Career Definition for Clinical Health Assistants
A clinical health assistant provides clinical and administrative support to supervising medical professionals in a variety of health care settings, including physicians' offices, hospitals, and clinics. Clinical health assistants may prepare medical instruments and supplies as well as examining rooms. They may mix injections and give them to patients. Clinical health assistants may record patient data and offer support to doctors performing medical procedures or exams. Evening, night, and weekend work is possible depending on the job. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' health care industry research shows that a large percentage of medical assistants, including clinical health assistants, are employed in California,Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York.
|Education||Certificate or diploma program|
|Job Skills||Active listening, computer literacy, communication skills, attention to detail, data entry ability|
|Median Salary||$32,480 (2017) for medical assistants|
|Career Outlook||29% growth (2016-2026) for medical assistants|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Clinical health assistants usually pursue a certificate or diploma program from a college, technical, or vocational school, which often takes about a year. Some employers prefer certification or at least eligibility for certification. Clinical health assistants study anatomy and physiology, medical ethics, medical terminology, infection control, computers, English, and math, among other topics.
Clinical health assistants should possess strong computer and data entry skills. Successful clinical health assistants also need attention to detail, active listening skills, interpersonal skills, and communication skills.
Career and Economic Outlook
New developments in health care technology and treatments coupled with an increasing aging population mean strong growth in health care jobs, of which clinical health assistant jobs are a part. According to the BLS, the majority of medical assistants work full-time. In May 2017, medical assistants made a median annual salary of $32,480, per the BLS. BLS statistics also project that employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 29% from 2016 to 2026.
Alternate Career Options
Careers that are similar include:
A dental assistant provides clerical or chair-side support in dental offices. They may make appointments for patients, prepare exam rooms and dental instruments, and in some states, perform direct, limited patient care tasks such as applying sealant or fluoride treatments. Required employment qualifications vary by state; on-the-job training is possible in some states, while others require completion of an accredited diploma, certificate or associate's degree program. Passing an exam is also required in some states. The BLS reports that jobs for dental assistants are predicted to increase 19% from 2016-2026. The median annual salary for dental assistants was $37,630 in 2017, per the BLS.
Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are also known as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) in some states. LPNs provide basic, hands-on nursing care under supervision. The kinds of tasks that LPNs can do vary by state, but common responsibilities include measuring patients' vital signs, assisting with personal care tasks like bathing or dressing, changing bandages, and keeping supervising medical staff such as registered nurses or physicians apprised of patients' statuses. Employment typically requires completion of a 1-year postsecondary education program that includes classroom and clinical training. Taking and passing the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-PN, is also required. Jobs for LPNs are expected to increase 12% from 2016-2026, per the BLS. The agency reported that the median annual salary of LPNs was $45,030 in 2017.