5 Things to Know Before Becoming a Medical Assistant

Whether it’s a big hospital or a small clinic, every healthcare facility needs medical assistants, also known as clinical or healthcare assistants. Their job is to support and aid health professionals like physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Medical assistants are commonly referred to as support staff; however, that title barely covers the scope of their work.

There is a reason why healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries, expected to grow 19 percent in the next ten years. Medical assistants are in high demand because their knowledge, training, and support are crucial to running a healthcare facility.

If you want to become a medical assistant, here are five things you need to know: 

You are In Demand.

Medical assisting is a fast-growing healthcare career. In 2019, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 725,200 jobs for people in this field. The average annual salary for medical assistants in 2020 was USD 35,850. However, this may still depend on the area you work in.

These numbers are predicted to grow even more in the coming years, thanks to an aging population. Physicians will need more help and assistance in carrying out clinical and administrative work to serve more patients.

You Have Varied Roles.

Medical assistants will have different roles and responsibilities depending on their skills and the work environment. 

There are MAs who perform an administrative support role. This entails greeting patients, managing insurance information, and billing for medical services. Meanwhile, a clinical role will see you working alongside physicians and registered nurses (RN) by providing primary care and information. 

Other MAs will be tasked with playing the role of both administrative support and clinical support.

You Will Do More Jobs Than You Thought.

The requirements and expectations for a medical assistant are unpredictable, meaning a day that’s been planned out can still be subject to drastic changes. MAs are required to be adaptable, depending on the needs and problems that need to be addressed.

You go where you are needed, and sometimes that can mean learning to do things on the fly and being a solid and firm presence to help health professionals and patients. Learning will take place daily, as is the nature of working in the medical field.

You Have an Important Role in Patient Care.

Medical assistants have the most contact with patients, building trust and rapport; often this can lead you to become the face of healthcare for most patients. MAs are usually the first and last person a patient sees in a hospital or clinic. Your presence and skills will allow people to feel more comfortable and safe.

Medical assistants’ skills in patient handling save a lot of time in their treatment. This allows other health professionals to jump right into helping the patient when they are already comfortable and somewhat briefed on their condition.

You are Indispensable.

While the term support staff is insufficient to cover the roles and responsibilities of being a medical assistant, it describes how vital your role is in the medical field. You are essential in the treatment of patients and for doctors and nurses to do their jobs efficiently. 


Without medical assistants, healthcare would not function. You provide valuable skills and support that allow each person to focus on their role and do their jobs better. Aside from being an essential part of medicine, being an MA also opens the door to endless possibilities and career opportunities for your future. 

Review our certified medical assistant program and take the first step today in entering the medical field. Northwest Suburban College is located in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, offering healthcare career training to students of all walks of life. 

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