What is an OB-GYN Medical Assistant?
The full term for OB-GYN is obstetric and gynecology. Obstetrics concerns the care required pre and post-pregnancy along with child delivery. Gynecology concentrates on the upkeep of women’s health, especially with diseases related to reproductive organs. While a doctor might specialize in one branch or the other, many become an obstetrician-gynecologist or an OB-GYNs.
OB-GYN Medical Assistants prep patients for prenatal checkups, check sugar and protein levels, arrange endometrial biopsies, etc. They assist OB-GYNs with all aspects of the treatment. OB-GYN assistants work in outpatient centers, specialty clinics, hospitals, and universities.
How to Become an OB-GYN MA: Schooling
The OB-GYN Medical Assistant study guide goes the following way:
1. Obtain a High School Diploma/GED
According to job posting sites, 51% of the employers sought a medical assistant with a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. While it is not an absolute requirement for a fair percentage of employers, the preference for a degree is ever-present.
2. Obtain a Certification in Medical Assisting
OB-GYN clinics willingly train people with no certification for the job. However, a certification in the field raises your credibility, salary, and broadens your employment prospects. You can obtain specialty certifications, such as SCMA Medical Assistant Certification, or join the Clemson University Clinical Medical Assistant w/ OBGYN Certification Program. Auburn University, Columbia Southern University, and the University of Texas also conduct the same course. If you opt for a diploma or an Associate’s degree afterward, your opportunities will improve.
4. Train in an OB-GYN’s Office
The fun part of being a medical assistant is you can get started in the field without certification. All you need is a clinic or outpatient center willing to train you. However, you should do your externship or volunteer in an OB-GYN’s office even if you plan on getting a certificate. It will give you real experience in the field and make you more primed for hiring.
What Does an OB-GYN Medical Assistant Do?
In addition to performing a general MA’s clerical and clinical duties, OB-GYN assistants perform trade specifics tasks such as:
- Unlock medicine cabinets and storage rooms
- Wheel in the ultrasound machine
- Set up the examination gown
- Fill out patient paperwork such as genetic testing
- Setup for IUD
- Order birth control pills at the patient’s request
- Get records from other clinics
- Set up for an endometrial biopsy
- Check for gestational diabetes
- Administer Tdap injection
- Inject Rhogam if the mother is Rh-negative
- Give patients glucose
- Measure the belly size of a pregnant woman along with the weight
- Check blood pressure level
- Monitor for sugar and protein in the urine
- Monitor for hypertension or stress
- Assist with annual health exam
Things to Know Before Becoming an OB-GYN Medical Assistant
While a high school degree is required to become an OB-GYN Medical Assistant, it is only the preliminary qualification. There are other qualities and skills you should have to cinch the job.
Let us see what you should know before becoming an OB-GYN Medical Assistant:
Sensitive Communication Style
As a Medical Assistant to an OB-GYN, you will come across all kinds of people. It will broaden your perception, and you will need to develop a sensitive communication style. Sometimes, you may even have to assess patients for anxiety and depression (postpartum symptoms).
A patient’s first point of contact in a clinical facility is usually the MAs. Many find themselves nervous even for a routine checkup. Plus, they have to answer questions sent by the doctor’s office to assess their condition. The comforting and calming presence of the OB-GYN MA can go a long way in making them relax.
Knowledge of Women’s Health Issues
The care women require is different from general medical issues. While a Medical Assistant can learn on the job, it does help to have prior knowledge. There is also the need to be more open to hearing out the patient’s medical history.
Being an OB-GYN MA is a physically demanding job. You have to bend, stoop, squat, etc. while helping prep your patients for their checkups. The patient may also need your help standing up, especially if they are pregnant.
Predicting Doctor’s Actions
This is something lots of OG-GYN assistants learn on the job. As they get used to taking vital and setting up for checkups, they also learn the medicine required for any given complication. Often, they might order the product from the store in advance, predicting the OG-GYN’s recommendation.
OB-GYN Medical Assistant Salary
Specialty trade medical assistants tend to receive higher salaries than their counterparts. Education, certification, years of experience, and additional skills also act as huge factors.
According to reports from PayScale, the base salary for a Medical assistant working with OB-GYN falls around $29,000 to $55,000 per year. They also receive a generous bonus of $107 to $1000. Additionally, Salary.com lists San Francisco, Austin, and Chicago as the highest-paying cities for OB-GYN assistants.
Where Does OB-GYN MA Work?
OB-GYN assistants have a vast range of options when choosing a place of employment. Some work in an obstetrician’s or a gynecologist’s clinic. Others may choose a specialty women’s clinic or an outpatient center. Hospitals and private clinics always have an OG-GYN assistant position open for someone to fill.
Many may work in schools or universities, performing minor checkups for the students. OB-GYN medical assistants can also join community initiatives for low-income and unsupported women.
Can Medical Assistants Work in Labor and Delivery?
Yes, medical assistants do and can work in labor and delivery. Labor and delivery are part of an OBGN doctor’s work.
However, since it is more complicated, the doctor may prefer no one other than them and the nurses to come in contact with the patient. They may not want the MA to be present during delivery.
However, lots of Medical Assistants help take the temperature, blood pressure, and glucose level of the patient before the actual delivery. Some also ask questions to the patient to check their comfort level.
They may also be tasked with preparing the delivery room. Of course, there is the clerical side of things, such as confirming the date of delivery with the patient and the doctor or ringing up pharmacies to fill the stock.
If you become an OB-GYN Medical Assistant, you will find yourself working for labor and delivery in some way or another. Although, you might not be required for the actual delivery.
Becoming an OB-GYN MA trains you with specialized knowledge and sharpens your skills in a specific field. Earning a Certification boosts your salary and career opportunities. As a Specialty Certified Medical Assistant, you can work in multiple healthcare settings.
Written by : Casey Gardner
Casey Gardner is both a healthcare support professional and an accomplished content creator. She has been working as a certified health care professional with marketable skills as a physician assistant, and a qualified medical assistant for last two decades. She has dedicated her nursing career to produce over hundreds of content pieces since 2001, and her work has been published both online as well as offline.