Medical assistants are a vital part of the team in the offices and clinics of physicians, optometrists, chiropractors and podiatrists.
They are responsible for performing many of the routine administrative duties and common clinical tasks. A medical assistant must be proficient at both administrative and clinical duties. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists medical assisting as one of the fastest growing careers.
The duties of a medical assistant range from answering the telephone to greeting patients and filling out and updating medical records. They also schedule appointments and oversee correspondence and billing.
Common responsibilities of medical assistants include:
Preparing patients for examinations.
Handling billing and bookkeeping.
Managing hospital admission and services.
Obtaining patient medical histories.
Measuring vital signs.
Maintaining. accurate medical records
Assisting physicians during procedures and performing basic laboratory tests.
Authorizing prescription refills upon physician direction.
Educating patients of specialized diets and medications
Collecting and preparing laboratory specimen.
Reporting to an attending physician or administrator.
In the clinical setting, medical assistants may obtain your medical history, prepare patients for examinations, assist the doctor directly during procedures and perform basic laboratory tests.
Duties may vary from office to office, depending on the specific needs of each individual employer. Medical assistants must comply with state laws that differ across the nation.
Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.
Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.
Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making
Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving
Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions.
Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.
Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it.
Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.
Although medical assistants can work in a variety of setting, most find employment in a clinic or doctor’s office.
This gives them a Monday through Friday work schedule in most cases, although some clinics and doctor’s offices may offer extended evening or weekend hours.
Here the medical assistant functions as a valuable member of the patient care team.
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