What to Know if You Want to Become a Medical Assistant in 2020 (Part II)

If you are a compassionate person looking for a career where you have the opportunity to help others, becoming a medical assistant is a good career choice in 2020.

In case you missed Part I of the Medical Assistant series, let’s recap the definition of a medical assistant, as well as the education requirements, before we discuss the job outlook for this field in 2020.

man and woman in scrubs looking at tablet while standing in hallway

Let’s Recap: What is a Medical Assistant?

A medical assistant helps with administrative and clinical tasks in healthcare settings. They may assist in a medical office, hospital, or other healthcare business. The job duties of a medical assistant may include taking patients’ histories and vitals, assisting with examinations, and handling medical records. In some cases, medical assistants will administer medication, remove sutures, and change dressings. The responsibilities vary per facility and per state law.  

Let’s Recap: What are the Education Requirements?

Depending on your location, you can become a medical assistant through on-the-job training or by getting certified. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) administers a certification exam, and certified medical assistants must be recertified every 60 months. This can be done by continuing education or by exam. In 2018, sixty percent of candidates passed the AAMA exam.

Now let’s look at the employment projections for 2020, as well as some of the challenges you might face if you choose to become a medical assistant in 2020.

Employment Projections in 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for medical assistants is excellent. In the next decade, the number of positions is predicted to increase by 23 percent. This is because of the growing elderly population and increased demand for preventive medical care. The average wage of medical assistants was $33,610 in 2018.

Challenges for Medical Assisting in 2020

The biggest challenge in the field of medical assisting is the difficult patient. This can cause the very passionate and caring medical assistant to suffer burnout and leave the profession. Burnout is common in many medical professions, including among physicians and nurses, and there’s no denying that this is a difficult part of any medical profession.

On the flip side, you get to help people when they are at their most vulnerable. The rewards of working in the medical profession are often as wonderful as the challenges are difficult. A good candidate for the career of medical assistant can handle the occasional grumpy patient in return for all the positive impact he or she has on other patients and members of the medical community.

Becoming a medical assistant requires a minimal education investment in return for a secure career that is increasing in demand. Many positions for medical assistants include full benefits such as healthcare, matching retirement plans, and paid vacation. It is a good way to enter the medical field with a stable position and room for advancement.

For more informative healthcare articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design blog.

If you are interested in working from home in the field of healthcare, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!),” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

woman getting shot at mobile flu clinic

How to Start a New Career as a Medical Assistant (Part I)

one man and three women wearing blue scrubs standing in a line with arms crossed and smiling

Medical assisting is a career that is in high demand. Physicians are busier than ever, and as a result, they require clear, concise, and accurate medical documentation for each patient, that allows them to maintain their productivity. In order to meet these demands, more physician practices and hospitals are hiring medical assistants. If you’ve ever been interested in becoming a medical assistant, there’s never been a better time to make the transition to a career in medical assisting. The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that while jobs are already plentiful in this field, they will grow by 23% by 2028, which is much greater growth than average. This projection is largely due to the increasing need for preventative medical care among baby boomers. 

What Do Medical Assistants Do? 

Medical assistants perform a wide variety of tasks to assist physicians, so that they can spend more time dealing with issues that concern patients. Medical assistants schedule patient appointments, and measure and record patient vital signs to help physicians during patient exams. Medical assistants may even give injections and medications under the direction of an overseeing physician. As a medical assistant, you can even work remotely, completing clinical paperwork and insurance forms to bill for physician services.

If you work within a particular specialty, such as orthopedics for example, you might perform more specialized tasks that pertain to bone conditions. Unlike a physician’s assistant, a medical assistant would not examine the patient or make treatment decisions about the patient.

How Do You Become a Medical Assistant? 

