Major Medical Insurance: Things to Know About the Affordable Small Business Health Insurance

If you’re residing in the UK, you’re probably aware of the extended line of patients awaiting therapy through the National Wellness Support (NHS.) That is alarming and you’ll need to get measures to guard your self from such eventualities. Determining to choose a dependable and efficient individual medical insurance (PMI) is the best option.

Features of Private Medical Insurance

There are lots of advantages in selecting a private Health insurance. Each insurance company has its own advantages and desirable packages. There are lots of to select from and often, you do not know which of the multitude of companies they feature might match you best. In that case organizations like Medical Estimates are here to greatly help out and solve this problem for you. To start with, what’re the advantages of a private medical insurance? Here are several standard advantages and advantages a private medical insurance offers:

Punctual reaction

If you are in a medical disaster or maybe not, individual insurance organizations can answer rapidly to your needs. You won’t have to hold back for times or even days to really have a standard medical check-up and have these essential diagnostic tests done. Many of them provide the possibility of you taking advantage of nearby medical institutions in your area. They also offer easy access, in order to contact them when necessary.

The flexibility to choose companies

You can make easily from the companies they provide. There are lots of you can select from without causing you financially constraint. Additionally there are additional companies they feature for certain packages. If you’re on a restricted budget, they could give you an insurance approach that may match your allowance and requirements. You are able to choose what you want to incorporate and what you’d relatively maybe not use.

Mobility of funds

Private medical insurance organizations offer you the possibility to choose your personal cost approach to meet up your overall economic situation. They provide a wide range of cost options therefore there’s selection for everyone. Evaluating their terms and prices will benefit you and make it simpler for you to choose which approach fits your requirements best.

The significance of insurance specialists

In the advent of varied individual medical insurance organizations, some are great aid in linking you with reliable and trusted Private Medical Insurance brokers. A number of these organizations are absolute Medical Insurance Specialists therefore you may be assured of quality information regarding the absolute most trusted brokers.

You are able to accurately compare the various individual medical insurance offers and determine the professionals and cons of every insurance plan. There’s actually a chance to demand a custom made insurance policy for you and your family.

The companies presented by medical insurance specialists are 100% free from charge. These organizations offer you superb information and lay out all your options. Even although the possibilities have you been is likely to be very pleased with the obtained quotes, there’s zero duty to get – which makes it totally risk free.

They provide fast and quickly use of individual medical insurance brokers following filling out a questionnaire that may probably get you significantly less than 30 seconds. Choosing a medical insurance specialist around other medical insurance organizations is a good choice in ensuring that the quotes you receive are both affordable and especially created for your overall condition and requirements. Not just that, you may have the reassurance that the choice you made was the most effective alternative possible.

How To Properly Utilize a Medical Alert System While Alone During a Medical Emergency

There are ways to use just about any device improperly. Lack of knowledge is typically one of the most common reasons why devices are improperly used. For devices that are created with the intent to be used in a medical emergency, such as a medical alert system, the difference between proper and improper use can be life or death.

Do you know how to react in a medical emergency? With or without a medical alert system in your home? One of the hardest things to do in a medical emergency is to not panic, but unfortunately it is one of the most common things people do in these types of situations. Panic is just the simplest response to an emergency because it is instinctual and it is done without thinking. People also panic because they have no idea what else to do! This is very sad because panicking is the most dangerous reaction a person could have in an emergency situation. People who panic can cause a lot more harm than good during a medical emergency. One of the best ways to keep yourself from panicking during a medical emergency is to know how to handle one, especially for when you are all by yourself. Here are some great tips to help you know how to handle a medical emergency and get through it in the safest way possible.

Press Your Medical Alert Button
For the most part, since you have equipped your home with a medical alert system, you can easily call for help by hitting your medical alert button located on your medical alert bracelet, necklace or pendant. This will automatically dial a care center where a trained help advisor will be on the line in just seconds, ready to call your family members, friends, neighbors or send emergency assistance to help you with any medical emergency. The help advisor will also stay on the line with you until help arrives. However, if you are out of your home, or maybe you have unfortunately not invested in a medical alert system, you will need to call 911. In cases where you are alone, reaching the phone may be difficult to do if you are injured after a fall and you are unable to move. That is why a medical alert system is very valuable to have, especially during a medical emergency when you are all by yourself.

