One of the most sought after jobs across the US right now is that of a pediatric medical assistant. The career is in high demand and has a job expansion rate of 34% over the next six years, meaning even more jobs are looking to be created.
There are many different types of medical assisting careers you can go into, but the one this article is going to focus on in particular is that of a pediatric medical assistant. A pediatric medical assistant, or PMA, is an assistant to a pediatrician.
This means that they will perform any duties as needed by the pediatrician. Some of these duties will include clerical functions such as checking patients in and out of the office, making appointments, making appointment reminder phone calls, handling all of the office correspondence, mailing and faxing school forms and shot records, filing and updating medical records, and any other clerical tasks that the pediatrician needs help with.
Additionally, a PMA may also perform hands on assistance tasks for a doctor, such as taking a patient’s vital signs, recording their height, weight and other vitals in the patient’s chart, preparing the patient for an exam such as lifting them onto a table, or simply giving them a dressing gown (robe) to change into.
A pediatric medical assistant may also be asked to take fluids, as needed, for laboratory tests. They may also give vaccinations and shots to the child. A pediatric medical assistant will need to have highly developed children skills as it will be a large part of their job to calm the patient before the doctor sees to them. As you would expect, being good with children is a must for any pediatric medical assistants. They may also have to give medications to the patient or draw a patient’s blood, so they will have some experience with hands-on procedures so they know what to do with the patient in these situations.
A pediatric medical assistant job description will largely depend on the size of the office, the doctor that you work for and if you are the only medical assistant in the office. You may also be asked to assist the doctor during procedures like exams and surgeries. The doctor may need a pediatric medical assistant to perform lab tests or call the lab for the results. The doctor may also need you make sure that all instruments in the office have been sterilized and to dispose of any instruments or items that have been contaminated or that are otherwise unusable. You may also be in charge of ordering new instruments and supplies such as medical gloves and needles.
As a pediatric medical assistant, there are many different job functions that you will be expected to perform. The types of functions that you perform will depend on the doctor that you work for and also what your state allows you to perform. While you cannot dispense treatment to a patient, you can assist the doctor in their treatment of a patient. The functions that you perform will depend on what a doctor needs your help with, but in essence you are there to make sure that the office is running smoothly and everything is in proper working order.
In order to get started as a pediatric medical assistant, you will need to receive proper training and education. Most medical assistants have at least a certificate through a trade school, but many employers now are looking for medical assistants with a degree.
During your college career, you will study courses in medical transcription, anatomy, physiology, how to take specimens for the lab, clinical and diagnostic techniques and much more. All of this will get you ready for your job as a pediatric medical assistant. This process will take one to two years to complete depending on the degree plan you choose.
It’s also possible for you to choose upon graduation, to take a test to become a certified medical assistant. This not only looks great on a resume, but it will look great to any potential employers and will increase the level of your salary (and your likelihood to receive larger raises in the future). This will set you apart from other applicants who have just graduated and show that you have the experience and knowledge needed to do the job right.
As a PMA, in addition to working doing a job you love, you will also make a highly respectable salary. The average medical assistant makes approximately $28,000 per year, and working as a PMA the average pay is approximately $31,000 per year. However, the amount that you make will depend on several factors such as the area you work in and the particular institution you’re employed by. Alaska, Washington DC, and Massachusetts all average more than $35,000 per year.
Another factor that will affect your salary is how much experience you have in the field. After ten years of experience you can expect a salary of $34,000 per year and by 20 years of experience you can expect an average salary of $38,000 per year. Working for a large doctors office as opposed to a small doctors office may also have a higher rate of pay than the approximate average.
Certification is important, and often overlooked. Although it is not required it will put you at the forefront of other applicants and show that you know exactly what you are doing and exactly what you need to get a job in this popular field. This determination will show through, and employers will love you for it.
A career as a pediatric medical assistant is not something to be taken on lightly. It allows you to be a part of all aspects of a child’s care, therefore it is vital that you have the skills and training (and the love) to work with children. You will need to have a high level of patience and empathy, you will have to understand what may hurt a child, you will have to be able to calm and help a child to keep still and much, much more.
This is a perfect job for someone who loves children and wants to engage in helping them in any way they can. This career gives you the chance to work with children and ensure that they are getting the proper medical care that they need in order to maintain their health in the most crucial years of their lives. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then a career as a PMA is for you.