Do you live on Long Island and are looking to start or change a career? Considering vocational school but not sure which one to pick?
If you are interested in helping others, are curious about health care, and have good communication skills, then becoming a medical assistant on Long Island may be the right career path for you.
There are many medical facilities on Long Island looking to hire entry-level medical assistants to supplement their medical staff. Hunter offers a medical assistant program that can be completed in seven and a half months when attending full-time.
The best thing about attending our medical assistant program is ongoing assistance from the Career Services department. The program includes mock job interviews, help writing your résumé, and networking with the community during externships. You will have a leg up on your competition after attending Hunter’s Medical Assistant program.
So, what exactly does a medical assistant do?
What Does a Medical Assistant Do?
As a medical assistant, you will have many responsibilities, from answering phones and greeting patients to taking vitals and running diagnostic tests. During the medical assistant program at Hunter, you will be prepared for an entry-level position at a medical facility on Long Island.
Phone Call Triage
Part of your duties as a medical assistant includes helping the medical staff answer phones. Whether to help schedule patient appointments, talk with other doctors’ offices, or handle the occasional emergency, you will spend some of your time on the phone working in a medical facility.
As a medical assistant, you must have the ability to prioritize callers and take care of patient emergencies while keeping the other callers on hold. Phone call triage is knowing how to prioritize a call from a patient with chest pain over one who needs a prescription filled.
The medical assistant is normally the first person patients see when they walk into a doctor’s office, except for the medical receptionist in some cases. As a medical assistant, you are the face of the medical facility, and patients base their experience on how you greet them and help them before they meet with the doctor.
Administering a Health History Questionnaire
Once you have greeted the patient and walked him or her to the exam room, you will make sure the patient is comfortable. Before checking vital signs, you must ask patients if they are experiencing any medical issues and what their chief concern is for the appointment.
Part of the initial discussion involves a health history questionnaire that is updated at the beginning of each visit. You will confirm the medications the patient is currently taking, identify any new issues, and then take vital signs.
Taking Vital Signs
Vital signs help the doctor diagnose problems and make treatment decisions. Vital signs can be clues to more complex diseases or disorders.
It is important to take vitals at the first visit so that the doctor has a baseline when the patient is healthy. Then the doctor can identify any abnormalities over time.
When taking vital signs, you will check the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiration rate. The other vitals that are taken include both weight and height.
Each vital sign plays a role in helping diagnose diseases and disorders. Patients with higher-than-normal blood pressure may be susceptible to hypertension. Also, someone who weighs more will need a higher dose of medication. These are only some of the reasons why taking vital signs is so important.
Running Diagnostic Tests
As a medical assistant, you will run routine tests and prepare samples to be tested in a lab. The doctor may order a blood sample, allowing you to perform venipuncture.
If the patient’s heart rate is abnormal or blood pressure is high, the doctor may request an EKG test. The medical assistant is vital in the administration of diagnostic tests, and you will master these skills while attending a medical assistant diploma program.
Updating Medical Records
Every patient will have a set of electronic records. As a medical assistant, you will be responsible for updating medical records within the proper medical software program. From transcribing doctors’ orders to coding for different procedures and supplies, you will be responsible for keeping medical records accurate.
Accurate medical records may save the cost of a duplicate test, and they may even stop a medical error from happening. During a medical assistant diploma program, you will learn about the different coding protocols used to update medical records and process insurance claims.
Filing Insurance Claims
Part of a medical assistant’s job is to support the medical office in processing insurance claims. Whether it is filling out electronic forms, updating medical records, or helping with patient billing, you will learn how to interface with insurance companies and help the doctor’s office get reimbursed for services rendered.
As a medical assistant, part of your job will be to educate patients on many general topics like hygiene, proper nutrition, and how to administer medications at home. You will also prepare patients for minor surgical procedures with knowledge of what they can expect and how they can take care of themselves at home. Patients will have many questions, and you will use your communication skills to educate them and help them manage their health.
How Do You Become a Medical Assistant on Long Island?
The best way to become a medical assistant on Long Island is to attend Hunter Business School’s medical assistant diploma program. Students attending full-time can complete a medical assisting program in as little as seven and one-half months with day classes. Part-time evening classes are available as well, taking about 15 months to complete. There are a lot of opportunities for medical assistants on Long Island.
Where Does a Medical Assistant Work on Long Island?
There are many different medical facilities on Long Island that support medical assistants, from doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities to insurance companies and government organizations. Medical assistants are in demand, and many opportunities are available for those who graduate with a medical assistant diploma.
Medford, Long Island
There are many different medical facilities in and around Medford for you to apply to after graduation and in the general area of Suffolk County. The Career Services department at Hunter will help you connect with employers in the community, places like Medford Multicare Center, Long Island Community Hospital, Island Health Care, and many other physicians’ offices, urgent care facilities, and medical care practitioner offices. Hunter has ties with the medical community on Long Island and will support you before and after graduation with career services.
Levittown, Long Island
In and around Levittown, medical facilities include CityMD Urgent Care, Levittown Family Medicine, and Levittown Pediatrics, just to name a few. Levittown and the Nassau County area have many different medical facilities, urgent cares, and hospitals that employ entry-level medical assistants. Many of these facilities will network with associations like the Levittown Chamber of Commerce, and your ability to network with the help of Hunter is just one of the many benefits of graduating from our medical assistant program.
Now that you are ready to become a medical assistant on Long Island, it is time to learn more about the Medical Assistant program at Hunter. Make an investment in learning more about your options and the positive outcomes that can occur with graduation. An investment in yourself and your career is the best investment you can make.
Ready for an exciting new career in the medical assisting field? The Medical Assistant program at Hunter Business School prepares competent, entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains required for professional practice.
The Medical Assistant program provides hands-on experience in a real medical setting where you can foster professional relationships with actual patients. Medical Assistant students spend 160 hours in an externship in a professional medical environment where they are supervised and taught in order to gain valuable on-the-job training.
Contact us today to find out more about how to become a medical assistant on Long Island.