Some people don’t call 911 first because they are trying to assess the situation, and not bother 911 if the emergency is not that dire. This can cause the person to lose valuable time that is necessary for helping them survive the situation. Do not wait to call 911 or press your medical alert button. Even if the emergency turns out to not be that serious, it could have been, and hesitation is another enemy of medical emergencies.

If Physically Injured, Try Not to Move
Many times when people fall, they try very hard to get themselves back up or move around to attempt to find a comfortable position. This is the absolute worst thing a person can do in the case of a medical emergency when a fall is involved. You may not realize, but you may have a neck or spinal cord injury. Moving can cause even more harm and possibly cause you to become paralyzed.

If you have a medical alert system in your home as you should, you will be able to call for help with such minimal movement because you will only need to move your hand to press the medical alert button on your medical alert bracelet, pendant or necklace. Not having to move much to call for help during a medical emergency in which you are alone is a very important aspect of trying to maintain mobility after the fall.

If you do not have a medical alert system and need to try to get to a phone, you run the risk of injuring yourself further. If you have nearby neighbors, try to shout for help and hope someone hears you. Otherwise, you can either wait until someone finally comes, or risk injuring yourself further by trying to move and get to a phone to call 911.

Keep Medication With You
Some people take many medications that can help them immediately in the event of a medical emergency. Obviously, sticking ten different pill bottles into your pockets will never be practical, but keeping a small pill case in your pocket with a few of each important pill in it is good practice just in case of a medical emergency. This way, you can have the medication you need in seconds.

When you are alone, you can not exactly ask anyone to get your medication for you, so if you collapse due to a issue that one of your medications can fix, the pill case in your pocket will be your best friend. However, if you have not prepared for this situation, a medical alert system can act as another person in your home and call medical personnel to help you promptly. Without a medical alert system, it will be difficult to tell how long you might be without your medication, or if you will even survive the situation.

Medical emergencies can happen at any moment, even when you are alone. It is vital that you prepare yourself before they happen and not after the fact. Being knowledgeable about how to handle a medical emergency will be the best way to prepare yourself to combat one. Having a medical alert system in the home will even further help the situation since it basically acts as another person that can help you get the help you need.

 

 

Reasons Why Your Medical Career Crashes

Your burning passion and rugged determination for your medical career goals is not enough to overcome the barriers to your planned and expected maximum success in medical practice. It’s a reality that you shouldn’t have to face, and that you don’t deserve.

There are reasons why and what you can do about it. It’s one of the most distressing, yet understandable, factors leading to career failure. The meaning of failure as used here is the complete inability of over 95% of doctors to reach their maximum potential as a doctor.

It also includes your inability to create and maintain a medical practice that will ever reach the profitability potential it has the capacity to foster. In clearer terms, unless you are prepared to do what needs to be done to reach those highest levels of accomplishments, you will fail to a significant degree.

The inability refers to the absence of training and education that are required to rise above the others. As a result you are effectively programmed to fail by the institution that qualified you to be a doctor.

Consider a few factors that lead you to this unholy position:
You have not been provided with the essential tools to run your medical practice business efficiently and profitably. It means you have no business or marketing training or education.

A challenge to your intellect and common sense:
Is it possible in our present economic environment to create a successful, constantly growing, medical practice business when the doctor owner has no real knowledge about how to do that effectively without expert help?

A “no” answer indicates you are quite comfortable about extracting from your medical career just enough abundance and satisfaction to make do. In other words, you are a hostage to your circumstances.

A “yes” answer indicates that you have not yet matured in business far enough to recognize that all of your sheer-brilliance in medical knowledge is never enough to create a maximally productive medical practice business-just enough to get by with for a while.