Many hospitals and medical clinics will hire medical assistants with simply a high school diploma and provide them with on-the-job training. There are also diploma-based certificates and degree options available that can usually be completed within anywhere from 8-18 months. This track is becoming slightly more popular as medical assisting jobs become more competitive, and any additional training will give you a competitive edge. The shift from paper to electronic records also increases the demand for skilled medical assistants. If you’d like to learn more about the content of the electronic medical record from the standpoint of the documentation that the patient sees when they request a copy of their medical record, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Read Your Own Medical Record (Learn What is in YOUR Medical Files!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

If you’re interested in starting your own business, working from home, as a medical assistant, you will need to know how to market yourself in order to gain new clients. Check out this article entitled, “5 Ways to Market Yourself as a Virtual Medical Assistant,” on the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

If you are not interested in medical assisting, but you are interested in working from home in other fields in healthcare, such as medical coding, medical transcription, medical writing, healthcare teaching, nursing (yes, nursing!) or medical claims processing, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

For more informative healthcare articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog

Welcome to Star Trek: 10 New Medical Devices of the Future

screenless displays

Ever watch the newest Sci-Fi episodes (or the older ones) and wonder why your own medical treatment couldn’t be that easy? Here are a few newer medical devices that will bring the futuristic medical treatments straight to your door.

1. The Bionic Eye

Recently in development, but not perfect, is the 3D printing of light receptors onto a glass eye. The silver, which they use as ink, stays where it is put on the rounded glass and produces electric feedback. It is moving on to the next stage of development and designed to increase eye comfort for patients.

2. 3D Print Sockets for Artificial Limbs

girl with curly blonde hair wearing red hoodie against red background holding prosthetic hands and arms together

In the United States, it is not difficult to have a socket fitted to an amputated limb by a person trained in prosthesis in any major city. With the help of cell phone scanning and a 3D printer, patients who live in other countries are receiving low-cost sockets for their amputated limbs. 

3. Contact Lenses For Blood Glucose

smart contact lenses

As the saying goes, “Eyes are the windows to the soul.” They can tell your doctor a thing or two if you are a diabetic. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, these new “smart” contact lenses can detect and transmit your blood glucose level using your own tears.

4. Virtual Dissection Tables

If you are a student who is trying to learn about the human anatomy, watching a cadaver being dissected might be hard to handle. A new device, called a virtual dissection table, might make it easier. The virtual dissection table allows instructors to virtually dissect a human body, identify diseases, and teach surgical procedures without using a cadaver. 

5. Robotic Assistants

From training long-term residents to helping with physical therapy sessions, new medical devices in the form of robotic assistance have been used to move and assist patients with standing or transferring to wheelchairs. A robot is even being developed to draw blood or insert IVs with ultrasound enhanced vein targeting. 

6. Tattoos

Much like the continuous blood glucose sensors, these tattoos are placed on the body to transmit vital signs to medical devices for continuous monitoring. Biometric tattoos can transmit medical information discreetly, allowing for easier communication with physicians. 

7. Sensors in Teeth

You’re on a strict diet. You lie to your physician about how much you ate. With teeth sensors, those days are gone. These teeth sensors can be embedded in your teeth to determine what, how much, and when you ate. These sensors can even track when and how often you smoke. Your actions and intake are recorded and sent to a smart device, allowing your doctor to see real-time data. 

8. Printed Skin

photo of woman with dark skin wearing gold eyeshadow and lipstick looking down while against black background

If you are a burn victim, skin grafts have been made from the cells of burn victims using 3D printing, to give burn victims a better chance to recover without scars and skin graft rejections. The printed skin procedure also reduces the patient’s recovery time and the risk of infections. Printed skin grafts can be as small or as large as needed, without the skin being taken from other areas of the body.  

9. In Silico Clinical Trials

The medical community no longer recruits patients with certain diseases to try different medical treatments. Clinical trials are now taking place on silicon chips. These silicon chips are made to react like an organ, a drug, or a treatment, thereby reducing the need for human trials. 

