You spend a lot of time at work so enjoying your job is important. So, if it’s time to move on, becoming a medical assistant may be the change you’re looking for. If you live in the Nassau and Suffolk County areas, technical colleges in Long Island offer fast, lifestyle-friendly training programs. You’ll graduate in months not years, prepared for success in a thriving industry. Medical assisting is a flexible career with too many personal and practical benefits to list. With one phone call, a better future can begin today.
What Does a Medical Assistant Do?
Medical assistants manage clinical and administrative tasks in healthcare offices in Nassau or Suffolk County, supporting the delivery of quality care.
Job responsibilities vary by setting but may include:
Scheduling appointments — medical assistants coordinate with healthcare providers and front office staff to schedule routine and urgent appointments.
Communication — Medical assistants act as liaisons, answering phone calls, relaying messages, and responding to patient inquiries on the clinical team’s behalf.
Client registration — you may greet clients upon arrival, verify their insurance data and update their medical records.
Recordkeeping — medical assistants take clinical notes in real time, but they also oversee entire electronic and paper recordkeeping systems. Duties may include filing, preparing charts and responding to requests for health information.
Rooming patients — rooming involves escorting patients to treatment rooms, ensuring their comfort while providing appropriate apparel and pre-exam instructions when necessary. The goal is to streamline visits through preparation.
Taking vital signs — you’ll measure patients’ temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and other vital signs at the start of each visit, collecting valuable information upon which doctors can make treatment decisions.
Updating health records — accurate recordkeeping is the key to quality care. As a medical assistant, you’ll gather or update the patient’s medical history, allergy list, and medication regimen. You may also perform routine health screenings for depression, visual acuity, and home safety concerns.
Assisting with medical procedures — Medical assistants assist with hands-on medical procedures, from wound care to suture removal. In practices that perform surgical procedures, you’ll set up equipment, pass instruments, and monitor the comfort and safety of the patient.
Collecting biological samples — blood, urine and stool testing are an important part of many exams. Medical assistants gather the necessary samples following strict laboratory guidelines.
Phlebotomy — technical school programs teach medical assisting students to draw blood. You’ll handle the entire process from equipment selection to sample processing and shipment.
Diagnostic testing — medical assistants perform diagnostic tests, including EKGs, pacemaker checks, urinalysis, strep screens, and tuberculosis tests.
Coordinating referrals — You’ll coordinate referrals by making appointments, obtaining insurance preauthorization, and transferring the necessary records.
Stocking exam rooms — you’ll keep exam rooms stocked with the necessary medical supplies and assist with inventory management, placing orders when needed.
Infection control — medical assistants protect patients and peers from transmissible diseases through sanitation, disinfection, and sterilizing measures. Duties include keeping exam rooms clean, wiping down equipment, and sterilizing surgical instruments.
Patient education — as part of the clinical team, medical assistants provide patient education, including self-care, home safety and medication use instructions.
How to Become a Medical Assistant in Levittown or Medford
The fastest way for students in the Nassau or Suffolk County areas to become medical assistants is to enroll in a technical college on Long Island, it’s a convenient and accessible location. Programs can be completed in as little as 7 ½ months attending full-time, and you’ll graduate work-ready with a diploma.
Where Can a Medical Assistant Work?
Medical assistants can work anywhere healthcare services are provided. However, most still work in doctor’s offices. But many are employed in other settings, each with pros and cons. Where you choose to work should reflect your interests and career goals.
Examples may include:
A medical assistant’s skills are tailor-made for private practices. You’ll assist with care, perform clinical duties, and help with administrative tasks.
Unlike hospitals, doctor’s offices are a fast-paced but structured setting, most physicians keep a set schedule. Visits are by appointment, so there are few surprises. You’ll work closely with patients and providers, seeing many of the same people day after day. But you’ll cultivate relationships that last a lifetime.
Medical assistants are employed by hospitals to staff outpatient units, including the emergency room, day surgery unit, and specialty clinics. They support healthcare professionals by assisting with patient care and administrative duties, from scheduling to stocking supplies.
