Professional Medical Assistants are a vital part of a professional medical team. Most medical assistants perform both clinical tasks and administrative tasks. They work directly with patients, handling duties such as taking vital signs, reassuring a patient before a procedure, or administering medications. Medical assistants may also be responsible for office work such as scheduling appointments or keeping patient records.
There are a number of work settings for medical assistants. They may work at a private medical office, clinic, outpatient center, hospital, surgery center, or other medical facility.
There are a number of specializations among Medical Assistants, including:
Clerical medical assistants keep the doctors’ offices running in an efficient, professional manner. As a clerical medical assistant, you might be responsible for setting appointments, handling phone calls, managing the front desk duties, processing the mail, and assisting doctors with their paperwork and electronic records.
Administrative medical assistants have similar tasks to clerical medical assistant. In addition to the clerical tasks, the administrative medical assistant also attends to the patients’ medical needs. This could include keeping patient files up-to-date, processing claim forms, coordinating hospital admissions, or arranging for medical tests. Bookkeeping and billing may also be part of this job.
Clinical medical assistants have more clinical responsibilities than administrative assistants. As a clinical medical assistant, you might review a patient’s medical history, conduct pre-examination tasks before the doctor sees the patient, and provide support and assistance to the physician during the exam. You might also talk with patients about upcoming procedures, offer reassurance, and answer questions. Some clinical medical assistants are responsible for drawing a patient’s blood, processing lab specimens, calling in pharmacy refills, sterilizing equipment, removing sutures, and performing EKGs.
Specialized medical assistants are focused on a particular medical specialty, such as ophthalmology, pediatrics, cardiology, pulmonary, or endocrinology. In these fields, the medical assistant would have responsibilities that are specific to the particular medical discipline.
With job growth expected to exceed 29% over the next 10 years, whichever specialty you elect to pursue, job prospects are good as a medical assistant.