Saturday, March 24, 2012

Student Medical Assistant Saves Lives At the Scene of a Serious Accident

Author: Danni R., Owner/Founder
Amanda Cesare, who had recently completed her Emergency Situation CPR for Adults & Children certification as part of her medical assistant training, played an instrumental role as first responder at a serious highway car accident scene in Connecticut. Thanks to her medical and emergency training, Amanda was able to quickly assess the situation while the police, ambulance and EMS services were still en route to the accident scene. She knew that moving an injured person could make an already critical situation far worse.

"I climbed into the badly mangled car and I put a flashlight on the man's face," she said, adding that she noticed immediately that the man was seriously injured. "And I saw that his chest was rising up and down." The next day, while back at Brandford Hall vocational training institute where she is receiving her medical assistant training, she shared the previous night's events with her classmates and instructors. "They were all saying; oh, now you're a hero," Amanda said with a laugh.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Preparing for Your Medical Assistant Final Exams and Certifications

Author: Danni R.

The objective of a medical assistant training program is to provide comprehensive training to the medical assistant student body so that they can perform job related duties in medical offices and ambulatory clinics where health and medical services are provided.

Evaluation in traditional courses typically involves administering knowledge-based tests, quizzes, and exams. The final examination for medical assistants typically consists of a written and practical (hands-on) test given to students at the end of the course to assess each student's knowledge of subjects taught throughout the program.

Medical assistant students take shorter exams at the end of each academic term, and the "big one" at the end of the very last semester of the program. Passing these finals is a prerequisite for earning the desired degree, or diploma and determines the student's final course grades. The exam covers just about any  and everything that was taught in class, therefore, the student's own notes, homework assignments and quizzes become one of the most important and valuable test preparation tools. Medical assistant instructors usually provide study guides outlining job-related skills and theoretical knowledge that will be covered, and often hold a mock examination to simulate the real exam and hold a final review of the topics covered.

- Don't Sweat Your Final Exams

Most medical assistant students are nervous, some even experience a degree of anxiety and concern about the upcoming finals. One way to cope with this is being well prepared, informed and confident in your knowledge and skills.

Being ready and prepared for your medical assistant final exam, however, does not start the very last moment by cramming your notes and textbooks, but rather, it begins from day one by applying yourself, regular attendance and participation in class, reaching out to fellow students and instructors and lending a helping hand wherever possible in the clinical lab, being proactive when it comes to special projects, asking questions, partaking in class field trips and volunteer events, such as holding a blood pressure clinic in a nursing home, or setting up an information booth at the mall.

Satisfactory completion of training is based on achievement of all specified competencies. If medical assisting classes are held 5 times a week, and you have been missing half of the time, you have good reason to be worried. Also, if you have not done your homework assignments, or skipped important quizzes, you will again, likely be in trouble when it comes to taking your final exams and passing because you probably lack the competency and skills performed to a specific standard under specific conditions.

- Consider Sitting for the Certification Exam

Graduates of a qualified (and recognized) medical assistant training program, who wish to earn certified medical assistant credentials, are usually eligible to sit for a separate certification exam to become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), sponsored by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), sponsored by the American Medical Technologist Association (AMT), or a National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), sponsored by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). There are separate fees for these exams, which sometimes are, or aren't covered in the cost of the program.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Choosing the Right Career after High School

Danni R.
Advanced Medical Assistant Custom Web Design, LLC

There are many young Americans today just graduating from High School that are looking to go right into the job market, or start new career within two years of graduating.

Let’s face it,  with today’s economy still down, unemployment remaining  high, high college tuition and college loan interest payments and immediate employment for college graduates not what it used to be, both parents and young adults are seriously considering skipping the four year college for now. An increasing amount of parents are encouraging their kids to consider post-secondary schools, vocational training, and private or public two year schools which cost considerably less than an academic degree and lead to a meaningful career in less time.

The good news is that there are many opportunities available for bright young adults who are willing to learn and apply themselves. A few opportunities available are:
  • Firefighter
  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Accounting Clerk
  • Carpenter
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Electrician
  • Police and Law Enforcement
  • Web Design and Desktop Publishing
  • Fitness Trainer and more.

All of these are great careers, however the career field that offers the most opportunity for employment and for advancement is of the healthcare industry.

In particularly the career with the most promise is that of Medical Assisting. A medical assistant performs administrative and clinical tasks in doctor’s offices, ambulatory clinics connected to regional hospitals, emergency and walk-in clinics, and sometimes pharmacies. Some medical assistants can be trained right on the job, but most are opting to complete a one or two year formal training program.  Depending on the state you live in, a medical assistant can earn as much as $30,136 a year, or even more.

Another great aspect of becoming a medical assistant is that it offers opportunity for advancement into other healthcare fields like: 

Medical Laboratory Technicians or Medical Technologists; performs laboratory work to identify, diagnose, and treat diseases. They use laboratory equipment, computers to perform laboratory procedures. They may collect blood and prepare culture specimens and can earn as much as $40,000. 

Medical Library Technicians; collects and organize medical information and help practitioners find the information they need for patient care, education, research, and administration.  Most of the information is now stored in electronic databases and information systems. They can earn from $25,000 to $35, 000 per year or up to $55,000 for Librarians. 

Medical Records Specialist; obtains, post, and analyze medical, workload, finance, and insurance data.  They ensure that this information is properly recorded into medical records so practitioners can plan and evaluate health care provided to patients. They can earn $25,000 to $33,000 (Medical Records Administrator can earn as much as $40,000). 

