Working in pediatrics gives you a chance to get the cute gushy feelings you get around babies every day. Working in pediatrics involves the care of infants, children, and teens, but you don’t have to be a pediatrician to work.
You can work as a medical assistant in pediatrics, as most pediatric clinics require this. You have to know if there are specific qualifications and experience you need before applying for specific jobs as they differ.
While it sounds overwhelming, fret not! We’ve had a look at most of these aspects, summarized what we’ve found, and gladly share it with you so you can determine if a pediatrics job is for you.
A pediatric medical assistant must be able to communicate with patients, pay attention to even the smallest detail and follow specific directions. The job can be either front-office or back-office.
The front-office pediatric medical assistant is often the first person patients and parents or guardians come in contact with when visiting the pediatrician.
The assistant receives the patients and ensures that all the personal information which the pediatrician will need is on the patient’s card or the computer system.
On request by the pediatrician, the assistant schedules laboratory tests and appointments, as well as follow-up appointments. The assistant also collects and processes laboratory reports and gets them ready for the pediatrician.
More administrative duties include answering phone calls, collecting co-payments, and other forms of payment. In short, the assistant is responsible for most of the paperwork of the practice.
A back-office pediatric medical assistant works with the patients and assists the pediatrician. The assistant takes the patient’s vitals like blood pressure, weight, length, and height, and if necessary, asks for a urine sample.
The next responsibility is to escort the patient into an examination room where the details as received from the front office are checked, and the assistant completes the brief medical history.
To help the doctor, the assistant asks about the reason for the visit and the symptoms. She then fills it in on the patient’s card or saves it on the computer system for the pediatrician to use.
If the doctor prescribes specific vaccinations, the assistant gives it to the patient and records the details on the patient’s vaccination record. Before the next patient is sent in, the assistant cleans, disinfects, and prepares the rooms for the next patient.
Generally, pediatric medical assistants work with pediatricians. Specialists such as pediatric allergists, cardiologists, and urologists also have pediatric medical assistants.
Pediatric medical assistants who work with specialists might be required to perform area-specific duties.
There are many factors taken into consideration when a new pediatric medical assistant’s salary is discussed. The assistant’s skill-level and the extent of what will be expected from the assistant are some of the determining factors.
Medical assistants with only clerical duties make, on average, less than those who work with the patients in front or back-office situations. The rule of thumb is that the more responsibilities a medical assistant has, the greater the salary.
On average, pediatric medical assistants earn between $29,000 – $36,000 per year. Every employer determines the salary upon hire.
Experience also plays a role when determining the salary. The following list indicates what experience’s effect might be on the salary for the same job.
- Less than 1 year: $29,000
- 1-4 years $30,000
- 5-9 years: $32,000
- 10-19 years: $34,000
- 20-plus years: $36,000
Location can also play a part in the determination of a salary. Areas with a great demand for pediatric medical assistants might pay more than other areas.
Pediatric medical assistants must become certified and licensed to practice as a medical assistant. To get certified, an accredited medical training program has to be completed and the state licensing examination is passed.
The license expires after a time set by the state. To maintain the license the medical assistant has to participate continuously in applicable courses.
If you have an innate desire to help children then this particular healthcare field could be for you.