How to be an EKG Tech

How to Become an EKG Technician?

Pursuing a career in the healthcare industry as an EKG technician can be very rewarding. It is an in-demand career that pays well. The job may be a bit stressful and physically demanding, but it is not as hard as what other medical professionals do.

Other titles for electrocardiograph (EKG) technician are electrocardiogram technician and cardiovascular technicians. Below are some information that will help you learn and understand the job and how to have a career in this medical field.

EKG Tech

Job Description and Duties

An EKG technician’s main job is to monitor and test a patient’s heart performance using EKG equipment. The technician attaches lead electrodes to a patient’s body then perform the diagnostic test. The test records the patient’s heart electrical impulses, which helps the doctor detect heart conditions or diseases.

Common Duties of EKG Tech:

  • Explains the procedure to the patient
  • Oversees EKG test procedures
  • Monitors blood pressure
  • Operates the EKG machine and record readings
  • Performs stress test
  • Relays EKG test data to the doctor for analysis

EKG technicians should be in good physical condition since the job will require a lot of walking and standing, and they would sometimes need to lift or turn disabled patients. They should be relaxed, patient and polite to make the patients feel comfortable and at ease. More importantly, EKG techs should know technical terms and have good communication skills since they will be working with other medical health care workers.

EKG technicians work in healthcare environments such as hospitals, laboratories or cardiology clinics. They work fulltime, on regular business hours and may sometimes be assigned to work overnight, evenings, weekends, or even on holidays.


How to Become an EKG Tech

Individuals who would like to become an EKG technician must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent as a prerequisite requirement. High school students who plan to take a career as an EKG technician are encouraged to take math and science courses, especially anatomy and physiology. Candidates can then take training programs. Many community and state colleges offer cardiovascular technology programs to become an EKG technician.

The program usually covers general education classes and subjects that focus on the following:

  • Functions of the cardiovascular system
  • EKG interpretation and EKG equipment operation
  • Certain Medical terminologies, and some programs also offer hands-on clinical experience at a facility with EKG tests.

The duration of an EKG tech program depends on what type of program the school offers. There are certificate programs that can only take about a year to complete, while there are the associate degree programs that can take up to 2 years to finish.

After graduating from the training program, it is now possible to get certified. Professional certification is not mandatory; however, being certified can increase salary and get through promotions. Some hospitals also accept only licensed EKG technicians. To be certified, an individual must take the EKG technician exam offered by the American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals, American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion and American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians.

How to Become a Respiratory Therapist

A Guide on How to Become a Respiratory Therapist

This guide is for those who want to know how to become a respiratory therapist. This outlines the education, certification, licensing requirements, and job responsibilities in having a profession in respiratory therapy.

Respiratory therapists assess, diagnose, observe, and treat those who suffer from diseases of the cardiopulmonary system, such as any kind of illness that affects lung capacity and breathing. Because of the growing occurrences of chronic lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and chronic bronchitis, respiratory therapy remains crucial in patient care.

Respiratory therapists may also help patients who have suffered a stroke or heart attack to regain their normal breathing capacity. Aside from lifting or turning patients, respiratory therapists may be required to stand for long periods of time. Some of them are employed in hospitals and other medical facilities; others go to the houses of their patients to install and look after respiratory equipment. Because of shifting schedules, those who work in medical facilities may also need to work at night and during weekends.

COPD is the third most common cause of death in the US, according to the American Lung Association. Moreover, it is estimated that almost 24 million adults in the US have indication of impaired lung capacity. In 2011, an estimated 10.1 million people in the US were reported to have a diagnosis of chronic bronchitis, and around 4.7 million people in the US were diagnosed with emphysema at a certain point in their lives.

For those who want to play an essential role in the allied healthcare system and know how to become a respiratory therapist, it’s important to keep in mind that education and state licensure requirements do exist.