You have “educational burnout” without even recognizing it. The evidence of this is obvious when you consider these issues:

 

  • Why is it necessary to require doctors to complete CME hours for maintaining medical licensure?
  • Why is it compulsory to recertify for specialty credentialing?
  • Why is it that once you start medical practice there is no urgency or self-implied obligation to voluntarily maintain and continually update your medical knowledge?
  • Why is it that the need to have a business education is such an unnecessary and objectionable necessity that is totally ignored by most doctors? Yes, you promised yourself there would be no more burning the midnight oil again.

 

What possible reason would medical education pundits have to neglect the need to provide a business as well as medical education to medical students? Could it be that they knew about the educational burnout phenomenon and didn’t want that to happen during your medical education and training? But was it OK if it came afterwords?

Your passion for practicing medicine gradually becomes crowded out of your mind. That’s because once you become aware of the fact that your medical career is not able to provide you with the higher goals you had in mind at the start and turned out to be only a pipedream in reality.

For those doctors who already have wealth and adequate funding, there seems to be no real concern about these kinds of issues. However, for most doctors that is not the case. My concern is about the latter.

The real life examples of how these arcane factors are born:
The sequence of ominous changes in your passion for your medical career is one of the most distressing, yet understandable, factors leading to career failure. It begins with graduation from medical school, sometimes even sooner. It’s something older doctors see in their rear view mirror.

Prestige, recognition, fulfillment, happiness and expectations in your medical career seldom increase with time but rather fade with time. As you proceed in your medical career goal setting beyond medical school, the bright lights, celebrations and spectacular accomplishments disappear in the sunset. It starts almost immediately on entering your medical practice.

The day you completed your internship, were you given a loud sendoff, glory and recognition that would shake the pillars of medicine? Did you deserve that? Absolutely… but it doesn’t happen.

The revelation suddenly hits you in the face that there will be no more public pats-on-the-back. From now on your dedication to your obligations and career success becomes an investment in personal satisfaction.

Your reward for completing a residency in your specialty is simply whittled down to a medical certificate of residency completion, not a rousing cheering crowd. Your self-esteem benefits, but your wallet suffers.

Either you are headed for private medical practice of some nature, or you are feeling the overpowering need for security by becoming an employed physician.
Right here at the end of all your formal medical training, you are at the highest level of your medical knowledge with the incredible skills and ambition to take-on any of medical practice challenges put in front of you. From here on you are on your own.

No one is there to push or inspire you further and higher, except yourself. Previously, you had back up. Now you don’t. Even your family that has not lived in your shoes themselves can’t really help you much in your medical career choices and goals.

The next step in your career is even more stressful. And it’s outrageously insulting to all new doctors. Why? Because you don’t deserve this second step of disappointment as your reward for years of sacrifice and struggle.

Medical practice becomes your next teacher and mentor:
This new environment of medical practice has a bundle of harsh lessons to teach you. Of course, no one has discussed these things with you in any depth because they didn’t want to discourage you. These soft lies of omission leave scars. It leaves you naïve and vulnerable, which is much worse than giving you the truth to begin with.

This one thing is far more damaging to your medical career than you can believe. Every medical doctor is affected to a significant degree during his or her career as a result of being forced to adapt to the persistence of unexpected events that they could have prepared for if someone had told them what’s ahead.

Can you imagine how much stress in your practice over the years could have been prevented by knowing and preparing?

What are your options for avoiding or resolving these destructive factors regarding your medical practice career?
As with the activities and strategies required for success, there is no one simple laser-guided response for every person to follow to arrive at their personal highest level of achievement that they call “success.”

However, there is only one commonality found among the successful people that you may not care to hear about.

“It is a stronger, deeper, more unrelenting commitment to success far beyond what most ever marshal.”
(Source: No B.S. Marketing Letter, GKIC, Dan S. Kennedy, Nov. 2012)

This simple golden rule of success implies that we must reach a point in time when our minds become aware of the chain of events, predictable side effects, and consequences that are adherent to your decisions. Thus, it enables you to correctly ascertain whether a decision you make is complimentary to your objective, diverges from your objective or is in direct conflict with your objective.

Your decisions about your medical career are even more complex than any you have previously made. It involves making good decisions at the start but doesn’t exclude good decisions being made throughout your medical practice years.