The list of job opportunities for a medical assistant to advance in other fields goes on and on, such as Ultra-Sound Technician, Nuclear Medicine Tech, Patient Representative, Radiation Therapy Technologist, or Medical Appliance Technician, who helps patients learn to use medical devices prescribed by podiatrists or prosthetists, etc to name just a few. We could go on to list at least another 30 different job opportunities in related fields, but the main point we are driving home here is that becoming a medical assistant, especially in a large group practice, or HMO can actually put a young person in the right place at the right time for advancement; where opportunity is always knocking.

More at Medical Assistant NET website.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Medical BackBone Radio Interview: Joey Truscelli - Life Gift Cards

Medical Assistants: The Backbone Of A Medical Office


Danni R., Owner/Founder

Advanced Medical Assistant Custom Web Design, LLC

Backing The Medical Office Team

Most medical offices consist of a team of allied health and medical professionals, non-licensed assisting staff and skilled workers. The team may consist of doctors, licensed clinicians, senior care specialists, nurses, physician assistants, lab technicians, phlebotomists, CT Scan technologist, ultra-sound tech, etc… often all under one roof in a lager group practice, HMO, or comprehensive medical care establishment. All are very important members of a medical team, but the medical assistant can only be considered the backbone of the entire team.  All of the professionals mentioned above rely heavily on the medical assistant in order to do their jobs more efficiently.  Some may consider MA’s as the cornerstone, or foundation of the office.  The entire process of receiving medical care starts with the medical assistant (MA).

Important Contributions of the Medical Assistant (MA)

The first step is taking or scheduling the appointment. This task is usually handled by the MA.  They don’t just pencil in a time on the doctor’s schedule, a lot of this is done via computer entry and data processing systems. A medical assistant collects vital information and patient demographics, including healthcare and medical insurance, the patient's reason for the visit, or complaint of injury, quickly assesses if the illness, or injury should be immediately addressed by the doctor or nurse, or should be escalated to emergency services requiring a 9-1-1 call.

First In Line at the Point-Of-Service Front and Back

Once the patient enters into the medical center, the first one at the Point-of-Service is the medical assistant, also know as the medical office receptionist. After the patient has been registered at the front desk, he or she is taken in by a medical assistant from the back, to read and record vital signs,  and then escort the patient to the doctor’s office, or care specialist, each of which are briefly interviewed by the MA prior to seeing the patient.

Heroes Are Defined by the Role They Play – Not By Medals

The duties of an MA are extensive and he or she must be able to be swift and multitask. Some of these task include but not limited to; sorting mail, filing, updating patient charts, electronic medical data records (EMR), handling doctor and medical specialist referrals, disposal of bio-hazards, replacing and emptying prescription pads, etc…, because of the hard work of the  MA, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals have more time to evaluate and treat more patients, more efficient and effectively.

So MA’s be proud to know, like the backbone in your body, or the linebacker of the football team, it is you who holds up the medical center, or office.  You most likely won’t get a commendation medal, raise, promotion, or not even a pat on the back, but what does in matter? Pride is a personal experience anyway, so STAND TALL. It often is the unsung hero that makes a world of a difference to people, and you are one of them.

More at Medical Assistant NET website.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Can Medical Assistants Be Sued?

Laws that Govern Medical Assistants

Many working medical assistants are under the impression that when there are no specific laws and organizations that govern them then there are no liabilities. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is NOT TRUE that Medical Assistants cannot be sued and held legally responsible for their actions!

The Tex Med Website has put it so well where they state: the term “medical assistant” has no real legal significance. Medical assistants (MAs) are not licensed, certified, or registered by any agency of the State of Texas, nor are they recognized under federal Medicare or Medicaid laws as a species of “provider.” There is no reference to medical assistants in the Medical Practice Act, or any other Texas Statute, thus, there is no specific legal regulation of medical assistants in Texas.

The same applies to many other US States, however, it doesn't mean total absence of laws and regulations for medical assistants. Fact is...

Medical Assistants Can, Have and Will Be Sued If They Cause Harm

It cannot be said often enough: although medical assistants are dependent hires working under the employ and direct supervision of the physician, or supervised by a licensed practitioner, or clinician, it does not exonerate them from direct liability, nor protect them from being sued, should anything that causes injury or losses happen to a patient--and not only injury, but any medical assistant who inadvertently oversteps their bounds and scope of practice, e.g. writes and signs a prescription, instead of the doctor, or carries out a full range of physical therapy modalities, which will constitute practicing medicine without a license, to name just one of many possible scenarios, exposes her/himself to a civil fine of at least $10,000 per violation and almost always other severe charges, penalties and consequences.

Many medical assistants falsely believe that if there are no specific laws that regulate the medical assistant profession where they work then there are no laws to be followed.

Most state laws don't specify exactly which duties medical assistants can perform, but anything they do that goes above and beyond basic low level tasks which can be delegated, such as taking patient vital signs, can be questioned in court, should a lawsuit ensue. If a medical assistant makes an error, typically the lawsuit will be filed against the doctor under whom the medical assistant works, however, the medical assistant can also be named in the suit. Listen in as Gerry Oginski, an experienced medical malpractice, wrongful death and personal injury lawyer in and around the New York City vicinity explains.
What does this mean for medical assistants?

It means to always be sure to practice only skills that you have been taught and are clearly within your discipline's scope of practice. Never act on your own without a doctor physically present in the office when providing any type of direct patient health and medical care procedures. Don't independently give any kind of medical advice, don't ever share confidential patient information with other parties unless a valid need to know exists and never venture into territory that can be viewed as "practicing medicine without a license".

More at Medical Assistant NET website.