Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Job Interview: Landing the Medical Assistant Job

When Asked "What Is Your 5 Year Goal"

Five years is a long time. Best to break it down in two types of goals: short and long term.

Short examples:

1. apply my skills in all areas of the medical office (front and back)
2. sit for the national certification exam in (enter a date/month)
3. work closely with the doctor and medical office staff to gain valuable experience

Long examples:
1. stay current through professional memberships, workshops and seminars
2. look for the opportunity to move up within the organization
3. learn all I can about the profession to eventually go back to college (e.g. to get my degree, or become an RN). To learn more about the medical assisting career please visit Medical Assistant NET on the Web.

Monday, September 21, 2009

BACK OFFICE Medical Assistant in St. Petersburg, FL


Work as a medical assistant!

CLICK HERE: Back Office Medical Assistant
Carillon Sports and Family Medicine
St. Petersburg, FL 33716

BACK OFFICE medical assistant or licensed practical nurse (LPN) needed for BUSY St. Petersburg, Florida family medicine/sports medicine, 2 provider practice. This is a full-time position. Applicants must have graduated from an accredited program. Previous clinical experience is required. MUST be able to draw blood, perform EKGs, give injections, assist with pap exams and other duties typically associated with a back office medical assistant. Strong interpersonal skills and self-motivation are essential. Position offers excellent benefits with salary commensurate with experience.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Creating Your Medical Assisting "Job Magnet"

Medical care, therapeutic, and pharmaceutical services play an important role in our economy and welfare. Major cities to rural areas, recruiters and employers are in constant need for qualified front and back medical office staff—and this will likely not change any time soon. If you have a current resume, and can show that you know medical terminology, clinical procedures, along with administrative task, medical coding and billing, medical insurance claims processing, or that you have done data entry jobs, and medical transcriptions, then chances are you have what it takes to land a good job! Good clinical and clerical skills, along with good listening and organizational skills go a long way in the medical office. They are the "job magnet" for those seeking a medical assistant job.

Friday, September 11, 2009

MA Temp Work While Still in School?

How About Temp Work While in School?

Medical assistant students often seek temporary, or part-time work to gain hands-on experience while in school, and earn the money they need for their family or education. So, they partner with local Temp Agencies to help them find job assignments that fit in with their school schedule and on-going family obligations.

Most facilities expect their medical assistant to have the following ability:

  • give safe, accurate injections.
  • mathematically calculate medication dosages.
  • correctly mix medications for injections.
  • accurately identify syringe calibrations.
  • identify injection sites using anatomical landmarks
  • identify and use basic medical equipment.
  • greet patients in a friendly, professional manner
  • work with a variety of personalities in the medical office
  • manage multiple tasks effectively and in a timely
  • master the required computer skills
  • use medical terminology and abbreviations
  • schedule practices/referrals for physician offices
  • do lab testing in compliance with JCAHO, OSHA, and CLIA standards

Pros & Cons of Temp Work Assignments

  1. Making a major difference to needy offices
  2. Learning and seeing new things
  3. Gaining varied experiences from different places
  4. Meeting new people, making connections
  5. A foot in the door for a future position
  6. Flexibility and freedom to say no
  1. Not knowing what is expected
  2. Working in an unfamiliar work environment
  3. Not being part of the established group
  4. Adjusting to a new setting and people
  5. Stressing out to do things righ
  6. Having to perform tasks right off the bat
  7. Not receiving additional training
  8. Having to say no when necessary

And where do you learn all this? You guessed it right...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Share Your Reason Why YOU Became a Medical Assistant!

Shine Your Light! Be an Inspiration:

Let's talk about the unsung hero of the medical office - the medical assistant!

The medical assistant is a specially trained health care professional that is caring, sharing, and always the very first person to give their best to the employer, medical office team, and their community.

Why I became a Medical Assistant Professional:

  • I chose to become a medical assistant because I love working with and helping people and I think that I am very good at it. --- Lakisha Moore
Tell us: "Why did YOU become a Medical Assistant?"

Friday, August 07, 2009

Medical Assistants Who Administer Medications

The confusion about what a medical assistant can and cannot do continues, mostly because of the wide variety of training options, differences in programs, and lack of clearly spelled out rules and regulations. Medical assistants are unlicensed health professionals with special training, which means they have the duty to abide by the rules and use ordinary care within their scope of practice. Often, the doctors and supervising nurses in the medical office wonder: "Can I delegate this, or that task to my medical assistant?". This includes the question, whether the medical assistant is allowed to administer medications.