Here are the steps to becoming a respiratory therapist:

  1. Earn a College Degree

A standard requirement in respiratory therapy is to have a college degree in the field. Every state that provides license to RTs require aspirants to accomplish an accredited degree in respiratory care approved by CoARC (or Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care).

There are more than 400 accredited CoARC courses throughout the USA. Almost every state has at least one school that offers an accredited course.

Most of the accredited degree courses for respiratory therapy lead to an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, and some lead to a master’s degree.

To have a license in respiratory therapy, the aspirant must complete a minimum of an associate’s degree with two years of academic education and clinical experience. However, bachelor’s degree programs are increasing in popularity to meet the requirements of employers that want RTs with higher education.

Regardless of the program completed, every CoARC-accredited course intends to produce graduates that are skilled in several key points, such as:

  • Respiratory care
  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Biomedical and natural sciences
  • Oral and written communication skills

Respiratory therapy courses include classroom, clinical, and laboratory experiences aimed to give learners understanding of every aspect of respiratory care.

  1. Pass the Examination

NBRC or National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. provides the national certification, which is the standard basis and requirement for licensing across every state Board of Respiratory Care.

Upon completion of a CoARC-accredited respiratory therapy course, those who want to acquire a state license should take and pass the TMC or Therapist Multiple-Choice Exam to receive the CRT or Certified Respiratory Therapist exam, which is the foundation for licensing in almost every state. In certain states, associate-level graduates and students pursuing a bachelor’s degree that have accomplished mandatory coursework can apply for a temporary license before taking the CRT test, allowing them to start working while getting ready to take the test.

RTs also often opt to complete the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) certification, which is the advanced-level certificate in respiratory care. Starting January 2015, the states of California and Ohio require the RRT certification to be the state standard of licensing. In the coming years, other states may follow suit.

While the state licensing board or respiratory therapists might require them to have only the CRT certification for initial licensure, they need to understand that a lot of employers now demand that applicants for RT jobs have the RRT certification as well. For instance, RTs who work in critical care environment are typically required to have RRT certification.

  1. Obtain a State License

A state license is mandated for RTs working in the USA, except in the state of Alaska. There are similar requirements for a license from one state to another, but the application process might slightly vary based on the state licensing board. Applicants for a license must thoroughly review the licensing requirements of their state to make sure they meet the qualifications.

Some of the typical requirements for a state license include:

  • Application form (completed, signed, and notarized)
  • The state licensing board require the transcripts of the applicants to be sent directly to them from the education institution
  • The state licensing board require the verification of certifications to be sent directly to them from the NBRC
  • Fingerprinting and background check
  • Submission of application/licensing fee
  1. Maintain Expertise through Continuing Education

RTs should meet the renewal requirements of their state’s licensing board in order for them to maintain a legal RT license. RT licenses are normally valid between one to three years and should be renewed before the expiration.

The NBRC and state licensing boards require respiratory therapists to accomplish certain continuing education requirements. This would assure that RTs are updated regarding new advancements in the field so they can continue to provide the best quality respiratory care services.

Often, continuing education is crucial to make sure that RTs know the most recent information about diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, allowing them to offer the most effective and safest care.

Continuing education in respiratory care is either learner-directed or provider-directed, and a lot of courses can be taken online. Do take note that many states require RTs to accomplish a certain number of continuing education credits or hours in legal aspects of healthcare, professional ethics, or medical ethics.

How to Become a LPN

Steps on How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse

Most people have specific career goals in mind. They usually think that with such careers, they would be able to get better salaries. Through their salaries, they have the ability to provide for the things which their loved ones need and even want. There are several industries which people would like to be a part of. Some individuals wish to pursue the teaching profession so that they can impart their knowledge to other people. Others wish to get involved in social work to serve certain sectors of the society. There are also those who wish to join the police force or the military to protect and defend their community.

Still, others want to pursue careers in medicine. Most of these people either want to be doctors or nurses. The medical field is a very challenging path as it puts the responsibility of saving a life on one’s shoulders. Nonetheless, if you wish to be one of these medical practitioners, you can follow some pointers on how to become a licensed practical nurse.

