Medical Assistant 101 – Duties And Responsibilities of Medical Assistants

Curious about what Medical Assisting is? Well, it is one of the fastest growing careers nowadays. Experts say that this job will be the most promising for the next ten years because of the technological advancement in medical field and the increased number of people in need of medical treatments.

Becoming a medical assistant is very easy for it only requires a high school diploma or a GED equivalent and there is no formal education or training requirements needed unlike other career such as nursing. Aspiring MA must only undergo programs which will only take six months to two years to complete.

Program courses include medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. Students are also taught to have the knowledge on keyboarding, recordkeeping, accounting, insurance processing and transcription. Moreover, students learn some laboratory techniques, pharmaceutical principles, clinical procedures as well as diagnostic procedures.

Program courses are specifically designed to give them a broad perspective in medical field to help them perform their task efficiently and effectively. This is because their nature of work is to perform or to keep medical establishments organized and to keep it running smoothly. Moreover, since they will constantly interact in almost all people in the hospitals even with the patients, their program courses also include patient relations, ethics and medical laws.

Medical assistant is different from a physician assistant or a nurse. Physician assistants perform medicine or treat patients with the supervision of doctors while MAs are to perform both clinical and clerical tasks.

Generally a medical assistant handles administrative duties and or clinical duties.

1. Administrative Duties and Responsibilities

– Answering telephone calls

– Greet and assist patients

– Appointment scheduling

– Do patient’s billing

– Bookkeeping

– Handling correspondence

– Filing and updating patient’s medical records

– Handles insurance forms

– Arranging hospital admissions

– Assisting in laboratory services

2. Clinical Duties and Responsibilities

– Taking patient’s medical history

– Recording patient’s vital signs

– Preparing patients for medical examinations

– Assisting doctors during medical examinations

– Explaining to patients the procedures

– Collects and prepares the laboratory specimens

– Purchasing medical supplies and equipments

– Disposing of contaminated medical supplies

– Preparing medical instruments

– Making sure that hospital rooms such as waiting rooms and examination rooms are clean and tidy

In some hospitals medical assistants are allowed, under the supervision of doctors to perform basic medical tasks such as:

– Basic laboratory tests

– Prepare medications and administer medications

– Instructing patients in taking medications and some diets

– Drug refills

– Draw blood

– Changing of dressings

– Removing sutures

With these large scope of duties and responsibilities, medical assistants should be well-organized and can do multi-tasking at the same time. They must also have pleasing personality and must be good communicators for they must make the patients feel comfortable and at ease before and or during examination. Moreover, they must be neat and well groomed for they should look presentable when dealing with patients.

Duties and responsibilities of medical assistants vary depending in the hospitals they work. In small hospitals or clinics they are to perform both administrative and clinical duties while in large hospitals where there are other medical staff, they are encouraged to performed specific tasks under the supervision of the department administrators.

Regardless where medical assistants work, they are very useful in helping other healthcare workers to perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently. As a result, the increased needs of people’s medical attention are met through them.