Clinical Office Assistants play a supporting role in performing administrative and clinical services in various health care settings. Their administrative responsibilities include attending telephone calls, responding to emails, registering patients, scheduling appointments, processing medical bills, recording patients’ medical history, assisting patients for insurance claims and other tasks native to the front office.
These professionals are also engaged in various clinical services. For instance, they take a patient’s weight, blood pressure and other vital signs. They also collect fluid samples and tissue specimens for laboratory testing. In some cases, they may assist health care providers, such as doctors, nurses and other medical staff in providing medical care to patients.
Clinical Office Assistants work in a variety of health care settings such as hospitals, clinics, and offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors as well as other health practitioners. They often work full-time.
To become a Clinical Office Assistant, the aspiring candidates need to complete a 2-year associate degree program. However, candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent can join the profession and learn through on-the-job training.
The course works include medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, coding and billing, laboratory procedures, medical office software applications etc. Besides, the students learn administrative tasks, such as typing and record keeping.
Though certification is not required to become a Clinical Office Assistant, many employers in the USA prefer certified job aspirants. The candidates can obtain certification from one of many professional associations, including the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
Clinical Office Assistants possess a wide range of knowledge in medical terminology, information technology, and other skills such as high attention to detail, empathy towards patient and their family members, ability to work under pressure and emergency situation, pleasant communication and interpersonal skills, proficiency in computer operations etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Clinical Office Assistant remains excellent across the USA. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise by 29% during 2012-2022, faster than the average for all occupations. The annual average salary of a Clinical Office Assistant was $29,370 in May 2012.