First of all, you have to make sure that this is indeed the path you want to take. You should ensure that it is your own choice to practice this profession. In that case, you will definitely be passionate and resilient with your journey. With the right attitude, you will surely be able to strive hard to achieve your personal goals and overcome the stumbling blocks along the way. There are some people who are only taking up certain professions because they are being forced to do so by influential persons in their lives.

After you have determined that you really want to pursue this career, you need to get the best nursing education that is available to you. You must search for an educational institution where you could acquire the necessary knowledge and skill sets related to the field. This way, you can be equipped and prepared on how to properly do the job in the future.

In looking for the best school, there are a few important factors to consider. You might want to take a look at the reputation of such institution. It usually builds its reputation based on licensure examination results. You must also check the completeness and the quality of the educational equipment that they are providing. It would be good if you will also consider the location of the school and visit it first before deciding whether to proceed with your enrollment or not.

This way, you can personally check the condition of the area and the amenities which are available for use in such institution. Aside from these, also check the qualifications of their instructors. You certainly want only the best teachers from whom you can learn a lot of essential things.

Nursing programs usually last for four years. During the fourth year, students typically need to undergo on-the-job trainings. Through these trainings, the students can have a glimpse of how the real world works. They can also improve their skill sets. For this matter, you should also make sure that you will try to learn everything about the field as you can since such learnings will help you with the career you have chosen. On-the-job trainings can also help you gain relevant experience which will be quite on your resume.

Upon the completion of this program, you will need to pass a licensure exam. Such examination will assess your knowledge, your skill sets, and, most importantly, your preparedness to immerse yourself in the real world. Once you pass such test, you will then get your license. Your license will authorize you to legally practice your profession.

Once you have obtained your license, you’re finally ready to show the world what you got. You have to apply for a nursing job in a medical institution, such as a clinic or a hospital. You must create your resume and submit it to an organization that you want to work for. It will be good if you will submit several resumes to several organizations so that you will have a higher chance of landing a job. However, remember to take note of where you are sending the paper so that you will not get confused.

Most importantly, once you get the job, you need to exhibit professionalism and excellence all the time. You have to use your knowledge and skills to be able to deliver what is expected from you. This way, not only will you earn money or climb up the career ladder, but you will also gain the respect of those you serve.

How to Become a CNA

How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

What is a Certified Nurse Assistant?

A certified nursing assistant (CNA), also known as a nursing aide or an orderly, is a healthcare professional who provides basic patient care to patients in need under the supervision of a doctor or nursing staff.

CNA perform duties such as grooming, dressing, feeding and transporting patients. They are also sometimes allowed to take more medically-oriented responsibilities like vital signs monitoring. CNAs, however, are not allowed to provide direct care such as blood extraction, medicine administration, or perform any diagnostic tests.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Feeding, bathing and dressing patients
  • Lifting and transporting of patients
  • Applying bandages and other support materials as directed by a doctor or nurse
  • Assisting patients with their activities – walking and R-O-M exercises
  • Taking the patients’ vital signs
  • Preparing the patient for physical exam – recording weight and height
  • Reporting any vital signs and behavioral changes of the patient to a nurse or doctor
  • Documenting any activities related to the patient
  • Administering of medicine (according to level of training and competency)
  • Cleansing and sterilizing a work area

CNAs typically work in medical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, hospice facilities, correctional institutions and other long-term care facilities. They work on regular working hours, but are also okay with shifting schedules.

 How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant

Pre-requisite Requirements

Before entering a training program, candidates must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. They should pass a drug test and should not have any incriminating records. Some training programs require certification from First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation trainings. Candidates should also be familiar with certain medical terminologies. Graduating high school students are encouraged to take science classes such as general science, biology and chemistry.

