Reference & Education

What Medical Assistants Do

There is a group of skilled professionals in the medical field, who work in offices and clinics. These individuals, who are called medical assistants, perform a variety of tasks regardless of where they work. Some are in large hospitals or clinics, others in small private offices. All provide valuable assistance to the practice that employs them.

These employees work under the supervision of physicians at the workplace. Their job involves both administrative and clinical tasks. Medical assistants are valuable to any health care office, as they help it run most efficiently.

On the administrative side of things, a medical assistant may do things like answer the office phone, greet patients when they come in, take patient paperwork and insurance information, and schedule appointments. They may also help to prepare and maintain medical records.

That isn’t all they do, though. These professionals also perform clinical tasks such as taking patient histories, preparing patients for checkups, collecting specimens, and preparing and giving medicine as directed by the physician. Most medical assistants work in offices of practicing physicians, community based health care programs, or regional health corporations.

Becoming a medical assistant does require training. You will need to complete one to two years of training either at a technical high school, a post secondary vocational school, or a community college. Sometimes a medical assistant is also trained on the job.

The job prospects for medical assistants are very good. Those will recognized training and experience do best, especially if they have certification.

These professionals generally work in clean surroundings. They work with an office of other people, not alone, and must be able to multitask. A typical work week is 40 hours. There are also part time positions out there, for medical assistants who want to work evenings or weekends.

Our population is aging. Accordingly there will be more and more demand for medical care, and a greater need for professionals to help medical offices run more smoothly. More and more medical employers are recognizing the importance and professionalism of medical assistants and the valuable contributions they make.

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