Medical Assistant Career Duties / Education
Medical Assistant: Medical Assistants work in an administrative capacity to ensure that the offices of Physicians are well organized and managed. Medical Assistants can also work in the offices of podiatrists, physiatrists and other healthcare practitioners. The main duties of a Medical Assistant can be split into Administrative and Clinical duties. In larger hospitals medical assistants can specialize and work solely in an Administrative or a Clinical capacity. In smaller practices they Medical Assistants would have to do both Administrative and Clinical work.
The duties of a Medical Assistant include:
- Updating of a patients medical records.
- Completing relevant insurance forms.
- Arranging appointments.
- Meeting and greeting patients.
- Billing and bookkeeping.
- Taking a patient’s medical history.
- Recording vital signs.
- Explaining treatment to the patient.
- Collect laboratory samples.
- Performing basic laboratory tests.
- Sterilizing medical instruments.
- Changing dressings.
Where they work: The majority of Medical Assistants work in the offices of Physicians. They can also work in the offices of podiatrists, physiatrists and other healthcare practitioners.
Qualifications: There are many certifications open to Medical Assistants, two of which are are:
- The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification - accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)
- The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) - accredited by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
Medical Assistant courses are held at many vocational, technical, community or junior colleges. Diplomas can be achieved in one year of full time education. Some Medical Assistants continue to graduate with an Associate Degree on completion of two years study. An Associate Degree is required for many management positions. Many accredited programs include an internship, which often lead to full time employment for many students.
A typical course of study includes both Clinical and Administrative subjects for example:
- Clinical subjects: physiology, medical terminology, anatomy, first aid.
- Administrative subjects: transcription, typing, accounting, insurance processing, medical law and ethics.
Find a Nursing School near you: Use the Further Your Career zip code search box, to find schools and colleges in your area that offer nursing programs.
Below is a list of some of the various types of medical nurses / assistant nurses: