Being a medical assistant can be tremendously fulfilling and rewarding. But it can also be demanding at times. If your thinking about the medical assisting career field, there are some questions you should consider in finding out if it is right for you.
Do you have an interest in the medical field or health related job opportunities? Having a strong interest in what you do is important for long term success.
Do you enjoy the opportunity to help others? This career choice is all about helping others with medical issues. It can be demanding but also very rewarding.
Do you consider yourself people oriented? The medical assisting field is all about relating to others in a way that allows you to empathy and understanding in a variety of situations.
Are you good at juggling multiple tasks during the day? Medical assistants are called on to perform a variety of duties in any given day. The specifics of the job depend on the type of facility where you are employed but you can count on having to be able to handle multiple tasks in a busy environment.
What is A Medical Assistant?
Medical assistants are valued members of the healthcare delivery team. They assist physicians and nurses in providing the best possible patient care. They act as a liaison between the doctor and the patient in a verity of settings. Their responsibilities span both clinical duties and administrative duties in clinics, hospitals and physician practice offices. They however are not physician assistants who have expanded duties and responsibilities in diagnosing and assisting in the treatment of patients.
What does a Medical Assistant Do?
The duties of medical assistants can vary widely from state to state. While no states require medical assistants to be licensed, some do have special certification and training requirements. It is best to check with your state’s Medical Board for specific duties, training and certification requirements.
Typical duties might include all or some of the following:
- Daily use of various office computer technology
- Answering office phones and directing calls
- Assisting patients on arrival
- Handling patient medical records and updating them when necessary
- Completing insurance forms when necessary
- Scheduling and coordinating appointments for patients
- Arranging for necessary hospital stays
- Scheduling laboratory services
- Taking care of office correspondence, account billing, and other bookkeeping tasks
Clinical duties – these will vary by jurisdiction and applicable state laws but may include:
- Completing patient medical histories
- Explaining and answering questions about treatment procedures to patients
- Helping patients get ready for an examination
- Helping the doctor during the exam
- Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens from patients
- Where allowed performing basic laboratory tests
- Explaining mediation instructions to patients as well as information on special diets
- Preparing and/or administering medications under the direct supervision of the physician
- Authorizing prescription refills as directed by a physician
- Drawing blood where allowed
- Preparing patients for and taking electrocardiograms
- The removal of sutures and/or the changing of dressings as required
If this is the kind of career that is of interest to you, take the next step and find out what you need to do to become a medical assistant and a valued member of the healthcare team. Consider these next steps