For most doctors and other medical professionals who haven’t lost their desire to perform at maximum levels, it will often require one or more of the following:

1. You must know yourself:
What are your skills, talents, interests, activities that create satisfaction, biases, and toleration limits, among others? You need to spend a few hours quietly putting these attributes in order, even in priority. Sometimes it takes several sessions with other people (usually parents) who know you quite well and listening to what they see in you that you don’t see.

Many college graduates are unaware of who they really are inside, and what capacity they have to succeed. Therefore, they stumble along relying on their “above average” intelligence to keep them on track to a few objectives.

If you aren’t aware of what you need to do to be happy with your life and profession by the time you finish college, you are likely not to discover that later on. This factor becomes a life long millstone around your neck.

2. You must continue to set goals to be accomplished during your whole life:
Without goals, you lose your passion and determination. Over 95% of doctors are hamstrung because they either have no idea what they are really capable of accomplishing, or have fears that prevent them from moving to higher levels of accomplishment such as:

 

  • Fear of being taken advantage of-easily led astray-analytical minded.
  • Fear of not being a success-of failing.
  • Fear of not fitting in-ostracized by peers-not a leader-hidesin the herd.
  • Fear of lack of approval of peers and friends-always social, energetic and fun-loving are the cover-up features.

 

You don’t set goals because of these same fears. It’s why so many great people tell you to face you fears and go right on through them no matter what.

3. Don’t expect a blueprint for success:
Lee Milteer, professional highly regarded business mentor, says, “Success Is an Inside Job”. She teaches that you create your own success using the path from “visualization” to “mindset”. If you don’t understand that process, you need to find out how it works and trust it.

4. Create a laser focus on one primary objective:
When you dilute your path with multiple goals, you are multitasking and are constantly changing decisions. You have set yourself up for a watered-down life and career.

If you find you have chosen the wrong objective, then move to a new focus on another primary objective. Never focus on more than one.

5. Real success in your medical career often results from maintaining your family obligations:
Your level of success is corrupted when you neglect your family relationships. Divorce, broken homes, financial disasters, and lack of a religious heart results in not being able to fully enjoy your success when and if it arrives.

6. Make your personal integrity the basis of your career:
Your integrity creates your character that others see and respect. You maintain the principles you live by under all circumstances in your profession. When your “word” is unreliable, you corrupt everything around you one way or another. You then live off the garbage other people discard.

There are many more examples of solutions you probably have experienced and know the value of that may be just as important as the ones I’ve mentioned above. If you thought I was going to give you a 1-2-3-4-5 answer to gaining total control of your medical career, you haven’t been reading between the lines of this article well enough.

 

 

What Is Medical Malpractice?

In medical malpractice, a doctor or medical facility has failed to live up to its obligations, resulting in a patient’s injury. Medical malpractice is usually the result of medical negligence – a mistake that was unintentional on the part of the medical personnel.

Determining if malpractice has been committed during medical treatment depends on whether the medical personnel acted in a different way than most professionals would have acted in similar circumstances. For example, if a nurse administers a different medication to a patient than the one prescribed by the doctor, that action differs from what most nurses would have done.

Surgical malpractice is a very common type of case. A cardiac surgeon, for example, might operate on the wrong heart artery or forget to remove a surgical instrument from the patient’s body before stitching the incisions closed.

Not all medical malpractice cases are as clear-cut, however. The surgeon might make a split-second decision during a procedure that may or may not be construed as malpractice. Those kinds of cases are the ones that are most likely to end up in a courtroom.

The majority of medical malpractice lawsuits are settled out of court, however, which means that the doctor’s or medical facility’s malpractice insurance pays a sum of money called the “settlement” to the patient or patient’s family.

This process is not necessarily easy, so most people are advised to hire an attorney. Insurance companies do their best to keep the settlement amounts as low as possible. A lawyer is in a position to help patients prove the severity of the malpractice and negotiate a higher sum of money for the patient/client.

Lawyers generally work on “contingency” in these types of cases, which means they are only paid when and if a settlement is received. The lawyer then takes a percentage of the total settlement amount as payment for his or her services.