Education and Certification

If a candidate meets the pre-requisites, all he needs to do is look for state-sanctioned training programs. Many vocational and technical schools and community colleges have CNA training programs. The American Red Cross and other local health care providers also offer a Certificate program in nursing assistance. There are online training programs, too, for those who don’t have time to attend classes.

The program is divided into two parts. The first part is where the student will learn the health law, medical ethics, and the duties and responsibilities of a nursing assistant. The student will also learn the basics of patient care. The second part is when the student can apply his acquired knowledge and skills at a health facility under supervision.

CNA programs usually take anywhere from 4 to 24 weeks. Take note that the duration and courses included in the program depend on the institution. After finishing a training program, the next step is to pass a state-specific exam to get certified. Be sure to complete the requirements needed by the State Nurse Aide Registry and/or State Licensing Board and review well for the exam.

Required Skills and Qualities

  • Compassionate and empathetic towards a patient
  • Strong and able-bodied to attend to patient’s physical needs
  • Good communication skills to communicate with patients and other medical personnel
  • Should be patient and observant to patient’s concerns and needs
  • A team player

How to Become a Nurse

Learn How to Become a Registered Nurse to Have a Career in Nursing

The healthcare industry in the US is growing rapidly, creating an urgent demand for health professionals. At present, registered nurses (RNs) are high in demand because of the advancement of new technology, retiring current nurses, aging population, etc. When considering these issues together with the fulfilment that comes with helping out other people, the plus side of being a nurse has never been better. This article can help aspirants learn how to become a Registered Nurse, know the essential skills to succeed, and understand what it is like to be a nurse.


Career Basics of Registered Nurses

More than 2.7 million registered nurses are currently employed in the US, as per Bureau of Labor Statistics, and about 60% of them work in hospitals. There are also RNs in home health care centers, clinics, long-term acute-care facilities, schools, military, rehabilitation centers, governmental organizations, and private companies. The demand for RNs is expected to keep on growing fast.

The responsibilities of registered nurses vary depending on where they are employed, but often include assisting doctors in medical procedures, taking care of patients, heading public health education campaigns, and providing assistance to family members. Nurses could have medical specialization like emergency care, pediatric, surgical, neonatal, or geriatric.

Registered nurses have shifting schedules around the clock, which could be permanent or rotating Emergency hours and overtime can also vary. Aside from passing the NCLEX-RN, they need to complete continuing education to retain licensure. For people with associate degree or nursing diploma, going back to school to obtain a bachelor or master’s degree would allow them shift to health care administration or advanced nursing practices.

Steps to Become a Registered Nurse 

  1. Accomplish an accredited nursing program

To become a registered nurse, aspirants should complete an accredited course. The options available include bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or nursing diplomas.

Normally, an associate degree in nursing would take two years to accomplish, but accelerated programs could cut this timeframe. For a bachelor’s degree, it would take two years for students in an associate-to-bachelor’s course, or full-time study of four years. There is also an expedited option to enroll in a school that has a “second degree” course for people who already has a bachelor’s degree in another field. They may also opt to accomplish a bachelor’s course of four years at the onset of their education so they can move into advanced nursing, teaching, nursing consulting, research roles, or administration.

Along with their nursing coursework, a bachelor’s degree program would require students to accomplish general education lessons. A lot of the same subjects being discussed in the associate level are also taught in a bachelor’s degree, but a four-year course would offer a more thorough set of skills and knowledge. Many employers require newly-hired registered nurses to have a bachelor’s degree as the field of nursing continues to be more competitive.

  1. Pass the NCLEX-RN Exams

Nursing courses must be beneficial for students to do well and pass the NCLEX-RN test. To qualify for the examination, aspirants must sign up with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing after their graduation. When it is time to register for the exams, aspirants will get a notification for an Authorization to Test.

On average, the computerized examination has 119 questions and should be finished within six hours. Around 70 to 75% is the NCLEX-RN national average passing rate. Those who fail the exams should wait a minimum of 45 days before re-taking the test.

