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What are The Roles, Duties, and Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant?
A medical assistant is one of the in-demand health care professional who renders help to physicians and nurses. There are many medical assistant roles and responsibilities that must be achieved, but they can be studied over time by attending school and completing a diploma or a degree program.
There are many Certified Medical Assistant jobs for trained professionals who know how to perform the vital duties needed in a medical environment. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career of medical assisting is growing much faster than average job growth. There are expected to be nearly 150,000 new positions for medical assistants between 2014 and 2024.
If you have been considering a career in this field, or you are well on your way to completing a training program, it’s important that you have an outlook of what the medical assistant duties and responsibilities are, how to carry them out well, and how to be of use and efficient part of a doctor’s office or medical center.
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Medical Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
The kind of duties that will be given to you as a working medical assistant depends on your employer, the medical environment in which you work, and the other employees working along you. However, there are certain roles that you can expect to be responsible for no matter where you work in this profession.
Make sure you know what these medical assistant duties and responsibilities are as you work toward your career in the medical field. This is essential in preparing you to be the best medical caregiver possible.
- Patient Care – The number one responsibility of a medical assistant in any type of working environment is to care for patients. This means more than just day to day clinical skills like being able to take a patient’s specimen, blood pressure or medical history. It also means making patients feel at home and helping explain a doctor’s instructions and guidelines. In other words, a medical assistant is like a vital link between patients and doctors.
- Checking Vital Signs and Performing Other Medical Procedures – Entry level medical assistant duties and responsibilities include simple clinical steps to help doctors save time and focus on more complex and involving aspects of patient care. This means you have to be able to take blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital signs, and even go further to perform simple medical procedures like getting medication prepared or getting rid of sutures.
- Gathering and Preparing Laboratory Samples – The medical assistant’s list of duties for most medical offices includes taking specimens from patients and preparing them to go to a laboratory for testing. This may mean providing guidelines to a patient on how to collect a urine sample or even drawing blood. Some medical assistants may also be expected to carry out laboratory tests and take notes of the results.
- Directly Helping Physicians and Nurses – Medical assistants are at most times in the exam room with the doctor and patient, helping with procedures and exams. This entails handing the doctor required tools or recording information in a medical chart as the doctor examines a patient. These assistants may also acquire hands-on work experience and actually assist in procedures and exams.
- Providing Information to Patients – Communicating with patients is an important role for medical assistants. This starts with patients coming in the door and ends with their leaving. Physicians depend on medical assistants to prepare patients for exams, explain what will happen next, and help them with the doctor’s instructions for medication and future appointments.
- Administrative Tasks – A medical assistant profession is varied, and for many professionals in this field, that means doing administrative jobs as necessary. Medical assistant duties and responsibilities often times extend to answering the phone, taking messages, making appointments, filing and updating medical records, preparing laboratory services, and carrying out billing or bookkeeping.
Potential Job Areas
Basic medical assistants can work in a number of environments, including community health centers, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and doctors’ offices. Other job locations that are growing in popularity and demand is to assist physicians with providing of mobile healthcare for patients at home.
The post of a medical assistant allows you to have responsibility for a wide range of tasks, but under the watchful eye of experienced professionals. This benefit of safely developing your skills will reward you with the experience, competence and confidence you’ll require to enter other areas of professional healthcare.
Tips on Providing Better Medical Assistant Duties
It is important that you have been trained in the clinical and administrative tasks that medical assistants are expected to carry out on the job in order to be a great medical personnel. On the other hand, there are some qualities that are also important to have to do the job well. Business owners, like administrators and physicians, look for certain qualities in potential medical assistants apart from the technical skills learned in school.
Knowing and being trained to carry out all the entry-level medical assistant duties and responsibilities are vital steps toward being an excellent professional working in this field. In order to move to the next step, though, and to become an excellent medical assistant, you are required to understand what it takes to perform these roles well and live up to the expectations of the physicians and nurses.
- Make Sure Your Roles Are Clear – While most of the basic medical assistant’s duties and responsibilities cut across all workplaces, there are some differences. Make sure you define exactly what your medical assistant job description is, what you are expected to do, and what you are not permitted to do, as at any new job. This will ensure you meet expectations and that patients are well taken care of.
- Practice – As the saying goes ‘Practice makes perfect’, and this couldn’t be truer than when applied to caring for patients. A convenient place to start is in your hands-on training program, but don’t stop there. Let your family be stepping stones for you as you practice quickly and efficiently, preparing patients for examinations, recording temperatures, or measuring blood pressure.
- Take Time to Learn – You will have studied and acquired skills on how to do many of the medical assistant duties and responsibilities in your classroom work, but expect to get on-the-job training as well. Expect more to learn. Take keen interest in those medical assistants and other professionals who have been working longer than you, and let them guide you in the procedures and regulations specific to the office in which you end up being a staff in. Your education doesn’t end with your diploma or degree in medical assisting. You will learn in-depth skills on the job, and you may even need to take part in professional development to keep your skills up-to-date.
- Have Good Listening Skills – A segment of your job as a medical assistant is passing information, but that means more than just talking to patients. You need to listen to patients so you can help them explain their problems, difficulties and questions to the doctor. You must also be able to listen to the doctor or nurse so that you can help the patient digest the information or requirement.
- Be Organized – Administrative professionals are in charge of a various aspects of an office. If your medical assistant duties and responsibilities include administrative tasks, you will be a vital part of keeping the office running smoothly. Be organized with files, patient messages, and appointments to assist everyone work more efficiently and to keep patients safe.
- A Positive and Friendly Attitude – Your work as a medical assistant is patient-centric. Your major role is to work with patients, to prepare them, to help them, to communicate with them, and more. This needs a friendly and outgoing attitude and a willingness to be empathetic.
- Adaptability to New Environment – Because medical assistant duties and responsibilities vary beyond the entry level roles, employers look for people who are adaptable. You must be willing to perform various tasks even if they may not be related.
- Team Player– Taking care of patients is a team effort. All the people you see working in a medical setting are contributing to the care of every patient. It is important that you are able to work well with others, which means blending even if you are in a bad mood, listening and communicating, and taking guidelines.
A medical assistant profession could be waiting just around the corner for you. If you feel happy about working with patients, about caring for people, and about learning clinical skills, you are ready to start working toward this career.
From acquiring your education and training, you will move on step to become a professional in the medical field with medical assistant duties and responsibilities to manage every day on the job. To get employed to the job you’ve always wanted, know what will be expected of you, and know what medical centers are looking for. With skill, knowledge and these tips for how to do this job well, you will be on your way to becoming an excellent medical assistant!