Certified Medical Assistant
Medical Assistant Certification and Career Guide

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 Medical Assistants in Specialty Fields

Medical Assistants in Ophthalmology

In early 2009 the ophthalmic medical health care profession received official recognition from the U.S. Bureau of Labor as a separate occupation. Medical assistants who up to then were working with an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) in an assistive role are now recognized as specialized professionals in the ophthalmic discipline. With additional training, they can earn their credentials as an ophthalmic medical technician. Source:

Ophthalmic medical assistants, optometric assistants, and podiatric medical assistants are examples of specialized assistants who have additional duties. Under the direction of the ophthalmologist, ophthalmic medical assistants help provide eye care. They conduct and record simple vision screening tests and test eye muscle function. They apply eye dressings and show patients how to insert, remove and care for contact lenses and may administer eye medications if so ordered. They also maintain optical and surgical instruments and may assist the ophthalmologist in surgery. Optometric assistants can also work with optometrists, where they provide chair-side assistance, instruct patients about contact lens use and care.

Medical Assistants in Podiatry

Podiatric medical assistants make castings of feet, expose and develop x rays and assist podiatrists in surgery.

Medical Assistants in Cardiology/Telemetry/ECG

ECG/EKG certification is ideal for medical assistants with special interest in the cardiovascular system. Earning a certification in telemetry and ECG/EKG will allow them to get jobs as telemetry technicians with a cardiology specialty medical practice, ambulatory emergency clinic, or hospital Intensive care ICU, CCU, emergency and medical surgical floors and even home-care.

Typically, specializing in ECG/EKG telemetry requires setting up ECG monitoring devices, leads and recognizing abnormal heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, premature ventricular and atrial contractions, and type I, II and III heart blocks. Furthermore, medical assistants under the employ of a cardiologist are expected to understand the mechanism and actions of the heart and circulatory system and the biometabolism of heart medications such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, Calcium channel blockers as well as cardiac glycosides so that they can correlate the different heart medications to specific cardiac rhythms.

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