  1. Acquire a State License

All US states and territories, including District of Columbia, require registered nurses in employment to hold proper licensure. Regulations are different according to state, so to know if there are additional requirements, students can get in touch with their nursing state board.

  1. Be Employed as a Registered Nurse

As mentioned, RNs are high in demand, so fresh graduates from nursing courses often have several options on where to work. Aspiring RNs must keep in mind that a big part of being a registered nurse is acquired through actual experience.

  1. Take Up Additional Education or Training

Registered nurses can take up a master’s degree if they want to be part of advanced nursing practice and have specialized knowledge and skills. Upon finishing this education, they could apply for duties as certified registered nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurse specialists.

For those who would like to go further, they may opt to enroll in a doctorate course. PhD or DNP courses are appealing to people who aspire to be university professors or scientific researchers in the field of nursing sciences. Registered nurses can also pursue further certifications in fields like nursing management, acute care, or critical care.


Highly successful RNs have a wide range of administrative and medical skills. Since nurses are often assigned in emergency cases that require quick decisions, critical thinking is essential. Communication also has an important part when creating the right diagnosis and passing on treatment plans to other healthcare workers. Being careful can mean either life for death. For instance, failing to hear lung sounds with a stethoscope or on the record of the patient might mean giving an improper dose of medication.


Apart from passing the NCLEX-RN test, there are several other certifications RNs could hold. Many certification courses are offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, including:

  • Ambulatory Care Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Cardiac-Vascular Nursing
  • Neonatal Pediatric Transport
  • Gerontological Nursing
  • Nurse Executive
  • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • Advanced Public Health Nursing
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Most certifications should be renewed after a certain time, normally every few years, depending on the organization and certification.

Technology and Tools

There is a wide range of technologies and tools available to registered nurses throughout their work. Some of the most common are:

  • Stethoscope
  • Thermometer
  • Lancets and syringes
  • Forceps
  • Catheters
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Medical suction equipment
  • Automated IV pumps
  • Hemostats
  • Defibrillator

Job Growth

There is a growing need for registered nurses, with a 19% increase between 2012 and 2022. The bigger demand for RNs would come from long-term care and outpatient centers.

How to Become a Phlebotomist

How to Become a Phlebotomist?

Who are Phlebotomists?

A phlebotomist is a healthcare personnel who is trained to extract blood, label it and transport collected blood samples for testing, blood donation or research purposes. They are usually under the supervision of a clinical laboratory scientist.


Requirements on How to Become a Phlebotomist

  1. High School Graduate

Before enrolling in a phlebotomy program, an aspiring phlebotomist must have finished high school with good GED particularly in biology and chemistry.

  1. Immunization

Since a phlebotomist deals with blood samples, it is advisable that a trainee has updated his or her immunization.

  1. Proper training and education

The most important way on how to become a phlebotomist is to get a proper academic and practical training. There are many accredited colleges and vocational schools that offer Phlebotomy programs and degrees. Depending on where the training and education for phlebotomy is taken, it can take least four months to two years to complete.

There are different levels of education for phlebotomy technicians. Aspiring phlebotomist can either get a Phlebotomy Certificate or an Associate Degree. To get a Phlebotomy certificate, a student takes classes on terminology, basic anatomy, procedures and technique and equipment usage. The trainee will also study practical methods in obtaining blood. This may take up to four to eight months to complete.

An Associate Degree will include the same classes but will also have more in-depth information as well as general education and anatomy and physiology. These take up to two years to complete.

The program contain subjects such as Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Medical Terminology, CPR, and Health Care Law. Students will also learn how to collect, label, prepare and properly transport blood samples.

While employed, you can refresh or update your knowledge on phlebotomy practice by attending Continuing Education programs that may last 5-7 hours a year.