10. The Medical ‘Tricorder’

young medical professional using clear tablet to study x-ray and other medical data

Still more futuristic than the present, the tricorder from the popular show Star Trek is in development. A contest is in place to see who can pull together the best functioning device that could scan a being and receive medical-grade information- more than just vital signs. 

The future is closer than we imagine, with only developers’ imaginations holding back their ingenuity. Many new medical devices are in development that will aid in our visits with physicians, treatments, and overall learning.  To keep up to date with medical advancements, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

3 Reasons Why You Need to Know What Doctors Add to Your Chart After Every Appointment

male doctor writing on medical chart

Your medical record is a vital document with details and personal information that is updated after every doctor’s appointment or contact with a medical professional.  While the mandatory use of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) by medical professionals allows for quick access by doctors, and nurses to your medical history, including diagnoses, surgeries, and prescriptions, there is also a greater risk to you as a patient if the data included in your medical record is incomplete or incorrect.

You can access your electronic medical record after every doctor’s appointment to see the information that was added by your physician. Accessing your medical record and interpreting it can be challenging for a non-medical professional. So for this reason, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Read Your Own Medical Record (Learn What is in Your Medical Files!)” to help you learn how to access and interpret your medical record for free.

There are three key reasons why reading and understanding your medical record is an important step in maintaining your health and maintaining the health of your loved ones. 

1. Accuracy

During or after your appointment, your physician or healthcare professional updates your medical record with notes, diagnoses, and procedures.  Your prescriptions will also be noted in your chart.  Checking your chart for accuracy and ensuring that there are no errors is critical to making sure you receive the correct care in the event that a healthcare emergency makes you unable to communicate with your healthcare team.

2. Employment Reasons

Many employers now ask for or require you to allow them to access parts of your medical record.  If your employer does require this, your job may be in jeopardy if your medical record is inaccurate or if confidential information is shared when it should not be.  You should check with your employer’s human resources department to find out if any or all your medical record is being accessed. You should also review your medical record on a regular basis.

3. Minor Children Under 18

As a parent or guardian, you have the right to access the healthcare records of your minor children under 18.  Not only should you check for errors or accuracy in these health records, but you should also read the diagnosis notes of the physicians to be sure that you have all of the information that you need to make important medical decisions about the health of your children.

Understanding your health care records is challenging but not impossible.  At Avidity Medical Design Academy, we offer a variety of healthcare courses designed to empower you as a healthcare consumer and future healthcare worker.

 Visit our website today to learn more about how to read and understand your medical record, so that you will know what is in your medical files and how to correct any information that is incorrect or inaccurate as soon as possible.

How to Fill in Gaps in Your Resume When You’re Starting a New Career in Healthcare

woman holding resume

The time has finally come: You’re ready to begin a new career in the healthcare industry. However, if you’ve recently been unemployed, you will have gaps in your resume. There are a lot of legitimate explanations for resume time gaps. Maybe you were taking care of a sick relative, or maybe you went back to school. You could have been laid off, or you could have had your own health-related problems. Potential employers will understand these gaps, but only if you handle them correctly.

Why You Need to Fill in Employment Gaps in Your Resume

Employment gaps in your resume can be detrimental to your job search, especially when you’re interviewing for a new job, so you must be able to explain any time gaps in employment in your resume. Many employers use applicant tracking systems to reduce the number of unqualified applicants. Resume gaps will lower your score on these automated systems, thereby decreasing the chance that your resume will fall into the hands of a human being.

Potential employers will want to know what you were doing while you were away from the workforce, even if you were away for personal or family reasons. This doesn’t mean you have to go into a lot of detail about the circumstances surrounding your unemployment, but you can use these gaps in your resume to highlight important skills you developed during your time off work. Doing this can make you a more attractive applicant, help you interview well, and can also help you be successful on your first day on the job.

Here are some things you can do to fill in the gaps on your resume, get hired, and start your first day on the job.

