Are you interested in becoming a Medical Assistant? What exactly does a Medical Assistant career entail? A Medical Assistant is an allied health occupation, where professionals perform clinical and administrative tasks to support the work of physicians and other healthcare professionals.
The Medical Assistant is a vital part of the healthcare team. Not only do they assist with hands on processes within the office, they also often serve as a medical administrative assistant that connects the physician with other healthcare entities including pharmacies, referring physicians, hospitals, and outpatient facilities, which provide real-time feedback to the physician regarding the progress of the patient. They also serve as a liaison between the physician and the patient, by communicating the physician’s orders, results from laboratory tests, and treatment plans directly to their patients.
Medical Assistants represent the medical office and the physician that they work under. They are often the direct link between the patient and physician. Therefore, it is important that the Medical Assistant also demonstrates the professional “soft” skills required to communicate effectively and efficiently with the physician, the patient, and other team members.
Examples of professional “soft” skills include:
- Good communication skills (both oral and written)
- Organization of workspace
- Ability to multitask
- Ability to remain calm and composed under pressure or stressful situations
- Ability to convey empathy and understanding to patients and their families
- Assist patients in feeling welcome and comfortable in an environment that they typically do not want to be in
Medical Assistants are cross-trained to perform both clinical (back office) and administrative (front office) tasks within a medical setting, making them extremely versatile. Depending on the specialty, size, and location, Medical Assistants perform many different and important tasks on a daily basis.
Examples of clinical (back office) skills and duties may include:
- Charting medical histories
- Taking vital signs including blood pressure, pulse, temperature, height, and weight
- Preparing patients for examination
- Assisting the physician during examinations and procedures
- Performing basic laboratory procedures such as urine dips, mouth swabs, and injections
- Performing finger pricks and blood draws
- Performing electrocardiograms (EKG/ECG)
- Collecting and preparing specimens for laboratory analysis
- Instructing patients about medication and special diets, as ordered by the physician
- Authorizing prescription refills, as ordered by the physician
- Removing sutures and changing dressings on wounds
Examples of administrative (front office) skills and duties may include:
- Checking in patients, including greeting, verifying insurance coverage, and collecting payments
- Answering the telephone
- Using computer applications
- Billing, coding, and processing insurance information for patients
- Arranging for hospital admission, special laboratory procedures, or referrals to other physicians
- Handling correspondence
- Organizing and filing patient medical records
- Book keeping, payroll and taxes processing
- Making sure all work is done at a high level of quality
A Medical Assistant career is very rewarding. On a daily basis, Medical Assistants work with physicians and other support staff with the goal of improving overall health and well-being of their patients. Certified Medical Assistants can work in a variety of exciting healthcare settings.
Examples of exciting medical work environments may include:
- Administrative / Clinical settings
- General practice / Specialty Doctor’s offices
If you are a person who enjoys interacting with others, and who wants a career that who wants a career that makes a difference in the lives of others, then our Medical Assisting program may be for you! Whether you want to change careers or you just want more out of life, Arizona College offers both Medical Assisting degree and Medical Assisting diploma programs that will provide the education and experience needed to become a successful Medical Assistant.
For more information on our Medical Assisting programs, complete a form and an Arizona College representative will contact you. Don’t wait another day, contact Arizona College today!