  1. Get certification and license

Getting certified means an individual has completed the knowledge and skill set needed for the profession. What the phlebotomist needs to do are to take the required amount of practical work and pass a state-sanctioned exam. They all vary from certifying agency to another. The following bodies offer phlebotomy certification:

  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Society for Phlebotomy Technician (ASPT)
  • National Phlebotomy Association (NPA)

A certified phlebotomist can either be limited phlebotomist who’s allowed to do blood collection using skin puncture only, a Phlebotomy Technician I who is certified to do skin puncture and venipuncture or a

Phlebotomy Technician II who can do skin puncture, venipuncture and arterial puncture. Each category must meet different classroom and practical training.

After being certified and passing the requirements, it is not necessary to get a license. However, some employers and in some states, they require a license to practice the profession. It further confirms your capacity to perform what is needed as a phlebotomist legally and provide opportunities for increase in position and salary.

  1. Find employment and have good interpersonal qualities

Collecting blood can be done in a medical facility, research center, and licensed blood donation center or even in areas where patients are unable to go to a medical facility. A professional who goes to nursing homes or residence to collect blood and transport it back to a clinic for testing is a mobile phlebotomist.

Wherever a phlebotomist works, he must remember to have focus in whatever he does specially during shifts when there are quite a number of patients to collect blood from. Losing patience and focus can cause serious issues like wrong amount of blood collected, mislabelling, confrontations with uncooperative patients, etc. It is also important to have communication skills especially to younger and older patients.

A phlebotomist should be able to get the attention of a patient and explain correctly and properly what he or she needs to do to avoid issues before, during or after the procedure.

How to Become an Xray Tech

Becoming an X-Ray Technician

Remember your last visit to the radiography room for a chest x-ray? You might not have paid too much attention to that person in a scrub suit assisting you during the process. As it turns out, that person isn’t any ordinary guy tasked to position you in front of the machine. X-ray technicians — or radiologic technologists, as they are less-frequently called — are licensed professionals who specialize in the process of taking images of different body parts, for the radiologists’ later analysis. Without them, it would be extremely difficult to capture the correct body image that allows doctors to diagnose certain diseases.


There are certain aspects of an x-ray technician’s job that are not too different from that of a nurse. Techs need to stay on their feet for long periods, measuring and determining minimum effective radiation while positioning the patient at the correct angle and height. This can extend to turning and lifting patients who have limited mobility. Apart from this, medical x-ray technicians need to thoroughly understand and be able to explain the procedures to patients.

Apart from working in hospitals, x-ray techs may also be sent out to other clinics or to patients’ homes. In some cases, they will need to work with sophisticated equipment in vans. Regulations need to be followed closely in order to prevent unnecessary and dangerous exposure to the machines’ radiation. Precautions include equipment such as gloves and aprons, as well as radiation-measuring badges.

How to become an X-ray tech

There are five steps to becoming a professional x-ray technician:

  1. Postsecondary programs. In the United States, those wanting to enter this profession will need to complete a training program that is accredited by the JRCERT — the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. There are three levels where x-ray tech programs are commonly available: the bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, or certificate level. The most common among radiologic technologists is the associate’s degree. Coursework across all levels is usually comprised of classroom and lab lessons. Subjects usually covered range from anatomy and medical terminologies to proper patient position and radiation protection. At this point, it is best to maximize any hands-on experience you can get including externships that may be part of your program.
  1. After completing the program for the x-ray technician, graduates may be certified by the ARRT — the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Those successful will be awarded the Registered Technologist or RT credential. This is often optional, though many employers only hire certified technicians. Also, there are states that will require certification as a prerequisite for licensure. The certification is usually composed of a written exam, which contains 220 multiple choice questions (answerable in 4 hours). Remember that in order to maintain certification, you will either be required to complete twenty-four continuing education credits or a biennial recertification. This will ensure that you are updated on the current state of radiological technology.
  1. Obtain licensure. Aside from certification, a majority of states will require the x-ray tech to be licensed first before applying for employment. The requirements will vary by state, and the licensure periods also vary anywhere from 1 to 4 years. There are also states that provide other alternatives, such as state-specific exams or those given by the American Registry of Clinical Radiography Technologists. However, all states requiring licensure accept exams given by the ARRT as a standard.
  1. Get employed. The most common work for a licensed technician consists of a 40-hour week in facilities like hospitals, doctors’ offices, rehabilitation centers, or imaging centers. There are also those who work for an agency, which can send the tech to different facilities in turn.
  1. Consider advancement. Those experienced enough may in turn obtain additional ARRT certification to become a radiologist assistant. They can also choose to specialize in a specific type of diagnostic equipment, such as MRI machines or CT scanners. There are those who opt for career advancement by teaching at a community college, or by being promoted to department director. There are also those who opt to become a sales representative for a manufacturer of radiologic equipment. This proves that the job still offers a lot of versatility and advancement options. Remember to always consider getting an additional degree for career advancement — for example, there are some facilities that require a Master’s degree in Health Care Administration for one to be promoted to the level of director.

