What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

By Manhattan Institute
Posted in Medical Assistant
On May 09, 2016

Did you know that hospitals, clinics, and private practices are hiring more medical assistants each year? This career field is growing fast, particularly because the skills set is broad, allowing medical assistants to fill in any gaps in the healthcare workflow. But just what does a medical assistant do anyway?

Medical assistants are trained in administrative, patient-care, and diagnostic responsibilities. Their job descriptions vary greatly between workplaces, so all medical assistants don't do all of the things covered in this article. Still, a comprehensive training program will prepare a developing medical assistant for any possible roles he or she may be asked to fill. Read on to learn what a medical assistant does day to day.

What Administrative Tasks Do Medical Assistants Do?

Medical assistants can be responsible for a wide variety of administrative tasks, ranging from basic clerical duties to complex billing and coding. Many spend a lot of their time filing, faxing, and making sure that supplies are refilled. Some medical assistants are responsible for medical transcription, the process by which a doctor's voice recorded notes are typed, or less commonly written, into a patient's chart. Depending on the setting in which he or she works, a medical assistant may be asked to specialize in administrative duties or combine their administrative tasks with patient-care and diagnostic tasks to fill a wider set of healthcare needs.

What Patient-Care Tasks Do Medical Assistants Do?

Medical Assistants may spend a lot of time with patients. In many cases, they may be the first person the patient interacts with. Along with clerical duties, medical assistants often spend a lot of time scheduling procedures and admitting patients. This process includes taking down the patient history and checking vital signs. In addition, they are often called on to prepare and assist with examinations, procedures, and treatments. Medical assistants may be asked to draw blood or perform certain diagnostic tests on their own, depending on the needs of their employer.

What Diagnostic Tasks Do Medical Assistants Do?

In addition to patient-care tasks, medical assistants may be asked to process specimens, perform lab tests, or screen patient test results. In these cases, it is important that the medical assistant fully understands the procedures so that he or she can do all tests properly. In tandem with these diagnostic tasks, it is crucial that records are maintained. Because the medical assistant may be responsible for diagnostic testing, he or she must be willing and able to coordinate patient care information with other health care providers quickly and efficiently.

Medical Assistants can be responsible for a lot of things, but their actual jobs are very dependent on what their employers need covered. A strong medical assistant program will prepare you for any and all tasks you may be asked to do. Get more information about our medical assistant course!