Sunday, May 01, 2011

Teaching Medical Assistants of the Future: Are Medical Assistant Instructors Up for the Task?

What Kinds of Duties Will Medical Assistants Have in 2015?

Either through choice or necessity, more and more adults seek enrollment in secondary vocational programs, postsecondary vocational; vocational or skill-centered curricula. One responsibility that will fall heavily on vocational schools and for medical assistant instructors is keeping up to date. Advances in health care, new discoveries in medicine and technological changes in the workplace can happen quickly and must be followed.
Often we are asked simple questions:
Can a Medical Assistant give injections if he/she isn't certified?
Can a Medical Assistant give injections in _________ (your state)?
Are medical assistants allowed to start or disconnect IVs?
Are medical assistants allowed to give narcotic injections?
Are medical assistants allowed to inject collagen? Botox? Flu Shots?

But what about the more complex skills and skills that are on the brink of discovery? Keeping abreast with the latest changes and discoveries often necessitate changes in the medical office workplace. Preparing the future medical assistant student body for these changes is important and essential for the student's success. If medical assisting teachers cannot anticipate and do not keep current with the latest changes, their vocational training programs quickly become state, outdated and obsolete. As a result their graduates must be retrained, or worse, they cannot find employment.

Teaching Employable Medical Assistants of the Future

In addition, medical assistant school teachers must keep up with workplace trends and customs, for example, men in nontraditional roles and positions in the medical office, medical assistants performing limited x-ray skills, CLIA waived lab procedures, training in specialty fields, electrocardiograms, ophthalmology chair-side assisting, podiatric procedures and starting IV lines.

Their educational activities must be directed toward the preparation of individuals for productive and gainful employment in the medical office, or better ANY and all medical offices. While most state regulations remain vague on the exact role of their practicing medical assistants in their state some states have strict rules with the medical assistant's scope of practice clearly spelled out.

Measurable Occupational Learning Outcome

Although there are several ways to measure learning outcomes, the most common method employed in vocational education is occupational competency testing designed to assess mastery of skills and knowledge found in specific jobs. Learning and building a successful career path never ends. Many medical assistants, in addition to their recognized, certified credentials, are inspired to reach even higher and return back to the classroom to earn an academic degree, such as an A.S. degree in Medical Assisting or a Bachelors in Healthcare Management.

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