We decided to put all the medical assistant’s duties and responsibilities in one place so that interested people can find out what these professionals are in charge of prior to deciding to become one.
Medical assistants (MA) job involves a variety of duties which may vary from job to job, depending on the size of the facility they work in.
A medical director is a person who assigns MA duties, and in smaller practices, medical assistants can be found working in both the front and back areas of the doctor’s office.
Patient Assessments and Care
The first responsibility to mention is the initial patient assessments.
This is a large part of the MA responsibilities, and maybe the most important one.
What belongs to this category is checking a patient’s vital signs, performing a physical exam, and obtaining the patient’s medical history.
You may consider this less important, but collecting vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, breathing rate, and temperature are of great help to physicians who can continue checking the patient.
The other responsibility is the physical exam which involves measuring height and weight, looking for deformities or irregularities on the patient’s body which have to be told to the physician if noticed.
A medical assistant is the one who will obtain a medical history of the patient by asking questions related to their medical conditions, medications, and allergies.
Every detail that he/she finds out, an MA has to writhe in a patient’s charts and alerts the physician of the results.
Additionally, patient care involves helping patients with mobility or removing clothing covering afflicted parts.
if they work in a facility that accommodates patients, their activities also involve taking care of patient’s hygiene and toileting.
If we take into consideration their testing duties, actually they do what a doctor tells them to.
The MA is suggested which tests to perform on each patient and he/she is required to follow protocols.
These protocols are written by the doctor and they explain how he/she has to do each test.
Also, certain medical assistants are responsible for collecting samples.
They are supposed to draw blood when the doctor orders blood work which is necessary for laboratory testing.
The task of a medical assistant is to process samples, meaning to pack and ship them.
One of the many duties that can be done by medical assistants is preparing patients.
An MA is responsible for getting the patient ready for testing, treatment, and procedures.
This makes their job difficult, as medical assistants are supposed to remove bandages or clothing or shave body parts.
Just like with testing duties, MA has to follow the protocols.
It tells them how and when to prepare the patient.
If we take an example of a male cardiac patient.
An MA will need to prepare him for the EKG test by shaving areas in which the electrodes are placed.
They also need to dry any moist skin where electrodes will be applied.
Furthermore, the duty of the MA is also to apply the EKG electrodes, attach the lead wires, and begin the test.
Last but not least, the MA is supposed to print the collected data, remove the leads and electrodes from the patient, and in case a patient cannot do it himself/herself, the MA should help the patient re-dress.
Besides being in charge of medical duties, an MA can also be found performing clerical duties.
Those include answering phones and scheduling appointments.
You will meet them first when entering a medical facility.
The person who greets patients and obtains their personal information is a medical assistant.
The MA is responsible for keeping the office organized and efficient.
The requirement of an MA is to make sure that patient charts are filled with accurate information, being that they are constantly changing.
They must place the patient’s test results, history, and medication list at the front so that this information can be easily reachable to a physician.
When other clerical things are in question, a medical assistant schedules patients and deletes cancellations, thus making the facility runs smoothly due to the fact that the time is being managed well.
Medical Assistant Task List
We offer you a list of all medical assistants’ job duties that are common to all medical assistant no matter where they work:
- Perform a physician’s secretary duties
- Administer oral and injectable medications
- Assist patients with any kind of issues related to insurance forms and claims
- Assist physicians and other medical staff with exams and procedures
- Call or fax prescriptions to pharmacies
- Change dressings
- Clean instruments and medical equipment
- Collect data about previous health, medical and surgical history from patients
- Collect specimens for lab tests
- Document medical records
- Enter data from monitoring and tracking systems
- Handle and route office mail
- Manage medical records and specialty referrals
- Measure patent vital signs, height and weight
- Order medical and office supplies and medications
- Perform billing tasks and in-office lab tests
- Perform EKGs, vision screening, and hearing tests
- Educate patients as directed by the doctor
- Remove staples and stitches
- Schedule patient appointments, surgeries, and diagnostic procedures
- Stock exam rooms
- Supervise other medical assistants