Medical assistants are allowed to administer medications, or hand patients a measured dose for self-administration while under observation IF it has been so ordered by their medical doctor*, or licensed health care professional (*by doctor's, or licensed provider's orders, such as a physician's assistant, or an advance practice registered nurse ONLY).

Medical assistants can administer only oral, topical, or inhalant medications, suppositories, intradermal, subcutaneous, or intramuscular injections, and medications applied to mucous membranes , such as eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.

Administration means the direct application of a medication by inhalation, ingestion, or any other means to the body of a person, including by injection.

To learn more about educational requirements, and practical tips for handling emergencies, and proper documentation visit Medical Assistant Net on the Web. There is lots of additional "scope of practice for medical assistants" info at that web site.

Friday, May 08, 2009

And So the LPN vs. Medical Assistant Debate Continues...

Too many doctors, employers, supervisors, co-workers and even the medical assistants themselves are confused about how to train and properly utilize medical assistants within their practice and which tasks can be assigned to them. Many wonder what their medical assistant is allowed to do, and cannot do, while they are in or out of the office. Unfortunately there is no universal answer, because there is no single definition of a medical assistant's scope of practice that applies to each and every state.

And then, someone asked the question:
I've got a ask a question that has bothered me for some time. Why do medical assistants get paid less than LPN, although CMAs have similar educational training and more? As CMAs how can we take advantage of the nursing shortage. I just don't think it's fair that I went to school for two years and have an associates degree, should earn less money than a LPN who only has a one year diploma.

2:42 AM
Samantha M. in NC responded...

I have wondered this same thing. I am planning to start in a medical assisting program this fall and have been trying to decide between LPN or CMA. I lean more towards CMA 2 year program because I like that there is a balance of office and clinical work. I have worked in a medical office in the past and enjoyed it, but wanted to do work more clinical in nature. In talking with the adviser at school and asking her of the benefits of the 2yr over the 1yr program she indicated that there are more job advancement opportunities with a 2 yr degree, i.e., management. So, possibly there is the place where the pay would increase for a CMA with an associates degree. I'm new to this, so if I am wrong please let me know. Thanks!

9:16 AM
Anonymous said...
I am an LPN and I may not have an associates degree in nursing, but I do have an associates degree. Our program is done right with the RN program, so we have the same training as the first year RN. I have worked with CMA's and I personally feel like they do not have as much training as an LPN, so why should they be paid the same?

9:20 AM
Anonymous said...
I am an LPN and I may not have an associates degree in nursing, but I do have an associates degree. Our program is done right with the RN program, so we have the same training as the first year RN. I have worked with CMA's and I personally feel like they do not have as much training as an LPN, so why should they be paid the same?

9:20 AM
Liz said...
I think that CMA's can take advantage of the nursing shortage by educating physicians and office managers about what it is we are qualified to do. Too many medical offices are unsure of exactly what it is we are trained in. Many professionals dismiss CMA's as a viable because they don't know that a CMA will fit into many RN or LPN positions. Get the word out using your local AAMA. The AAMA has brochures describing our qualifications. Lastly, it was my understanding that the only skills an LPN can do that a CMA cannot are starting IV's and maybe inserting catheters. However, in a medical office setting we are both trained to do the same things. We take vitals, obtain lab samples, care for patients, assist the physician...we have the same training, a CMA just knows the clerical side of the medical office as well. So why are we being paid less?

4:03 PM
Anonymous said...
I am a CMA with an Associate of Science degree in Medical Assistant. I also work with some LPN's, and from what I observed I didn't see where they had as much training as some CMA's, some of them can't even perform a venipuncture. CMA's perform the exact same duties as LPN's with the exception of IV's and catheters which will be coming soon! so why shouldn't they get the same pay?

7:43 PM
Anonymous said...
Hello ,
I live in N.Y.C., as far as Medical Assistants go, we are in high demand. LPN's are becoming obsolete and are slowly being phased out.
Medical Assistant jobs are on the all time high.

5:35 PM
Anonymous said...
I personally feel a LPN or CMA with on the job experience are just as qualified if not more than a RN. So regardless of degree, experience is more important.