You may, for example, act as a concierge in the ER, assisting patients and families with paperwork. In a day surgery unit, you might manage the schedule and patient hospitality. Jobs in specialty clinics have clinical and clerical responsibilities.
The work environment in hospitals is busier than it is in private practices. Outpatient units run on schedules, but emergencies are part of most days. You’ll see new and interesting cases that you’ll rarely encounter in private practice. And large facilities offer plenty of room for advancement, including lateral career moves if you want to try different roles.
Urgent Care Centers
Urgent care centers provide immediate medical care for non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries. These centers are popping up nationwide as people seek less costly alternatives to emergency room care for non-emergencies.
Medical assistants in urgent care settings typically handle a wide range of tasks, including triaging patients, assisting with medical procedures, and managing billing and administrative responsibilities. If you prefer a more varied role in which you can use the breadth of your skills, this is it.
Long-Term Care Facilities
Clinical roles for medical assistants in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living centers, are limited. Those jobs are for nurses, nursing assistants and care attendants with training in personal care.
But a medical assistant’s skills are a good fit for support positions. In a nursing home, for example, you can work as a billing and account representative who helps patients manage their money or a unit clerk who arranges outside medical appointments, schedules appropriate transportation, and manages inventory for one or more units.
Laboratories hire medical assistants to assist with patient registration, sample collection, equipment maintenance and billing. With a separate phlebotomy certificate, you can draw blood in acute care facilities.
Ambulatory Surgery Centers
Also known as outpatient surgical clinics, ambulatory surgery centers perform procedures that require hospitalization but not an overnight stay. As surgical techniques improve, many surgeries including joint replacements, gallbladder removal, tonsillectomies and hernia repairs can now be done in inconvenient outpatient settings. Medical assistants may assist with pre- and post-operative care and provide administrative support.
Medical assistants can find work at insurance companies, healthcare billing services and medical equipment providers. These jobs are good choices for people who prefer working in non-medical environments. You’ll utilize your clinical background and clerical training to help others without weekend hours or hands-on patient care. If you have customer service or accounting experience, you may thrive in these roles.
What Are the Benefits of a Formal Education for Medical Assistants?
Formal education isn’t always mandatory for entry-level medical assistant positions. But it offers advantages too good to ignore, such as:
A Competitive Advantage
Most employers prefer to hire trained medical assistants with proven skills. Having a degree or diploma makes you a more attractive job applicant and more likely to get promotions.
Healthcare is a complex field. A formal education program will equip you with the skills you need to succeed. The curriculum includes training in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, pharmacology, medical procedures, and laboratory protocols. You’ll feel more confident applying for work when you know what you’re doing.
If you learn best by doing tasks, you’ll appreciate the practical training technical school programs offer. Step by step, instructors will teach you how to take vital signs, draw blood, and more using the same equipment you’ll find in healthcare facilities. You’ll graduate feeling like a full-fledged medical assistant.
Medical assistants are required by law to be certified to perform certain high-risk tasks. But a degree, diploma or years of work experience is required to obtain most certificates. Formal education paves the way, making you a better investment for employers.
Programs also prepare students for testing, reviewing the material on the certification exams offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants and other credentialing agencies. Becoming a certified medical assistant is the first step to obtaining specialty certification in fields of interest from cardiology to mental health.
Formal education programs connect students with instructors, peers, and healthcare professionals. Knowing the right people can help you land a job, find a mentor and stay up to date on industry trends.
Technical colleges partner with local employers to meet their hiring needs. They work with healthcare facilities to design programs with marketable skills. In turn, employers know who to call when they have jobs to fill, knowing that technical school graduates are highly skilled and ready to work.
Continuing Education Opportunities
All education has to start somewhere, so why not with a technical college program? Graduates can then parlay their expertise into additional education and career advancement. More than one medical assistant has chosen a future in nursing, healthcare administration or similar fields. A diploma puts you one step closer to your goals.
Nassau and Suffolk County are great places to grow a medical assisting career. Train on Long Island and make one your home.
Want to Learn More?
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 an actual medical environment where they are supervised and taught in order to gain valuable on-the-job training.
The Medical Assistant training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 9355 – 113th St. N, #7709 Seminole, FL 33775 upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).