An x-ray technician is a vital part of the overall health care system, hence the many qualifications needed to ensure the job is performed to optimum performance.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

How to Become a Medical Assistant?

A medical assistant is the one who aids the physician in doing healthcare tasks. He or she commonly works in an outpatient office such as the clinic. The jobs and responsibilities of a medical assistant usually include:

  • Insurance coding and filing
  • Answering telephone calls from patients, medical representatives and pharmacist
  • Arranging and scheduling appointments
  • Using a computer for tracking records
  • Using computer applications
  • Welcoming and guiding patients
  • Handling bills and simple bookkeeping.
  • Updating and recording patient’s medical history.
  • Arranging and preparing specimens.
  • Conducting a simple physical examination, such as auscultation and taking electrocardiogram.
  • Preparing the patient for physical examination

In addition to these, it is also the medical assistant’s obligation to make the patient feel comfortable before meeting the physician, especially the kids, who are the most afraid of doctors.

Characteristics of a Medical Assistant


Medical assistant is the one being trusted by the physicians. It is important that he tells the truth all the time, especially after committing a mistake. This is a crucial characteristic of a medical assistant because a single mistake can put a patient’s life at risk.


Other than the nurse, a medical assistant is the one who is much closer to the patient. It is important to make the patient feel at ease before meeting the physician. To make this possible, a medical assistant must be empathic.


Being a healthcare practitioner is a sensitive profession. That is why it is important to do every task as efficiently as possible. A single mistake can cause a big trouble. Aside from this, efficiency also makes a person respectable inside a workplace.

Team Player

A medical assistant will be working along with other health practitioners. Being a team player is a great help to make things much easier.


Pressure is one of the most inevitable things that a medical assistant will encounter inside a working place. He or she must be able to think fast in an intense situation.

He or she must also be capable of keeping up with the latest medical trends and the changes in medical procedures.


Nobody likes a lazy worker in a health facility. As a medical assistant, there are always a lot of duties and responsibilities to do.

Ways on How to Become a Medical Assistant

Assess yourself

Based on the characteristics and responsibilities of a medical assistant, you can ask and assess yourself if you have what it takes to become a medical assistant.

Be educated

There are two ways to become educated. First, you can look for a physician who can train you to become a medical assistant. There are some hiring physicians who hire a medical assistant based on on-site experiences. Second, get a GED or a high school diploma. Many physicians nowadays are looking for medical assistants who have had a formal training.

Be certified

It is recommended to be certified because it improves your credibility. This is also an effective means of obtaining an edge over the other aspiring medical assistants who are competing for the job.

Create your resume

The resume is the opportunity to make a great first impression to the hiring physicians. The resume should provide necessary information about yourself, and the skills that you have, in relation to your desired job.

Ace the interview

Make a research on the possible questions that your potential employer may ask you during the interview, and answer it. Think of possible weak spots that can be questioned during the interview, and prepare to answer it with confidence.

Salary of a Medical Practitioner in the United States

According to the, a medical assistant earns $10-$17 per hour on average. The annual rate ranges from $20,000 to $42,000.