7:20 PM
Anonymous said...
I'm a Medical Assistant in NY.And I m currently making 25 hourly. I t all depends on your experience and the medical facility you are working for. I am the medical assistant supervisor over four other medical assistants. I also have 13 years experience. I don't know a lpn making my salary. In NYC LPNs are definitely being fazed out.

7:22 PM
NurseMeg said...
I am an LPN, and I work with CMA's at my job, and I do have respect for them. However, there is a reason why we get paid more. We have to go through the first year of the RN program, pass the state boards, and we have a LICENSE. The difference between license and certification is the knowledge base. Not saying that experience does not bring knowledge, but by obtaining a nursing license, you have proven to the state that you have learned about assessment, care plans, therapeutic communication, pharmacology, and technical skills more in depth than a medical assistant or CNA. A person who is licensed is working under themselves. Therefore they are able to do things under a doctors orders, but are solely responsible for various duties. A certification does not give you that responsibility...the doctor is therefore liable for any mistake that you may make. The knowledge base is just not the same. Experience is great though...so why not use it toward a nursing degree if you would like to get paid more?

4:19 PM
Anonymous said...
I'm an LPN who has almost achieved my BSN in nursing. My only complaint about medical assistants as the ones I have worked with call themselves Nurses. A medical assistant is a medical assistant and a nurse is a nurse.

10:48 PM
Anonymous said...
I am pretty offended by the one woman's comment. I just graduated and got my associates degree in medical assisting and one of my teachers is actually an LPN and one an RN. I was told medical assistants are ranked higher because we know the LPN part along with the back office and secretarial part. To me that sounds right but I don't know that is a fact. If we know more than LPN's I feel we should make more money than LPNs. Just sounds fair, right?

12:24 PM
Anonymous said...
All my life I've wanted to help people in some way. I realized that being a medical assistant is the answer. I being a patient, CMAs have treated me with compassion and patience. I only worked about four years in a hospital as what they called a Support Partner and then A Technical Partner and cared for patients the same way, with compassion and good treatment. It was rewarding and therefore motivated me to want to become CMA. In my opinion patient care is more important. If you have the compassion to become a CMA, that is a concern and not competing of who gets paid more. Suggestion: From experience, before you get into this career, make sure you know what you really want to make YOU happy so others (like patients could be happy too!)

2:02 PM
Anonymous said...
I am interested in taking online courses for CNA and then possibly CMA and have a question - How do you determine if the online school is 100% accredited? Another blogger mentioned that they were doing the e-learning thing and the online school was accredited. Would you mind responding with the name of the online school/program you are enrolled in. I don't want to be scammed and hear there are lots of diploma mills out there.

2:25 AM
Anonymous said...
I was a medical assistant...and we had been trained in skills...and back office/front office management. I had a pathetic salary. I went to LPN school...I also have prerequisites towards RN.
I've done both.
LPN's know more...we might not "do" more but to say you know more is not true.
Whats Gullian barrie?
Whats Cardiac Tamponade?
What are the main S/S of Hodgkins disease?
How do you take care of a patient with a V/P shunt?
How do you asses that V/P shunt?
What are the S/S that you would look for in the patient with the V/P shunt?
How do you suction a trach?
How do you change the trach?
On and On and on.....
None and more of none I learned while I was a medical assistant. NONE. B/P and V/S you can have all of that that's why we deligate it. Your not nurses.
You have to earn that...like everyone else has.

11:52 AM
Anonymous said...
When medical assistants and nurses are doing the same job, there should be equal pay. As with any disease or procedure, medical assistants are taught what they don't know...can be learned. People with diseases usually show up first in an ambulatory setting before going to a hospital, so having a patient with a rare disease is not unheard of and quite often discovered by assessment and/or lab work performed by an assistant.
Pharmacology is studied in depth by medical assistants and the same rule aplies to them as nurses...never give a drug that you aren't familiar with. Injections are an everyday part of a medical assistants job in most US states, some states even allow the placement of IV lines with proper certification (as with nurses).
While most individuals with tracheotomies are in the hospital, some have them permanently and occasionally need a bit of help in an out-patient setting. If so, it is not beyond a medical assistant's ability to suction it if equipment is available. It is not beyond a medical assistant that is properly trained to perform catheterizations, provide assistance with colostomies, debriding wounds, and other such procedures.
Some procedures need to be done in a hospital, because of the equipment and specialists available...that is why we have them.
Your education and expertise only equals the time and effort you put into it.
Having worked as both a CNA and a CMA. I must say I prefer the profession of medical assisting. I can do what nurses do....but not have to deal day in and day out with the personal care of the incontinent.
While nurses have trained to take care of patient's toileting needs, it seems they regulate that to the CNAs.(Because of this, I feel CNAs should be the highest paid employee that a hospital/nursing home has.)
Facilities and Licensed staff have long abused the caring, hard working nursing assistant. Giving them the tasks they no one else wants or will do.

