What Is A Medical Assistant?

Medical Assistants are a class of healthcare providers who perform administrative tasks and responsibilities for doctors in the medical facilities. Depending upon their placements, their list of duties can vary.

Assistance is essential in the health field, and physicians are frequently in demand of people who are tech-savvy and well-versed in working with necessary instruments and applied practices.

Medical Assistant Careers

Medical assisting careers are growing fast and are projected to grow significantly faster than average growth for all occupations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 19 percent growth in employment of medical assistants from 2019 to 2029. For an in-depth view of medical assistant careers view our Medical Assistant Salary and Career Outlook (interlink-Medical Assistant Salary And Career Outlook) page. When considering a career as a medical assistant, you will want to know about the different types of medical assistants.

Types of Medical Assistants

Medical Assistants can be broadly classified into different categories depending upon the specific field to which they get allocated. Their assistance is of utmost importance as they are the extra pair of eyes and ears when the doctors cannot pay attention to every minute detail. Here are some different types of medical assistants:

1) Administrative Medical Assistant
These medical assistants are solely responsible for adding the patients’ complete information and medical history into the database. Forms duly filled out and insurance details provided to the healthcare facility so that carrying out the procedures becomes a possibility with full and verified information. Their tasks include scheduling patient visits, in-house care, and answering their queries, if any.

2) Podiatric Medical Assistant
Podiatrists are the foot specialists who are involved in caring for and treating foot disorders. They provide all-round support to the doctors while putting casts, performing medical examinations, taking X-rays, and so forth. In surgery, too, the assistants accompany the surgeons.

3) Ophthalmic and Optometric Medical Assistant
The ophthalmologists and optometrists have medical assistants who tend to the patients while they’re under the care of the surgeons. They train the patients and prepare them for the procedure. Usually, they look through different types of lenses for usage and subsequent maintenance. It includes using optical or lens solutions which are essential for keeping the lenses clean.

4) Clinical Medical Assistant
Depending upon the type of clinical processes and specimens, medical assistants are responsible for carrying out different types of diagnostic tests using a variety of methods and samples. Additional roles and responsibilities entail giving instructions to patients about their nutrition profile, exercise regimen, preparation for various diagnostic tests like scans, taking blood and other fluid samples and so forth.

Medical Assistant Responsibilities and Duties

As shown by the American Association Of Medical Of Medical Assistants (AAMA) Occupational Analysis of Medical Assistants, medical assistants are trained to perform both administrative and clinical duties. Now that you have an overview of some of the different types of medical assistants, let’s take a closer look at their roles and responsibilities in the healthcare domain. Here is a list of common duties undertaken by medical assistants:

Administrative Duties
-Using computer software
-Fielding telephone calls
-Maintaining patient medical records
-Scheduling appointments
-Coordinating admissions to hospitals and laboratory services
Clinical Duties
-Getting patient medical histories
-Informing patients of treatment procedures
-Patient preparation for examinations
-Assisting physicians during exams
-Performing basic lab tests
-Removing sutures and changing bandages
-Preparing and administering medications under physician direction

As a medical assistant, not only will you get exposed to the tools and technology required in surgical procedures and biopsies but also learn ways to master computational methods and artificial intelligence.

Required Skills For Medical Assistants

Every occupation demands a particular skillset from the individual who applies for it. Required skills for medical assistants are listed below:

1) Interactive nature
Medical assistants need not be chatty since their job description doesn’t involve engaging in long conversations. However, it does include being able to interact with the patient and their family to gain insights about their medical history and consumption of medicines. Hence, they should be able to communicate with them and record the details effectively.

2) Technical expertise
Working knowledge about the instruments and the technology used is as important as knowing all about the patient. Medical assistants should be well aware of the tools and methods used for the diagnosis of patients. Further, they should be mindful of the procedures undertaken for the medical care of the patients.

3) Attention to detail
Medical assistants should be accurate with their observations, especially while recording patients’ vital signs, as this clearly affects the mode of treatment and suggested procedures. It’s necessary for medical assistants to be alert and aware of the condition of the patient, results of the diagnostic tests, nature of the specimens obtained, and interpretation of patient medical history. Hence, every tiny detail matters, and duly filling them out is done by being attentive and taking all necessary precautions.

4) Analytical thinking
Not only are medical assistants essential for assisting the physicians, but their decision-making and problem-solving aptitude certainly comes in handy in sticky situations. Equipped with their technical know-how, they will be able to solve an array of problems. Further, knowing about the patient’s medical history is equally essential and recording essential details from the medical charts is taken up by medical assistants. Apart from medical care, the assistants should be well-versed with administrative ways so that they can make bills and obtain insurance details from the respective companies.

5) Responsive attitude
Medical assistants should be calm and responsive in all situations, especially in the panic mode. They need to keep their cool amidst the patient’s family since usually, they will be delivering information about the patient to them. Further, they should be able to talk it out with the patient as well since they will be stressed out and bothered, which can further aggravate their body state and conditions. Hence, the response of the assistants is crucial for handling patients and helping them during their treatment regimen.

Getting Started As A Medical Assistant

Now that you have an introduction to medical assistants, their career outlooks, job responsibilities, education, and training you have a better idea about whether a career as a medical assistant might be a good fit for you. Next, learn exactly how to become a medical assistant(interlink-How To Become A Medical Assistant page). Once you have a solid understanding of the path to becoming a medical assistant you can consider medical assistant programs (interlink-Medical Assistant Programs, Schools and Training page) and find the right one to get started on a journey to a new and promising career.

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