A medical assistant job description will vary depending on the size, location and specialty of the health care organization or practice. It is common for assistant medical jobs in small practices to do many different tasks but in large practices they may specialize in just a few tasks. Generally speaking, a medical assistant job description will include both administrative and/or clinical tasks.
Assistant medical jobs are in very high demand right now. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that assistant medical jobs are projected to grow by an astonishing 34 percent from 2008 to 2018. In fact, due to the expanding health care industry, it is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. today.
Medical Assistant Job Description: What Does a ‘MA’ Do?
A medical administrator or assistant helps make a practice run smoothly by performing several important administrative tasks such as:
* scheduling appointments
* updating and filing patient medical records
* handling billing and bookkeeping
* filling out insurance forms
* scheduling patient hospital admissions
* answering the telephone
In addition, assistant medical employment description may include some or all of the following clinical tasks:
* collecting and processing laboratory specimens
* sterilize and prepare equipment
* taking vital signs
* preparing patients for physical examinations or x-ray procedures
* educating and instructing patients about medications and diets
* administering medications
* authorizing drug refills
* drawing blood
* changing dressings and other first aid procedures
Apart from having the knowledge and skills needed to perform the tasks listed above, every medical assistant job description will also include good interpersonal and communication skills. Ideally, MAs should also be friendly and approachable.
One of the medical administrator’s or assistant’s responsibilities is to put the patient at ease and to answer any questions he or she may have about medications or tests. Doctors tend to be very busy people and sometimes patients don’t want to waste their physician’s time by asking too many questions. Part of the assistant medical employment description includes helping patients understand medical terminology. If the patient is confused by the doctor’s instructions, the medical administrator or assistants job is to help him or her know what to do.
Medical Assistant Job Description: Education and Certification Requirements
Not all MAs have formal training in the medical field. Some have only high school diplomas and were trained on the job. Others have completed one or two-year programs in medical administrating or assisting. Vocational and technical schools, community colleges, junior colleges and online educational institutions commonly offer medical administrating or assisting programs.
Graduates of these formal training programs may apply for certification or registration with a professional organization for medical administrators and assistants. There are several organizations that give certification credentials for MAs such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the Association of Medical Technologists (AMT). Certification or registration of credentials is not required but many employers do prefer applicants who are certified.
Depending on the specific assistant medical job description, other specialized training may be required. This will vary according to the practitioner’s specialty. For example, an ophthalmic assistant medical job description may require the job candidate to know how to test eye muscle function.
Assistant Medical Employment Description: People Skills
As the medical assistant job description above shows, medical assistants are skilled in many different tasks and specialties. Not only do they have to know how to manage a medical office, they also have to be able to do basic clinical tasks. Nowadays, a medical assistant job description is likely to emphasize good people skills because that is what patients and doctors look for in an assistant.