And if anyone is reading this that gives a damn...20 patients per CNA a shift is tooooooo many!

6:51 PM
Anonymous said...
I think it is very sad to read all the hostility between a Medical Assistant and an RN. I am a Medical Ass. and I work with several RN's and they are great. We appreciate the work that we all do. I do a lot of things that a RN might not have time to do and I am very appreciated. Also I must say that I am a very educated MA thanks to the wonderful RN's and Docs that answer all my questions. I don't think that this is something people should get upset about, we should all be working for the same purpose...taking care of people. And for 11:52 AM, I do a lot more that vital signs and I have seen the RN's take several VS as well.

4:41 PM
yosefa said...
The way that I see it is this...The LPN's are trained more for hospital settings. The MA is trained more for the Dr.'s office. I do not think that a LPN is more educated than a CMA. I just completed my A.S. Medical Assisting degree, and I wouldn't dare waste any of my time to become an LPN after that. I am now going on to be a RN. Why pay all that money to be a MA, and then go on to be an LPN? Just doesn't make sense. And the employer in the Dr.'s office is going to want the MA over the LPN. Well we are capable of running both front and back. They don't just need a clinical body. I am not knocking LPN's either. I am sick of LPN's thinking that they are better than MA's, when I have yet to see that.

8:02 PM
Anonymous said...
I'm a Certified and Registered Medical Assistant. All of my experience as an MA has been in the acute-care hospital setting. There has been a trend in hiring MAs in the hospitals. When you work in an acute care setting versus an ambulatory setting such as a Doctor's office, you make more. Most Hospital-based MAs in the area that I work in make about $23 an hour. There seems to be a lot of MA versus LPN and LPN vs MA on this website regarding scope of practice and wage dispute. It's true that there is similar training and educational background in the pathways between MAs and LPNs, but where MAs get the administrative side of health care, the LPNs get into the more acute care assessment side of patient care. The LPNs are trained more in the direct patient care and can function under their own license. We as MAs (whether we are CERTIFIED and/or REGISTERED or choose not to be) must work under the supervision of an MD or RN. The role of the MA and LPN in the traditional doctor's office and clinic may be very similar, but the LPNs can also listen to hearts and lungs and make patient care assessment. We as MAs cannot. But we as MAs do have the advantage of having both our clinical and administrative training and are a very valuable team member. And in many situations, we are a patient care advocate and are often the first person that the patient may request (whether it's the doctor's office or the acute care setting) when they have a question. I also have seen a great phasing out of the LPNs in both of the settings. MAs are being utilized more over the CNAs and the LPNs in our hospitals, as well as often being the working majority in the outpatient clinics and doctor's offices. Whatever the future holds for them and us, we will always have jobs and be valuable. There should be no us or them. We are supposed to be team players. Yes; LPNs do often get paid more-but it's not that much more that an MA wage. They deserve it based on their education and amount of clinical hours that they put in. Does it make them more valuable? That depends on what type of working setting they are employed in and what is expected of them and the MAs that they work with. The unfortunate thing is that no matter how many credentials we MAs choose to test for and earn, it still doesn't always increase our wage. I also have various healthcare assistant licenses (for my MA scope of practice to perform venipunctures and injections) but that still doesn't increase my wage, either. But I do make a good wage as a hospital-based Medical Assistant. And I believe that my experience coupled w/all of my credentials is what got me into the acute care setting. So; opting to be Certified and credentialed for various specialties (like phlebotomy, EKG, administrative and clinical medical assistant, etc...) does open up doors. Good luck to all the Medical Assistants out there. You all obviously are very passionate about patient care and proud of your role and title. You deserve to be.

