Medical Office Assistants provide essential support to doctors, nurses, and practitioners by conducting a variety of clinical and clerical responsibilities, with a focus on providing exceptional patient care and ensuring the smooth operation of the medical office.
As integral members of the health care professional team, there is currently a rising demand for Medical Office Assistants (MOAs) in Canada. This, coupled with the promise of a purposeful career path, means many begin their journeys to becoming Medical Office Assistants each year. This journey is shaped largely by earning your College Diploma because to be successful in the role, a broad range of skills, experience, and competence is necessary.
This article explores the role MOAs play in the day-to-day running of a health care setting, the projected job outlook for this career path, and how to choose the best Medical Office Assistant program for you.
Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Medical Office Assistant
The role of a Medical Office Assistant combines both direct and indirect patient care responsibilities. Skilled Medical Office Assistants perform these duties in a professional and respectful manner, always remembering that a primary responsibility is to create a positive atmosphere for those who are feeling unwell. The main responsibilities include:
- Patient Care
- Administrative Duties & Correspondence
- Patient Assessment
- Office Management
To learn more about the everyday responsibilities of a Medical Office Assistant, read our article, Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Medical Office Assistant.
Skills Required to Become a Medical Office Assistant
In order to carry out the varied responsibilities of a Medical Office Assistant successfully, an individual must possess a certain skillset. This skillset can be broken up into four main categories:
- Administrative Skills: Skilled knowledge of general office skills such as telephone etiquette, billing and bookkeeping, Microsoft, and communication, in addition to medical administration skills are necessary.
- Clinical Skills: Medical Office Assistants require clinical skills for the times they are asked to perform simple medical procedures and patient care under the supervision or direction of doctors.
- Customer Service Skills: Medical Office Assistants are at the front line of all medical settings, communicating directly with patients on a constant basis, and this requires strong interpersonal skills.
- CPR & First Aid Skills: Basic first aid and CPR training can prove life-saving in certain medical emergencies and these skills are necessary for all Medical Office Assistants to master. When choosing an MOA Diploma, make sure it offers CPR and First Aid Training!
How Much Does a Medical Office Assistant Make?
The salary range for Medical Office Assistants can vary substantially. It can depend on a number of factors such as the medical setting you work in, the level of experience you have, whether you have post-secondary education or not, and what province you live in.
Job Outlook for Medical Office Assistants in Canada
Rising demand across Western Canada is a huge motivator for many considering this career path. For Medical Office Assistants, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings are expected to total 30,000. Add to that the number of existing positions that will need to be filled due to staff turnover or retirement and Medical Office Assistants can expect a good employment outlook over the next 10+ years.
Where Can You Work as a Medical Office Assistant?
Medical Office Assistant graduates are qualified to work in a variety of medical settings, including private practices, dental clinics, long-term care facilities, veterinary clinics, alternative health clinics, and hospitals (usually known in hospitals as a Unit Clerk). They can also hold a number of different positions:
- Medical Receptionist
- Medical Secretary
- Medical Office Assistant
- Clinic Coordinator/Manager
- Hospital Unit Clerk
- Patient Coordinator
- Medical Billing Clerk
- Medical Transcriptionist
- And more
What is a Unit Clerk?
Have you ever wondered what the difference between a Medical Office Assistant and a Unit Clerk is?
There is a lot of overlap between the work of a Medical Office Assistant and a Unit Clerk. Both carry out a range of tasks that keep a medical facility operating effectively. The main difference between a Medical Office Assistant and a Unit Clerk lies in the fact that MOAs may help with certain clinical procedures, like measuring vital signs, while Unit Clerks tend to focus on clerical tasks only.
Additionally, Unit Clerks typically work in hospitals, hospices, and long-term care facilities, while Medical Office Assistants are more commonly employed in outpatient settings, such as doctors’ offices, medical labs, and alternative health clinics.
Ultimately, the two jobs are more alike than not, and often, the skills and responsibilities overlap in both positions and in all medical settings.
Is Medical Office Administration a Good Career?
For many reasons, Medical Office Administration is considered a good career choice. Earning your Medical Office Assistant Diploma is a great way to break out of a job cycle and start on a solid career path.
If you’ve been dreaming of a career in the health care field but don’t want to spend years earning a degree, gaining your Medical Office Assistant Diploma is a great way to become a trusted health care professional quickly. The wide range of medical positions Medical Office Assistants can hold also allows for the opportunity to choose employment with scheduling that best suits different lifestyle choices.
For a more detailed analysis on why so many people choose Medical Office Administration as their desired career path, check out our article, 5 Reasons to Become a Medical Office Assistant.
How to Choose a Medical Office Assistant Program
The first step in becoming a Medical Office Assistant is to complete a post-secondary program.
Look for a program that provides you with the medical and technical knowledge, and medical administration skills that are required for you to succeed in the health care field. Additionally, choose a college that offers professional Career Services and an accelerated program so that you can begin your career as soon as possible.
Sundance College offers a combined Medical Office Administrator – Unit Clerk Diploma program that provides both a comprehensive classroom education and a workplace practicum. Practicums are designed to prepare students to enter the workforce as confident professionals with on-the-job experience. The completion of a practicum is sure to set you apart from other candidates in the job market. You can take the program online from anywhere in Canada or in person at select campuses.
Start Your Medical Office Assistant Career with Sundance College
At Sundance College, we are dedicated to our students’ success. We work together towards one common goal – supporting our students on their journey to a new career and a brighter future.
At Sundance College, our Medical Office Administrator – Unit Clerk program can be completed in less than a year and students enjoy instructor-led classes which prepare them for future success.
To learn more, visit our website or contact us today and start building a career you’ll love with Sundance College.