Medical Assistant | Bryant & Stratton College

Medical Assistant

What is a Medical Assistant? 

A medical assistant is an attendant who works alongside physicians and nurses to handle basic clinical and clerical tasks. He or she assists other medical professionals with everyday activities that are critical to the daily operation of the facility. A medical assistant helps to manage patient files, take and record vital signs, prepare tests, and collect information. The specific duties of the medical assistant will vary by location, as they may work in practices with different specialties and of varying sizes. 

There are some specializations within the field of medical assistants. If you prefer one type of task over another, working within a specialty field can help you ultimately log more hours doing the type of work you love. If you prefer the clerical side of this position, consider a career as an administrative medical assistant. In this role, you’ll focus on medical coding, record management, appointment setting, and other duties associated with a receptionist or administrative assistant. 

If you’re more interested in the clinical side of the job, look for a position as a clinical medical assistant. These professionals work more closely with lab testing, equipment sterilization and prep, and routine tests. A clinical medical assistant may even perform basic medical duties such as drawing blood, changing wound dressings, or removing stitches. 

Job Responsibilities

  • Collecting and recording patients’ medical history 
  • Preparing charts and admission forms 
  • Organizing and maintaining patient files 
  • Taking vital signs 
  • Preparing patients for their appointments 
  • Preparing exam rooms 
  • Answering basic patient questions 
  • Sterilizing and setting up equipment 
  • Assisting physicians during examinations 
  • Preparing samples for testing 
  • Administering medications or injections 

What’s the Career Outlook for Medical Assistants? 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shares that Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 14 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.  

About 114,600 openings for medical assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.  

The large baby-boom population continues to enter older age groups, which typically have more healthcare concerns than younger age groups and will continue to increase demand for medical services. As a result, more medical assistants will be needed to perform routine administrative and clinical duties in physicians’ offices and other primary care settings. 

Where Do Medical Assistants Work? 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that most medical assistants work full time. They are employed in physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare facilities. Some medical assistants spend a lot of time standing or walking as they visit patients. Others sit at a computer for much of the day to work on administrative tasks. 

What Training is Required for a Career as a Medical Assistant? 

Medical assistants must usually have some sort of post-secondary training to pursue a career in this field. This might be an associate degree, certificate, or diploma. There are no legal requirements for a medical assistant’s education, but employers prefer job candidates who have a strong background in this area and a well-rounded understanding of basic medical principles and clinical tasks. You should focus on an education that will give you a solid knowledge of anatomy, biology, chemistry, and business. 

Another great option is the Medical Assisting Associate Degree from Bryant & Stratton College. This degree covers many critical topics that will help you land a job as a medical assistant. Courses include medical terminology, clinical procedures, pharmacology, and computing skills. The right education will give you a competitive edge in your job search. 

What Can I Do with an AAS Medical Assisting Degree or Practical Nursing Diploma? 

A Practical Nursing Diploma will ultimately prepare you for a career in nursing. In addition to a job as a medical assistant, you might also look for work as a: 

  • Clinic nurse 
  • Office nurse 
  • Private duty nurse 
  • Charge nurse 

With an AAS Medical Assisting Degree, you can look for job titles such as: 

  • Clinical assistant 
  • Chiropractic assistant 
  • Medical office assistant 
  • Home health aide 
  • Administrative medical assistant 
  • Admissions clerk 
  • Hospice aide 

With a background in medical assisting or nursing, you’ll be equipped for many rewarding jobs in an area with strong employment growth. 

For more insights on your career options in healthcare, check out the healthcare degrees section of our blog. You’ll find valuable information to help you plan your future. 

While these projections can help career-minded people evaluate potential employment fields, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It should not be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in any field.

Designed to Fit Your Life

For 170 years, we’ve been meeting students where they are and helping them get ahead. From flexible class schedules to equipping students with their own personal success teams, Bryant & Stratton College is built differently to better serve the needs of students.

Take the Next Step

Online, on-campus, and remote learning options to earn a degree on your schedule.

Start Your Free Application

No application fee, because applying to college should be easy and free.

Visit A Campus

Our campuses provide the education needed to achieve your professional goals. If you’re ready to start your educational and career journey, we’re here to support you every step of the way.