Career Focus: Medical Assisting and Respiratory Therapy

This week is Medical Assistants Recognition Week. What does a medical assistant do? Medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, and billing and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examinations and drawing blood. Medical assistants generally earn a certificate in medical assisting which takes 1-2 years to complete. Visit the medical assistants career page to learn more about this great health care career.

This week also marks Respiratory Care Week, and it’s also a week to celebrate the professionals who care for patient’s respiratory system. What careers are available in respiratory care?

Respiratory therapists work under a physician’s supervision to take care of patients with lung problems. The patients might have chronic asthma or have suffered a heart attack, stroke or other disease or illness. Respiratory therapists begin their careers by completing an associate’s degree, but a bachelor’s or master’s degree may lead to better career opportunities. The capstone requirement of many programs is clinical experience, which allows students to practice respiratory therapy techniques under the supervision of licensed therapists.

Respiratory therapy technicians assist respiratory therapists with monitoring patients and performing diagnostic tests. Completion of an associate’s degree program is the generally the only education needed for this career.