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Demand Growing for Medical Assistants in Elder Care

Demand Growing for Medical Assistants in Elder Care

Medical assistant taking patient’s blood pressure in an assisted living center

If you enjoy working with older adults, a career in medical assisting might be a good fit for you. While medical assistants can work in all kinds of healthcare settings, they’re particularly in demand in geriatrics. That’s because the number of senior citizens is on the rise, creating more need for home care and senior living services. Northwestern College, located in Oak Lawn, Illinois, and serving the greater Chicago area, trains medical assistants. Here, we offer information about medical assistant programs and job opportunities in elder care.

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

A medical assistant is a healthcare professional with training in both clinical and administrative skills. They’re a crucial part of a medical team, working with doctors, nurses, and office staff to coordinate patient care. Medical assistant duties include:

  • Recording patient information
  • Performing laboratory tests and taking blood samples
  • Providing patient education
  • Administering medications
  • Changing wound dressings
  • Maintaining electronic medical records
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Completing insurance forms
  • Billing and bookkeeping

In addition to working in elder care, you’ll find medical assistants in hospitals, doctor’s offices, surgery centers, and clinics.

Opportunities in Senior Care

The aging Baby Boomer generation means older adults are a growing segment of the population in the United States. Urban Institute reports that the U.S. population is aging, with the number of Americans over the age of 65 projected to more than double in the next 40 years. As the number of older adults increases, there will be increasing demand across the medical system for senior care services, including nursing home facilities and assisted living facilities. At the same time, more healthcare professionals reaching retirement age will open up more career opportunities for younger workers.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a strong outlook for the medical assisting job market. Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 16% over the decade, equaling over 120,000 annual job openings, on average.

Medical Assisting Certificate Program

Northwestern College offers a Medical Assisting Certificate Program to prepare students for this versatile healthcare career. Our 48-credit program combines a mix of classroom instruction, laboratory training, and hands-on experience in an externship setting. Coursework will cover critical healthcare concepts, including:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Clinical assisting
  • Medical records, billing, and coding
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmacology

Students will graduate prepared for entry-level medical assistant jobs in a variety of medical settings. Most students can complete this certificate program in four academic quarters. Graduates are eligible to take the American Medical Technologists Registered Medical Assistant exam. This certification signals to employers that an applicant has the required education and training to work in a medical assisting role.

Student Support at Northwestern College

The faculty and staff at Northwestern College are dedicated to helping each student succeed and find fulfilling career paths. We offer personalized support for students in the Medical Assisting Certificate Program, including advising services, peer tutoring, and a library and resource center.

Both current students and alumni can take advantage of Northwestern College’s career services department, which links students to job boards, career fairs, and other resources. Students can get help with interview preparation and guidance on resume writing. The career services website is updated weekly with new job listings and information.

Learn More About Career Education at Northwestern College

Are you ready to take the first step toward a career in medical assisting? Located in Oak Lawn, IL, Northwestern College serves students in the greater Chicago area and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In addition to medical assisting, we offer dental assisting and coding specialist certificate programs. For students who want to take their education a step further, we have associate and bachelor’s degree programs. For more details, contact our admissions team to request information today.