If you are interested in a career in the medical field, there are many paths available to you. Working in healthcare needn’t include spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on tuition and a decade in school. You could fulfill your dream to work in the medical field in a matter of months, not years. As you research the possibility of becoming a medical assistant, here is some valuable information about what a medical assistant does, on both the administrative and clinical side of healthcare.
Administrative and Clinical Medical Assistants
As a medical assistant, you will perform a wide range of tasks. Over time, you may specialize in either administrative tasks or clinical tasks. However, when you get your diploma at Summit College to be a medical assistant, you will be qualified to perform all the tasks associated with that profession, including both administrative and clinical tasks.
Some medical assistants have a clinical focus, carrying out tasks that are often associated with nurses, such as getting patients ready for the doctor, giving patients minimal care, and even approving prescription refills. Others spend the majority of their time on administrative tasks at the front desk and in the back office, such as checking patients in and managing the facility’s paperwork. The majority of medical assistant jobs combine the two categories. But in every situation, the medical assistant frees up the physicians’ time by doing important duties that pertain to a patient’s well-being.
What Does a Medical Assistant Do?
The day-to-day work as a medical assistant will vary according to the position; either administrative or clinical, as well as according to the changing needs of the day. In other words, you may spend your morning managing direct patient needs and your afternoon reviewing patient paperwork filing. Or you may spend your day doing a variety of interspersed administrative and clinical needs.
Here are just some of the duties you may be expected to perform as a medical assistant:
Clinical Medical Assistant Duties
- Monitor and record vital signs
- Prep patients for doctor visits
- Take blood pressure/measure height, weight, etc.
- Explain procedures to patients
- Attend patient examinations
- Assist physician during examinations
- Collect and label patient samples and specimens
- Prepare samples and specimens for transport to lab
- Receive incoming samples and specimens from lab
- Report patient comments/questions to physician
- Report patient condition to physician
- Conduct certain tasks, such as drawing blood, removing stitches
- Clean wounds
- Review home follow up care instructions with patients
- Answer patient questions regarding follow up care
- Insert/Remove IVs
- Perform injections
- Prep patient examination rooms
- Making patients more comfortable
- And more
Administrative Medical Assistant Duties
- Pull patient charts for physician
- Restock supplies in patient examination rooms
- Review patient information with patients
- Check patients in for doctor visits
- Manage referral requests
- Answer phones
- Convey messages
- Greet patients
- Maintain reception area
- Perform billing operations
- Explain bills to patients
- Take payments from patients
- Book/manage patient appointments
- Manage/maintain physician’s schedule
As a medical assistant, you’ll need to be very nimble, as you will balance supporting the physician on duty with patient needs and demands. Your primary role is to support the needs of the physician, but at the same time, you also need to be sensitive to the needs of the patient. For example, while the physician is performing a procedure, you will be expected to monitor the patient’s condition and help them to feel relaxed.
A large part of your job as a medical assistant is to enhance the patient experience. With your help and attention, the patient will feel more confident in the hands of the physician, will feel informed and valued as a person and an individual.
As the support person for the physician, your job is to take care of some of the smaller tasks so that the doctor can focus on the important job of performing the procedure, prescribing medication and treating the patient.
Being a medical assistant is a very rewarding career that is highly valued in the medical field by both patients and physicians.
Where Do Medical Assistants Work?
After you get your qualifications to work as a medical assistant, it’s time to start looking for a job. But who hires medical assistants, and where do they work? The breadth of job opportunities for medical assistants may surprise you. Medical assistants are needed in:
- Emergency clinics
- Walk-in clinics
- Community centers
- Senior care facilities
- Long-term nursing home facilities
- Private homes
- Hospice care facilities
- Palliative care facilities
- Day spas
- Cosmetic surgeon offices
- Oral surgeon offices
- Rehabilitation facilities
- Movie studios
- And more!
Basically, your skills as a medical assistant are needed wherever people are receiving medical attention or services. In short, you will never be in want of job opportunities when you get your diploma for medical assistant at Summit College.
This makes you aware of the wide range of jobs associated with being a medical assistant in both the administrative and clinical capacities. This is an exciting, hands-on job with many facets. Those with initiative, concern for others, and the desire to make a difference will find highly gratifying employment after graduating from the medical assistant program at Summit College.