Different Ways You Can Fill in the Gaps

Never lie on your resume. The number one thing you should not do on your resume is lie. Employers will verify your work history, and if they see that you lied on your resume to fill in the gaps, they are less likely to trust you. This could cost you the job opportunity.

There are better ways to fill in the gaps on your resume, particularly when you’re entering the healthcare field. The key is to demonstrate to potential employers that you used your time away well. Use relevant experiences to boost your resume, such as:

  • Volunteer workDid you do any volunteering while unemployed? The skills you learned can be invaluable in your new career in the healthcare industry. Volunteer work for a healthcare organization is especially relevant.
  • Coursework/CertificationsIf you’re about to switch careers, it’s likely you spent some of your time away taking courses and earning certifications. Emphasize this on your resume.
  • Freelance workIf you spent some of your time off work picking up freelance jobs, explain how the skills you learned while you were freelancing will help you going forward. Feature work you did for clients in the healthcare field, if applicable.
  • Soft skills learnedYou’ve likely picked up skills during your time away from work. Determine what those are and explain how they make you an asset in your new career. For example, if you were taking care of a sick relative, share how that experience will make you a better worker in the healthcare field. If you were dealing with your own health issues, explain that it helped you develop empathy for patients.

Don’t be discouraged by the gaps in your resume. If you fill them in properly and leverage the skills you learned while you were unemployed, you will still be an attractive applicant to potential employers. If you want to learn more tips about entering the healthcare field, check out the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To learn more about the different healthcare careers that you can pursue, especially if you’re interested in working from home, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

To learn more about how to be a professional in healthcare, which is especially important if you get hired for your first job, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Learn Professionalism in Healthcare (with REAL-WORLD Examples!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy, so you can start out on the right foot on your first day on the job.

If you run into any personality conflicts with toxic co-workers on your new job, or you have toxic family members or friends who are stressing you out, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused by TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

For more course offerings, visit the Avidity Medical Design Academy homepage.

3 Mobile Businesses in the Field of Healthcare For 2019 and Beyond!

woman getting shot at mobile flu clinic

The mobile medical business has become more popular in the last few years due to increased ease of getting medical equipment and internet connectivity. Healthcare workers have become more reliant on internet technologies including the electronic administration medication record, or eMAR, for patient treatment and documentation. Mobile apps have added to the physician’s list of tools available to them to diagnose and treat many different diseases.

Medical Transcription

Another mobile business that you might want to consider is medical transcription. Becoming a mobile or remote transcriptionist allows the physician to record their notes verbally and have their nurse or transcriptionist type out the dialog, making full and complete sentences out of a few words. Beginning a career in medical transcription requires learning anatomy and physiology, medical terminology (including words that soundalike but are spelled differently), resources such as a medical dictionary and drug book to look up drug names, and hands-on practice transcribing a variety of medical reports. As you practice transcribing different medical reports, you also learn how to listen and understand physicians with different accents so that you can transcribe the dictation more accurately.

Medical Coding

Medical coding involves reviewing a patient’s medical record and assigning codes to diagnoses and procedures, and in some instances, durable medical equipment. Like medical transcriptionists, medical coders must have a good understanding of medical terminology and anatomy and physiology. Coders must be extremely detail oriented, and must stay up to speed on the different guidelines for coding in the inpatient and outpatient setting. Without proper coding, physicians and hospitals may not be reimbursed correctly for their services. As a mobile or remote medical coder, you can choose to work from home for one or more staffing services for hospitals in different locations throughout the country. You can also choose to travel to different hospitals or doctor’s offices in different locations, working onsite, while being employed for the same staffing firm in your home location.

Mobile Clinics

Mobile clinics are clinics that come to patients in poor communities, who are too busy to visit the clinic, or who are incapacitated and unable to leave their homes due a medical condition. More and more healthcare workers are required by their companies to get the yearly flu shots to help prevent sick time and spread of the flu within the clinic. Mobile units hire certified nurses to work part-time during flu season to administer these shots to employees. Some mobile units could be used for settings where a large number of individuals are at risk, community events, and nursing homes, to allow more at-risk patients to be vaccinated at once.

