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Posted at: Jun 13, 2018, 12:50 AM; last updated: Jun 13, 2018, 12:50 AM (IST)ON JOB: MEDICAL ASSISTANTS

They support the system

Shruti Sharma

It is a difficult challenge to pick a career, which not only promises a handsome salary, but also immense job opportunities. Since, the competition for jobs is much higher than the actual growth of the industry, it is important to pursue a career that is expanding and growing. Vandana Nanda, president of SCMA LLC suggests medical assistant as a perfect option. She talks about the scope, opportunity and future prospects of taking up the career of a medical assistant.

What are the growth prospects for medical assistants in India?

Medical assistants work along with doctors in hospitals and clinics. Their role is to ensure smooth functioning by assisting doctors and senior staff in medical centres. The rise of the healthcare industry in India has created pool of opportunities for medical assistants.

The industry being multi-dimensional, assistants are specialised in a particular area according to the type of medical office they aspire to work for. 

Every consulting doctor needs at least four staff members. A medical assistant completes all the administrative and clinical work in hospitals. The rapidly growing medical field requires knowledgeable and skilled assistants. The most common fields are clinical specialty, cardiology technician, obstetrics and gynaecology and administration.

What is the work profile of a medical assistant?

With medical field being so diverse, assistant can take up many roles at a medical centre. Everything that is required for an uninterrupted functioning of the hospital is provided by assistants. They keep the track record of the patients confidential. They ensure that tests prescribed by doctors are carried out accurately and appointments are scheduled well. They look into the management of OPD and guide and instruct patients about the administrative formalities. They are responsible for a lot more than what the designation states, thus there is a scope for immense growth in this field. 

What is the admission process and eligibility for pursuing the course?

Healthcare offers numerous job opportunities. Those who are interested in this field, but don’t have a medical background can opt for a medical assistant course. It is not necessary for one to have an experience in the science stream. To apply for this course, the candidate must be a graduate in any stream. The admission process begins with the registration and document verification, followed by a psychometric test to determine the candidate’s aptitude, attitude and acumen. Candidates can go for either a certificate course or the associate’s degree. They can also get admission by taking a certified medical assistant (CMA) exam.

What courses are usually offered in the stream?

After one-year work experience, a medical assistant can pursue specialty programmes in 13 therapeutic fields, which includes cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, family medicine, geriatrics, internal medicine, OB/GYN, oncology, orthopaedic surgery, paediatrics, transplantation surgery, urology and women’s health. A candidate must pass an online exam with a minimum score of 70 per cent for becoming an international medical assistant. 

Institute Watch

  • Para Medical Council  Phase-7 Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar
  • Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh
  • Shivalik Institute Of Paramedical Technology, Manimajra, Chandigarh
  • Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences, Jalandhar, Punjab
Job prospects 

Medical assistants are trained to perform administrative and clinical duties. Since medical assistants are generally the first respondents to any emergency, they are trained in that area as well. They are also prepared to understand few study programmes that include medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, billing and coding, office procedures, etc. Employment opportunities in healthcare sector are expected to grow about 29 per cent from 2016-2026. A medical assistant can work as a nursing assistant, specialty assistant, paramedic staff, telemedicine staff, patient experience executive, etc. 

Monetary growth

There is a massive increase in the demand of jobs for medical assistants. It might not be in the best phase right now, but the profession is gaining popularity. It’s starting baseline salary is Rs 15,000 to Rs 18,000 a month, and can go up to a couple of lakhs depending on skill and acumen.

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