Different Types of Medical Malpractice

There are different kinds of malpractice cases that are a result of a variety of medical mistakes. Besides surgical errors, a few of these cases include:

Medical chart mistakes – In this case, a nurse or physician makes an inaccurate note on a medical chart that leads to more mistakes, such as the wrong medication being administered or an incorrect medical procedure being performed. This could also lead to a lack of proper medical treatment.

Improper prescriptions – A doctor might prescribe the wrong medication, or a pharmacist might fill a prescription with the wrong medication. A doctor may also fail to check what other medications a patient is taking, causing one medication to mix in a dangerous way with the other. Some pharmaceuticals are “contraindicated” for certain conditions. It might be hazardous, for example, for a heart patient to take a particular medication for an ulcer. This is why doctors need to know a patient’s medical history.

Anesthesia – These kinds of medical malpractice claims are usually made against an anesthesiologist. These professionals give patients medication to put them to sleep during an operation. The anesthesiologist usually remains in the operating room to monitor the patient for any signs that the anesthesia is causing problems or wearing off during the procedure, causing the patient to awaken too soon.

Delayed diagnosis – This is one of the most common types of non-surgical medical malpractice cases. If a doctor fails to determine that someone has a serious illness, that doctor might be sued. This is especially dire for cancer patients who need to detect the disease as early as possible. A wrong diagnosis can cause the cancer to spread before it has been detected, endangering the patient’s life.

Misdiagnosis – In this case, the physician diagnoses a patient as having a disease other than the correct condition. This can lead to unnecessary or incorrect surgery, as well as dangerous prescriptions. It can also cause the same injuries as delayed diagnosis.

Childbirth malpractice – Mistakes made during the birth of a child can result in permanent damage to the baby and/or the mother. These kinds of cases sometimes involve a lifetime of payments from a medical malpractice insurance company and can, therefore, be extraordinarily costly. If, for instance, a child is born with brain damage as a result of medical malpractice, the family might be awarded regular payments in order to care for that child throughout his or her life.

What Happens in a Medical Malpractice Case?

If someone believes they have suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice, they must file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. These parties might include an entire hospital or other medical facility, as well as a number of medical personnel. The patient becomes the “plaintiff” in the case, and it is the burden of the plaintiff to prove that there was “causation.” This means that the injuries are a direct result of the negligence of the alleged medical professionals (the “defendants.”)

Proving causation usually requires an investigation into the medical records and may require the assistance of objective experts who can evaluate the facts and offer an assessment.

The settlement money offered is often restricted to the amount of money lost as a result of the injuries. These losses include medical care costs and lost wages. They can also include “loss of consortium,” which is a loss of benefits of the injured patient’s spouse. Sometimes, money for “pain and suffering” is offered, which is a non-financial payout for the stress caused by the injuries.

Money for “punitive damages” is legal in some states, but this generally occurs only in situations where the negligence was extreme. In rare cases, a physician or medical facility is found to be guilty of gross negligence or even willful malpractice. When that happens, criminal charges may also be filed by the local authorities.

In examples of gross negligence, the health department might revoke a doctor’s medical license. This does not happen in most medical malpractice cases, however, since doctors are human and, therefore, all capable of making mistakes.

If the plaintiff and the defendant’s medical malpractice insurance company cannot come to an agreeable sum for the settlement, the case might go to trial. In that instance, a judge or a jury would decide the amount of money, if any, that the plaintiff/patient would be awarded for his or her injuries.

 

 

What Is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence occurs when medical treatment falls below expected standards. If a patient becomes injured as a result of medical negligence, that patient might file a lawsuit claiming medical malpractice. If a patient dies, the family might then file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The most common type of medical negligence involves surgery, but it can happen with any nurse, physician, medical technician, or medical facility. The different types of medical negligence are almost endless. Here are some examples:

