Like all businesses, medical offices would not be able to function without dedicated individuals completing administrative and organizational tasks. But unlike assistants in corporate office settings, medical assistants experience a day involving personal interaction with patients, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.
The medical assistant’s job is to perform both administrative and clinical tasks for health practitioners. But depending on the office’s size, location or specialization, medical assistants’ specific tasks may vary.
Some examples of medical assistants’ administrative responsibilities are:
- Updating and filing medical records
- Filling out insurance forms
- Arranging hospital admissions or laboratory services
- Answering phones
- Greeting patients
- Scheduling appointments
- Managing billing and bookkeeping
A medical assistant’s clinical tasks depend upon what State laws allow. Some common examples of clinical responsibilities are:
- Taking patients’ medical histories
- Recording patients’ vital signs
- Explaining treatment procedures to patients
- Preparing patients for examinations and assisting the physician during examinations
- Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
- Performing basic laboratory tests
- Sterilizing instruments
- Instructing patients about their medications
- Drawing blood
- Calling in patient prescriptions to pharmacies
Working in medical assisting offers the benefit to choose to work in one a specialized field of medicine. Optometrists, orthodontists, podiatrists, dermatologists, and other specialists employ medical assistants. Medical assistants may also work for general practitioners, and spend their workday addressing a wide variety of medical concerns.
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