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Administrative Medical Assistants

If you are looking for a career that you can enter quickly and that will provide you with a challenging work environment and a nice salary, you may want to consider becoming an Administrative Medical Assistant. The purpose of the medical assistant is to provide help to the physician and other medical staff in order to provide the highest level of care to patients. The Administrative Medical Assistant is responsible for running the front desk operations of a hospital, medical office, or other facility. In large facilities, the Administrative Medical Assistant is part of a team, dealing with multiple phone calls and patients at once.

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What Is an Administrative Medical Assistant?

An Administrative Medical Assistant is a trained professional who provides competent and efficient customer service as well as support to the other facility staff. With the restrictions put in place by HIPAA and JACHO, administrative medical assistants also have to be current on all current regulations and policies regarding the collection, storage, and dissemination of sensitive patient health data.

Administrative Medical Assistants are responsible for many duties, which may include answering communications, scheduling appointments, performing electronic medical coding, filing insurance claims, maintaining and filing records, performing accounting, and managing billing. In essence, this key player in the medical facility is responsible for making sure information is kept accurate and that the practice runs smoothly.

Ideal Characteristics

Administrative Medical Assistants must have excellent people skills because the largest part of their days will involve interacting with others. Whether the assistant is answering phones, writing letters, or greeting patients, he or she must remain calm and professional. Because they may have to deal with the physician’s mood swings, irate patients, or uncompromising insurance companies, it is vital that the assistant be able to handle stress without losing his or her cool.

Because there are so many duties involved in this career, an Administrative Medical Assistant must be adept at multitasking. Most of the time, the assistant will have to remember massive amounts of information and handle multiple tasks at once, often in a bustling environment. As such, success in this career depends greatly on the assistant’s ability to stay calm and clearheaded even when seemingly overwhelmed.

The ability to handle stress is also a necessity in this career. Since assistants work with people who are stressed, tired, sick, or dying, the stress level can become almost too much to bear. To be successful, assistants must have coping mechanisms for releasing stress and calming themselves after the day ends.

Skills Needed

Administrative Medical Assistant is a highly skilled position that requires a great deal of knowledge and training. The assistant must be excellent at verbal communication and must also have impeccable spelling and grammar to use in professional documents and other written communication. In addition, he or she needs a high level of ability in the use of computers and common software programs such as word processing, spreadsheet software, and more.

Since the assistant will likely be handling billing and light bookkeeping for the practice, he or she needs to be good with numbers and have a high level of attention to detail. The assistant must be comfortable with handling money and recording transactions accurately, even in a busy environment.

Finally, the Administrative Medical Assistant must be familiar with medical coding, insurance billing practices, and software that is used in the office of the practice in which he or she works. Accredited medical assisting programs can provide the assistant with all of these skills and more.

Nature of the Work

Administrative Medical Assistants work in well-lighted, comfortable environments and typically work a 40-hour week. Depending upon the practice, the assistant may have to work evenings, weekends, or even on a part-time basis.

During the course of a normal workday, the Administrative Medical Assistant will perform much of the clerical work in a medical facility. This includes answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, taking and recording payments, and filing and pulling patient records. The assistant may also fill out insurance forms, communicate with insurance companies, inventory and order supplies, and much more. It is not uncommon for the assistant to also be responsible for scheduling patient hospital admissions and laboratory tests. Depending upon the size of the practice, the assistant may also be required to perform clinical tasks as directed by the physician.

Education and Training

There are many formal medical assistant programs that can prepare you to become an Administrative Medical Assistant. You may choose to earn your degree in a traditional setting, or through a number of online schools. Regardless of the format you choose, make sure your program is properly accredited by either the Allied Health Education Programs or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

Degree programs in medical assisting consist of comprehensive instruction in medical terminology, body structure, kinesiology, healthcare laws, pharmacology, and ethics. In addition, a quality program will include classes in patient scheduling, healthcare data management, insurance company filing and reimbursement, bookkeeping, medical billing and coding, automated office management, and much more.

Becoming an Administrative Medical Assistant will provide you with a great career and ample job opportunities. In this position, you can enjoy working with a team of dedicated professionals while earning a salary of $30,000 or more, depending upon where you work and your specific job title.

If you are ready to enter this fantastic career field, the first step is to find an accredited medical assisting program and start earning your formal training. If you’re ready to begin, we offer a comprehensive list of accredited medical assistant programs that can be taken online. Offline / campus courses are offered in select states.

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