Damage to a neighboring organ during surgery.
A wrong diagnosis that leads to no treatment for the condition or the incorrect treatment for the condition.
A doctor who tells a patient that he or she is okay, causing a delay in treatment that eventually leads to injury. This is especially dire if an illness is progressive, such as cancer.
A dentist whose negligent treatment causes the patient to lose teeth.
An incorrect medication or the prescription of a medication in a harmful dosage. This can be negligence on the part of a doctor prescribing the medication, a nurse administering the medication, or a pharmacist.
Unnecessary surgery that results, for example, in the inability of the patient to have children.
A botched cosmetic procedure that causes an injury or a severely displeasing result.
A medical instrument accidentally left inside a patient during surgery.
Mistakes on a medical chart that lead to incorrect medical procedures or medications.
Improper or ineffective anesthesia administered prior to surgery.
A mistake made during childbirth that leads to the death of the infant or permanent injury to the infant, such as brain damage. Cerebral palsy is often a result of this kind of medical negligence.

The Difficulty of “Causation”

In order for a patient to have a medical malpractice claim for medical negligence, he or she has to prove (1) that the medical professionals had a duty to provide a standard of care and failed to do so, (2) that the patient suffered an injury or injuries, and (3) that the injury was caused by the alleged medical negligence.

What does “standard of care” mean? It varies from state to state. Some laws restrict the standard to physicians in the same area of the country, while others extend the standard to doctors on a national level. For example, a heart surgeon will be held to the standard of other surgeons in the same field. If he or she acted in a way that differs from the way most heart surgeons would have acted in similar circumstances, that surgeon may be found to have been medically negligent.

Since the body consists of interconnected systems, “causation” is a complicated issue in medical negligence. The medical personnel might argue that the treatment did not cause the injury but that it was instead caused by a condition the patient already had.

Psychologists and psychiatrists can also be sued for medical negligence, although these types of cases are much more difficult to prove because not only are the injuries non-physical, but causation is particularly complex.

In any type of case, the attorneys assigned by the physicians’ malpractice insurance company will likely try to argue that the injury was not caused by medical negligence.

For this reason, people who suffer injuries are advised to hire a lawyer to help them negotiate a settlement to recover the costs they incurred. Lawyers in this situation work on a “contingency” basis, which means that they do not require the client to pay them. Their fees are contingent upon receiving settlement monies from the medical malpractice insurance company. If the lawyer is successful in obtaining a settlement for the client, he or she then takes a percentage of the money as a fee. If the lawyer is not successful, he or she does not earn any money for the work. As a result, lawyers work hard to obtain settlements for their clients.

In some states, the settlement might include funds for pain and suffering, which is not a reimbursement for costs but a payment for the emotional stress experienced from the injury. Some states also allow for “punitive damages” if gross negligence or misconduct is involved. The amount allowed for such damages is often restricted. In the state of California, for example, no more than $250,000 can be awarded for non-economic damages.

When gross negligence or misconduct is involved, the local authorities might also bring a criminal action against the physician or medical facility. This action is separate from a medical malpractice case. In a criminal action, the plaintiff is the city or the state. A medical malpractice lawsuit is called a “civil” action, and the plaintiff in that case is the injured patient. Both the criminal and civil cases would have one or more defendants in common, however. The defendant is the person who is defending the claim – the party or parties who are alleged to have been medically negligent.

Note that only in cases of gross negligence does the health department take away a doctor’s medical license.

Do All Medical Negligence Cases Go to Trial?

Most of these cases are settled out of court, but when the parties cannot agree on a settlement amount, the case goes to trial. A judge or jury then makes the decision as to whether the patient is entitled to monies and how much. Before a case goes to trial, however, years of negotiations might pass. During that period, the lawyers for both sides prepare legal papers that answer the questions of the other party. These are called “pre-trial discovery” papers.

Depositions are also often taken of the parties. These are interviews that allow the opposing side’s attorneys to ask questions.

It is not unusual for a settlement to take place at the courthouse during the jury selection process. This is a tactic that pushes both sides against the wall, trying to coerce them to give in. The plaintiff wants the defendant to give in by offering more money in the settlement, while the defendant wants the plaintiff to give in by accepting the current settlement offer. No one ever wants to take a case to trial if it can be helped because the costs of court are much higher than out-of-court settlements.

 

Should You Become a Sonographer or a Medical Assistant?

