Medical Assistant Info
A Medical Assistant is responsible for the administrative tasks in a doctor’s office or other type of medical practitioner. The exact job duties of a Medical Assistant vary based on the type of physician’s office they work, as well as the number of patients the office serves and the number of staff members on hand. A Medical Assistant is sometimes confused with a Physician’s Assistant; however, these medical professionals do not perform the same job function. Physician Assistants diagnose and treat patients under a doctor’s supervision.
Salaries for Medical Assisting vary based on the type of training you have. Click here to view our Healthcare Salary Information.
There are a variety of specialties that exist in the field of Medical Assisting. These specialties perform different job functions and work in different types of physician’s offices. These specialties include:
Administrative Medical Assistants
This type of Medical Assistant manages patient records, updating and filing them as necessary. They are in charge of completing any forms needed from the insurance company, and setting up hospitals stays and visits for their patients. Medical assistants are also in charge of administrative tasks such as taking incoming calls and filing paperwork.
Clinical Medical Assistants
Clinical Medical Assistants perform a variety of tasks, these tasks being dependent on the regulations of the states that they work in. Typical duties of a clinical medical assistant consist of investigating the patient’s medical history, taking blood samples, setting up x-rays, performing basic lab tests, assisting the doctor in the exam room, disposing of soiled linens and tools, sterilizing medical instruments, and the overall upkeep of the exam room and waiting area. Clinical Medical Assistants also inform patients about the medications they will be taking and authorize and phone in medications.
Specialized Medical Assistants
These types of Medical Assistants work in specialty offices and assist specialists, such as Optometrists and Ophthalmologists. They run diagnostic tests, help advise patients on things such as contact lenses or in the case of a podiatrist, a walking cast or brace. They offer chair side assistance in the exam room.
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Education and Training
The proper education and training in the field of Medical Assisting makes you a much more qualified candidate when it comes to getting a job. Medical Assisting programs are offered at trade and technical schools, and some even offer online courses as well. You can get your Diploma to perform basic duties, or your Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree to perform more specialized duties. See the Degrees page for more information.
A certification will show a potential employer that you are highly trained and certified in your area of study. There are six different certifications you can get to be a Medical Assistant. See the Certifications Page for more information.
As the healthcare field grows, so will the need for Medical Assistants. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the healthcare field will grow 22% by the year 2018. This means that the demand for Medical Assistants will also increase quite a bit.
Learn more about Medical Billing and related careers.