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Dermatologist assistants are responsible for aiding and assisting dermatologists in a number of capacities. These assistants perform both patient and administrative duties. Dermatologists assistants answer phones, schedule appointments, check-in patients, write down the medical history, take vital signs, sterilize equipment, dress wounds, collect samples and handle billing and insurance claims. Dermatologist assistants must have educational and on-the-job training. Some employers may even require assistants to be licensed or certified with a particular organization. According to SimplyHired.com, as of 2010, the average salary for a dermatologist assistant is $35,000 per year.
Enroll in a dermatology medical assisting program. These programs can last from one to two years and offer courses that cover pre-operative care, dermatology assistant procedures, medical skin care and post-operative care.
Participate in field training or internship. This on-the-job training gives you the knowledge and skills necessary to work in dermatology. Field training allows you to work in a dermatology office and work under an experienced dermatologist assistant. Interns are allowed to watch and learn how various duties are performed, including the assisting in laser treatment, mole removal and cosmetic injections.
Become certified through the Certifying Board of American Association of Medical Assistants. This is a nationally certified credential that proves to potential employers that you have the ability to assist in a medical office and with medical procedures. Applicants must pass a written exam and are required to become recertified through continuing education courses every five years.
Look for career opportunities in a dermatologist’s office. In addition to your college’s career center, it’s important to look for jobs on line. Contact any local dermatology offices and see if there are any openings for assistants.
Learn to sell products. Dermatologist assistants may need to sell skin care products to patients. It’s important to be well versed on any inventory and brand names and to understand how each product is going to affect and benefit a patient’s skin. Assistants may also have to travel to health care expos and find new products.
- skin care image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com