These are only a few of the mobile opportunities in the area of healthcare. In addition to exploring opportunities in mobile clinic, you might also decide to start your own mobile clinic. Review this article to learn more about how to start a mobile clinic.

You can also do a search online to locate jobs that involve reviewing or deciphering medical documentation. Online nurses can use video calls to assess different medical situations. To learn more about the different healthcare careers that you can pursue, especially if you’re interested in working from home, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

To learn about medical terminology, consider enrolling in our medical terminology course also.

Visit the Avidity Medical Design Academy homepage to learn more about many different subjects related to healthcare that you can use in everyday living.

10 Quick and Easy Things You Can Do To Reduce Stress (and Stay Sane Throughout the Day) :-)

Woman drinking tea

Stress is everywhere and it’s easy to get stressed out these days, especially when you feel like you have a million things to do at once, and you’re pressed for time. So how do you reduce your stress level without taking up your whole day? Creating habits for yourself is important because it sets up a framework of consistency and organization in your life. It also helps you stay grounded and sane throughout the day. So let’s take a look at a few quick and easy things you can do each day to reduce your stress level.

When you’re stressed, it can feel like you have no time to add in healthy habits to reduce your stress level during the day. The good news is that there are some daily habits that can lower your stress in just a few minutes, and you can find time to fit them in. Reducing your stress level can make you feel more productive, and it can prevent serious health issues (in addition to just helping you feel better!). Here are a 10 daily habits that can help you manage your stress level. Choose one or two and commit to the ones you choose for a few weeks before adding in more habits.

  1. Take a Quick Walk. Walking helps clear your mind and helps get your blood and adrenaline flowing. A quick five-minute walk can go a long way, especially when you need to calm down after a particularly stressful situation at work.
  2. Exercise. Research has shown that even a short burst of activity can have important mental and physical benefits. In addition to, or as a substitute for, taking a quick five-minute walk, try a five-minute Pilates workout, or even a few minutes of stretching while you’re sitting at your desk.  
  3. Try Aromatherapy. Essential oils are a great way of reducing stress. Many people also use aromatherapy to help with anxiety and insomnia, and to help maintain their physical, psychological, and emotional health. Lavender, rose, sandlewood, and orange blossom are some great essential oils for aromatherapy to help you relieve stress.
  4. Drink a Quick Cup of Tea. Just stepping away to go make a cup of tea can be a relaxing experience. There are a lot of different stress-relieving teas out there that you can make, too, such as Chamomile, Peppermint, Passion Flower tea, or Green tea. Drinking a cup of tea only takes a few minutes and you’ll be rewarded for it in terms of reducing your stress level. 
  5. Chew Some Gum. Studies have shown that chewing gum actually relieves some stress. The harder and more aggressively you chew, the easier it is to relieve stress.
  6. Recognize Your Stress. When you’re stressed out, acknowledge that you’re stressed out. Accepting and acknowledging stress for what it is, is the first step in dealing with it.
  7. Meditate. A short meditation session to start or end your day might be a great defense against stress. Meditation can lower your stress levels, and it’s easy to do. Besides settling your mind, meditation can help you regulate your breathing, which can also help keep you calm for the rest of the day.
  8. Keep a Journal. Whether you prefer a more traditional journal detailing your experiences and emotions, or you want to try something new like a bullet journal or a sketch diary, the simple act of sitting down to write or draw for a few minutes can refocus your stress and bring some order to a chaotic day.
  9. Keep an adult coloring book. Adult coloring books are a trendy way to relax while indulging your inner child. If journaling feels like too much effort, try spending five minutes with an intricate coloring book and some coloring pencils.
  10. Try Meal Prepping. If you like cooking, try spending a few minutes prepping ingredients for the next day’s meals to help you relax. Prepping your meals beforehand also helps save you time the next morning. Chop fruit for your morning smoothie, dice vegetables for tonight’s dinner, or pre-pack your lunch so you can leave for work earlier the next morning.

