to perform administrative tasks include answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, updating medical records, and greeting patients.
The clinical tasks that medical assistants are expected to perform include preparing exam rooms, escorting patients to exam rooms, assisting doctors with examinations, and collecting medical histories to ensure that clinics and hospitals operate smoothly.
The type of tasks that you will be expected to perform vary based on the location where you work. For example, medical assistants are often expected to handle both the administrative and clinical side of things at small clinics. Whereas, in large clinics or hospitals, medical assistants may be assigned either clinical or administrative tasks. So, it really depends on your employer when it comes to the type of tasks that you will be required to perform.
Where is the Best Place For a Medical Assistant to Work?
The best place to work as a medical assistant really depends on where you would like to work and the role you want to play at your next job. For example, if you like to work with children or the elderly, you should consider working at either nursing facilities or pediatrician offices. So, it really depends on where your passion lies.
How Can You Become a Medical Assistant?
If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant, you can become one by attending a medical assistant training program such as the one currently being offered by UEI College. Medical Assistant Programs provide you with the knowledge, skills, and hands-on training that you need to graduate, earn a diploma and become a medical assistant in as few as 10 months.
Furthermore, the medical assistant program provides both administrative and clinical training, allowing you to pursue careers that require administrative or clinical training. Additionally, to complete the program, students are required to complete an externship that involves students working at an approved local clinic where they will gain real-world knowledge, providing them with a taste of what to expect upon employment as a medical assistant. So, if you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant, contact us, and one of our admissions team members will reach out to you and provide you with all you need to know in order to enroll in the program. With the help of this blog post, you now know where medical assistants can work, allowing you to choose the type of medical assistant position that you’re interested in.