Medical assistants are called on to perform a various duties when assisting with patients. You will likely have a better chance of successfully entering the field if you choose an educational program that prepares you to perform a variety of the procedures. Some of the tasks you’ll do are easy to guess. It stands to reason that you’ll be asked to take patients’ blood pressure and temperature, for example. Other tasks, such as taking x-rays, are easy to overlook when you’re still in school. This, however, is a great time to learn how to do basic radiography and other important procedures.
A fully-trained medical assistant will often be asked to perform procedures like electrocardiograms and x-rays. This requires the assistant to be familiar with the proper operation of the machinery, x-ray safety, appropriate preparation to achieve meaningful results, obtain required certifications and more. Of course, it’s also essential for assistants to know the basics. You’ll need strong interpersonal skills to interact with patients, math skills to calculate proper medication dosages and writing skill to complete administrative tasks such as writing up reports.
Which duties you’ll need to perform depends heavily on the type of medical office or institution where you are employed. Typically, the amount of possible duties increases along with the size of the institution.
- A basic doctor’s office may need you to take people’s blood pressures, temperatures, and medical histories.
- An expanded private office may ask you to get samples of blood or urine for testing.
- An urgent care center will likely need you to take the occasional x-ray or run an electrocardiogram.
- Hospitals perform the widest variety of procedures, so you may find yourself doing all of these things and more on a daily basis.
- Some hospitals assign assistants to specific departments. In these cases, you may do the same thing all day long.
Each type of facility tends to have a different atmosphere and employee expectations. Individual doctor’s offices are typically slower-paced than hospitals, though there are some major exceptions. When it comes to urgent care centers, the pace is often more relaxed than the name implies. Even though they handle problems that come up suddenly, they are not emergency rooms and don’t usually have that “right now or else” vibe. Hospitals usually have the fastest pace. They can have hundreds of patients in beds at the same time, so there, you can expect constant work during your shift. Of course, these are just general guidelines. There are always exceptions when it comes to the work types, pacing, and atmospheres of medical establishments.
While this overview is intended to make it easier to figure out which types of offices or facilities you are interested in working for, the fact is that there’s no way to know for sure which types will be hiring when it comes time to put your education to work. By completing expanded courses, you’ll ensure that you’re prepared to take advantage of a variety of opportunities present when you complete your training. Vatterott offers programs that cover x-ray work and office management, so you can be versatile enough to step into a variety of situations.
Our courses don’t stop at the classroom setting. They also provide externships to local medical facilities so that you get hands-on training in real situations. This will prepare you for the environment and pace of our partner facilities and those like them. Potential employers are always glad to get new assistants who are as ready as possible. While each employer has slightly different office or facility practices, the fact that you will have had live experience should be a definite plus for your resume.
We have many diploma and degree programs to choose from in this field. Diploma programs are offered at Fairview Heights and Quincy, IL as well as in Wichita, KS. Degree programs are taught at St. Charles and St. Joseph, MO; Tulsa, OK; and Wichita, KS. We also offer programs at Sunset Hills, MO (South County). Specifically we offer a medical assistant program with limited radiography training at our NorthPark campus in St. Louis and other locations. This makes it easy for you to attend a Vatterott College program in an area near you.
To learn more about our medical assisting programs, including our programs with training in limited radiography and office management, just contact us. We’ll be glad to tell you more about our programs and enrollment options. Soon, you can be on your way to an exciting and rewarding new career!
Deterioration is natural and expected in any type of building. Whether it comes from external forces like rain, wind, sand, freezing temperatures and sun, or it comes from the wear and tear of those using the building, any building will deteriorate over time. This is why building maintenance is so important. Having a checklist for building maintenance is a must if one wants to cover all the bases, because there are far too many components to keep track of by memory alone.
The Basics of a Building Maintenance Checklist
Preventative maintenance is a must if one hopes to keep a building in working order for an extended period of time. Far too often major problems are missed when people wait for obvious signs – issues often start small and will only be detected through a thorough inspection.
- Roof – The roof is the main barrier between the outside world and the interior. It must be kept in good repair to protect the internal structure and everything inside. Checking the roof at least twice a year is recommended, especially before the freezing temperatures of winter arrive and after they leave. Specific inspection steps will depend on the roofing material, such as asphalt shingles, cedar shingles, metal panels or clay tiles. Broken or weathered roofing materials may allow water penetration. One key area to check on roofs is any point where something penetrates the roof – such as chimneys or vents. Gutters are also an important component of a roof and should be examined for proper drainage and weathering around attachment points.
- Doors and windows – All entrances to the building should be examined for damage to weatherstripping and functionality of each entry point. Doors and windows will fail over time and should all be working properly to seal out the elements. If doors or windows are not properly sealed the energy efficiency of the building can be severely compromised.
- Walls – Exterior walls are another vital component of a building. Wall materials will vary from stucco, masonry, siding or shingles. Each has a particular maintenance regimen, but the overall goal is the same. Ensure that walls are holding up well under weathering, sealed against the outside and that the finishes – if present – are still doing their job. Finishes – such as paint – need to be reapplied periodically to remain effective.
- Decks – Decks and porches, as well as the roofing that protects them, must be examined regularly. They are often exposed to the elements and tend to wear out faster than a traditional building. Moisture, sun exposure and insect infestation are all major issues with decks. This is why decks must be stained regularly and examined for rotting and insect damage. Chemical treatments offer some protection from insects but must be reapplied periodically.
- Grounds – The land that the building sits upon must be designed to direct water away from the building. This is usually done when the building is built, but it nature has a way of subverting this design. Drainage should be checked after heavy rains to ensure that water is still going where it should go. Left unchecked, drainage problems can create
issues with the foundation of the building – an expensive problem to fix. Grounds include everything on the lot, including driveways and landscape features. One should ensure that driveways are clear of debris and that drainage is still functional. Landscape features, such as trees and shrubs, should be checked for disease and all problem plants treated or removed.
- Basement – The walls and flooring of the foundation hold up everything else in the building. This makes them prone to a variety of stresses, some of which can result in damage to the building. The basement and crawl spaces should be examined for cracks and moisture penetration. Mold can result from moisture penetration, so searching for any
dampness should be a primary concern. The structure of a building can have many designs, including concrete flooring, wooden beams or masonry floors. All of these will have particular maintenance steps. As a general rule, one should look for warping or cracking of flooring, sagging of wooden beams and of course leaks. Another possible problem area is any type of installation that was put in after the building was built. Some building owners stick closer to building codes than others, meaning a new chimney or other feature could cause issues with the rest of the building structure. Examine all such installations for possible problems.
- Electrical and plumbing systems – The electrical system should be checked to ensure that it is sufficiently designed to handle the power load of the building. Older buildings were not designed to deal with modern electrical needs and may need to be updated to handle current use. Plumbing and water supply should also be looked over to ensure functionality and safety.