Medical Assisting: Information about an Important Healthcare Career
Medical assisting is a career path that can allow you to pursue a job in healthcare without completing years and years of education. So what does a medical assistant do in healthcare? The answer varies based on where a medical assistant works and the medical assistant job description written for that particular role. In general, medical assistants support all types of doctors in many types of medical practices. Medical assistant jobs encompass a wide variety of office and clinical tasks inside hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare settings.
People in a medical assisting career will always be busy. Each day will look different as they interact with patients of all ages and states of health, as well as with other healthcare staff and managers. No matter where an individual works or the exact medical assistant job requirements, medical assisting duties are important for supporting physicians, ensuring that healthcare organizations run efficiently, and helping patient visits go as smoothly as possible.
Medical Assistant Job Duties
Most medical assistant duties can be divided into clinical medical assistant duties and administrative medical assistant duties. In some healthcare facilities, medical assistant jobs require doing both clinical and administrative work. However, in larger organizations, administrative and clinical medical assistant jobs are often separated into distinct roles.
Medical Assistant Administrative Duties
On the administrative side, the responsibilities of a medical assistant can include:
- Answering phones
- Scheduling appointments
- Greeting incoming patients
- Coding insurance forms
- Helping with billing and bookkeeping
- Completing patient paperwork and medical records
- Coordinating with other facilities on patient admissions or diagnostics
For these duties, medical assistants should be prepared to use computers and medical software regularly, including updating electronic medical records.
Clinical Medical Assistant Duties
Clinical medical assistant duties revolve around supporting direct patient care and can include:
- Collecting patient information and history
- Taking vital signs
- Preparing patients for doctor’s appointments and making them feel at ease
- Preparing patients for x-rays and other exams
- Collecting and preparing lab specimens, including drawing blood
- Performing basic lab tests
- Dressing wounds and removing stitches
- Assisting physicians during patient exams
- Administering medications as directed, including giving injections
- Educating patients on treatments and helping them understand the physician’s instructions
How to Get Started: Preparing for a Career in Medical Assisting
At South College, our Medical Assisting programs can help prepare you to take the Certified Medical Assistant exam and to work in both administrative and clinical medical assistant jobs. Our Medical Assisting certificate and associate degree programs are offered in Asheville, Atlanta, Knoxville, and Nashville, with both programs featuring the opportunity to combine online classes with on-campus laboratory experiences and scheduled check-ins with our Medical Assisting program directors and a clinical practicum. To see how South College could help you prepare for a medical assistant career, explore our programs today.