12:56 PM
Soon2bRN said...
I am an LPN who also graduated college from a medical assisting program and became a CMA. Unfortunately, I took the Medical Assisting program first. All of our heads (the students) were pumped with these ideas that LPN's are being phased out and Med. Asst. do the same job. I bought into this bogus idea and so did the rest of the students; I also felt that I should have been paid what LPN's were paid because we "do the same things". I am now an LPN, and let me tell you, it is vastly different. I have so much more respect for LPN's now. We have far more responsibility, and have independent tasks (without MD supervision). We must be able to recognize changes or signs in our patients that a Medical Asst. is not trained to recognize, we must know what these changes may indicate, and there is so much more that we do that a Med. Asst. is nowhere near trained to do. Do not be ignorant to the fact that the amount of time which you attend school is not what is important, it is the content of the curriculum that makes the difference. After being on both sides, I can honestly say LPN's and Med. Asst. should not be compensated equally. Nursing is based on the nursing process, which is a very methodical way of critical thinking and assessment,planning,diagnosing,etc;Med Asst. are not learned in this, they do not learn theory. Medical Assistants are definitely important to the healthcare industry but their depth of knowledge is not nearly on the level of an LPN. You must also remember LPN's have licenses, not certification. Sorry, but it's true.

Just a Note: Med. Asst. are needed in this industry, but LPN's are not, and I repeat, are not, being phased out. There was recently a conference on CNN with Bloomberg about nursing and they are developing more LPN programs in NYC because more LPN's are needed. Does that sound like we are being phased out,I don't think so. This is something that Med. Asst. schools would like you to believe so you can enroll into the Med Asst. program. I fell for it to. Trust me, this was told to me by a reliable source (a school administrator)once I became an LPN. Needless to say I was livid to learn this after the fact. And no LPN's don't learn the administrative side because that is not our job. We need to spend our time continually observing and assessing our patients, suctioning trachs, administering tube feedings, and writing detailed "NURSING NOTES" (just to name a few)because those are our responsibilities as licensed professionals. LPN's and RN's may also be called to help prove malpractice in court because we are thought to have concrete knowledge in patient care as LICENSED professionals. And lastly, it is ILLEGAL for Med. Assistants to call themselves nurses. Patients have a right to know the accurate credentials of their healthcare providers.
Hope this was helpful.

6:06 AM
Anonymous said...
Oh who really cares? I mean LPN, MA, seriously, same thing. LPN's ride on their own licenses, where as MA's are working under the Dr.'s and any other Licensed personnel, licenses. It's OK! LPN's AND MA's both can get jobs. I hate so see people looking down on someone elses job. LPN's are NO better than an MA. I am a MA. I just got hired with a huge company. We had orientation. Well yesterday was actually the 3rd day of orientation and we had to take a med test. It was for RNs, LPNS, and MA. The room was filled with MA's and just 1 LPN. THis LPN was just too over herself. Well she got a 81 on the Med test. That didn't say much to me, atleast nothing positive. Don't put yourselves on petalstools just to put someone beneath you. Thanks:)

11:52 AM
BAM M.D. said...
I find it so comical that the RN's and CMA's are bickering like babies! I thought I would put my 2 cents worth in. A comment was made about MA's not knowing how to determine signs and symptoms of diseases? False, they are trained in that as well as all other things the LPN does. An LPN is just a practical nurse which does no more than an MA, they are just licensed and the MD is not responsible for the LPN goof ups. Believe me, at my facility which deals in urgent/critical care, my CNA's are as important as what few LPN's we have. Personally, the CMA's are in more demand than the LPN because of their broad range of spectrum when it comes to all aspects of the healthcare field. So LPN's, chew on that a while, you only get paid a dollar or two more an hour and that is for the "License" part of your title.

8:41 AM
Anonymous said...
LPN is a stupid career to go for these days! Employers don't hire LPN's anymore. They don't hire them because Medical Assistants do the same work and more than an LPN and they can pay them less money to do it!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Medical Training Provided by the Army!

Top Medical Careers Available in the US Army
The Army has always prided itself on the fact that it provides world class training in a variety of skills. The medical field is no different. As a soldier I have had treatment from what I feel is some of the best medical personnel in the world.


Medical Assisting - The Reality of it!

Medical Assisting - Unmasked
Medical assisting, job duties, physician office.