As the title implies, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers or ultrasound technologists assume diagnostic responsibilities as related to assessing sonographic images. Sonographers are highly skilled professionals who are proficient at using specialized ultrasound medical equipment and interpreting the images produced. They must use professional judgment when determining the images needed and while interpreting results. The Medical Assistant does limited clinical duties, as directed by physicians and other healthcare professionals, and a variety of administrative duties. It is a more generalized profession than ultrasound technology.

Typical Duties of the Sonographer

A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer uses medical equipment that produces high frequency sound waves to create visual images of the body’s organs, tissues and systems. Using a transducer that sends regular high frequency sound waves into the body, the ultrasound technologist moves it around the skin over the internal structures to be assessed. The sound waves bounce off the tissues, organs and systems, and the computerized medical equipment constructs an image of the internal structures.

To ensure quality images are produced, the sonographer does the following work activities during a normal shift:

  • Create, review and update patient’s medical history
  • Verify ultrasound equipment is working properly, performing routine tests and maintenance activities
  • Input data into imaging software systems and process relevant information
  • Assist patients with getting on and off the imaging table and position the patient’s body as needed to obtain the ideal images
  • Determine the type and number of images needed for ideal diagnostic results
  • Assess images, looking for signs of physical disorders or diseases, and document technical findings for transmission to physicians
  • Maintain a variety of medical records and required forms, both medical and legal
  • Work with a variety of healthcare professionals, including physicians, radiologists, registered nurses, patient aides and numerous other people
  • Regularly interact with department personnel

 

Typical Duties of the Medical Assistant

A Medical Assistant performs a wide range of duties under a physician’s direction. The job responsibilities may include office work like insurance billing and clinical work like drawing blood. The range of duties assigned is often dependent on the size of the medical office or the type of medical facility where the Medical Assistant works. The typical daily tasks include the following:

  • Review medical history with the patient and ask patient for description of main reason for medical office visit
  • Record, update and maintain patient information, including the medical history and medical test results
  • Escort patients to medical examination rooms, take vital signs and instruct patient on preparing for the physician’s exam
  • Maintain patient examination and treatment rooms and treatment room instruments, ensuring everything is kept clean and orderly
  • Prepare medications and administer as required by physician, including giving shots
  • Collect laboratory specimens as directed by physician, including blood, urine and tissue and ensure specimens are properly stored and documented
  • Assist physician in examination room
  • Operate routine diagnostic medical equipment like an electrocardiogram machine or x-ray equipment
  • Call pharmacies convey prescription drug orders or authorize refills
  • Deliver physician instructions to patients, plan diets, explain medical treatments and necessary advance preparations, and review medications and possible side effects
  • Perform medical office duties like answering the phone, scheduling appointments, completing patient check-in procedures, completing insurance forms and other general duties
  • Track and manage medical supplies inventory

 

Comparing Salaries

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers earn twice as much as Medical Assistants. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2012 occupational wages survey. Sonographers earned an average annual wage of $66,360 or $31.90 per hour.

During the same time period, Medical Assistants earned an average annual wage of $30,550 or $14.69 per hour. The average annual wage scale for ultrasound technologists was $44,990 to $91,070. For Medical Assistants it was $21,080 to $41,570.

Comparing Training Requirements

Two of the reasons for the salary differential include the fact that Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are trained at a higher skills level because they do diagnostic work, and they must use judgment concerning the number and type of images produced. Most employers now require that sonographers complete a sonography program at a school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and earn ARDMS registration.

According to the American Job Center Network O*Net Online, 47 percent of sonographers have an Associate’s degree, 17 percent have a Bachelor’s degree, and 19 percent have some college but no degree. Approximately 72 percent of Medical Assistants have some college and no degree, 18 percent have an Associate’s degree, and 10 percent have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers may find employment in a variety of healthcare facilities that include hospitals, clinics, physician offices and mobile units. A medical assistant is likely to find employment in medical offices and clinics, or ambulatory care facilities.

Anyone interested in a rewarding healthcare career may find that Diagnostic Medical Sonography best fits their needs. Employment opportunities are likely to exceed expectations as the healthcare industry moves towards wellness care and non-invasive medical procedures. It offers a choice of career paths, excellent pay and interesting work.