There are many things that you can do to deal with your stress. Some things take more time than others, so these are just a few quick things you can do, that take only a few minutes each day, to manage your stress. The key is to make a few of these habits part of your daily routine to manage your stress levels more effectively throughout the day.

If you’re interested in managing stress from the perspective of the people that are in your life, some who may be causing you stress, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused By TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy. Click here for more information on this course.

Plate of healthy food

5 Health Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a New Diet

Plate of healthy food

You’ve heard about this great new diet, and it’s promising real results. You hope this diet will work, after having tried so many others before it, and you’re thinking about trying it out, just to see what it’s all about. Before you try out your new diet, one that may or may not work, ask yourself these 5 important questions to make sure that the diet is safe, and to make sure it’s the right diet for you.

1. Does your new diet eliminate certain food groups?

When you start to review the details of your new diet, ask yourself this question: Does the diet require you to eliminate a specific food group, or does it require you to add more of a certain food group? The majority of diets have you eliminating carbs and sugar. At first, this seems like a great solution and you might see quick results when you eliminate breads, sweets, cereals, etc. The problem is that, even after just one month, your body is going to start to react to this change and approach it’s nutrition like it’s in starvation mode. It’s going to take its store of sugars from your muscles and your liver and then it’s going to tell your digestive system to hold as much sugar as possible because you are depriving your body of this component. Now you will start to gain weight as your body starts making more fat. Instead, look for a diet that includes a well-rounded mix of the vital nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy.

2. Does your new diet promise that you only need to make a temporary change?

Does your new diet give you a way to change your eating plan for a short time, and then promises that you can return to your normal eating pattern after you lose the weight? You’ll have short-term “success” for about 6-8 weeks, and then when you go back to your normal way of eating, you will most likely gain all of the weight back, and possibly gain additional weight, as your body tries to adjust to the rapid changes. Instead, look for a diet that teaches you how to eat for life with healthy results. Consider a diet that includes more fruits and vegetables. To learn more about this type of diet, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!),

3. Is it one size fits all?

Most plans are designed for a woman approximately 5’4″ who does moderate exercise. If you don’t fall into this category (i.e., if you are taller or shorter, or if you do more or less exercise, or if you are a man, etc.), you may not achieve the results you want. Instead, look for a diet that teaches you how to modify the plan to fit your specific characteristics.

4. Can I dine out?

Does your new diet allow you to eat out and still make good food choices that will fit into the diet? If not, you have 2 options: a) don’t eat out anymore; or b) go off the diet each time you are going out to lunch or dinner. Neither answer is going to help you stay on the diet long term. Instead, look for a diet that teaches you the skills to choose foods on the menu that fit into your new diet permanently.

5. Do you have to buy special foods or special drinks to stay on the diet?

It may be easy to choose a diet that gives you exactly what you need to eat in the exact portions. You may get a shake that has everything you need to replace a meal, or you may get snacks and supplements to help you stay on the diet. Unless you are prepared to purchase these items for the rest of your life, you increase the chances of failing on your new diet and regaining the weight, when you try to go back to foods that you can buy on your own. Instead, look for a diet that uses a meal plan that you can shop for in your local supermarket.

Before you begin a new diet, ask your doctor for advice on choosing the right diet, especially if you have one or more medical conditions that may need to be closely monitored, or that may be affected by starting a new diet, especially a diet that requires you to eliminate or add certain food groups. By checking with your doctor first, you can develop a comfortable long-term eating plan that balances your unique medical and nutritional needs with a plan for long-term success in terms of taking the weight off and keeping it off. 

For more informative articles on many different healthcare subjects, visit the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

To take an online healthcare course, such as “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!),” visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.