Essential Guides On What Does a Medical Assistant Do
Many people seem to have wrong impression on what does a medical assistant do. In actual fact, medical assistants play an important role within the community and are asked to perform a variety of tasks and job duties. Most people that enter this field and choose to train as a medical assistant do so because they love working and helping others. However it is also widely known that they love this field because it is ever changing and prefer the balance of administrative tasks coupled with clinical responsibilities. Often, no two days are the same for someone in this field and essentially these workers are the backbone of medical offices and the liaison between physicians and their patients.
What Does a Medical Assistant Do – Choose a Specialty
It may be that during your training, you will discover that you have a passion for a particular field more than others. While all medical assistants receive the exact same training across the board, there are various types of offices that one can work in upon completing their education and clinical practical assessments. It is often the case that once one settles into a specific office they will receive more training that is conducive to that particular medical practice.
The offices are vast and include family practitioner offices, dental offices, chiropractor’s offices, hospitals, and a variety of other settings which otherwise assist the general public in their health and well being needs. As the medical field advances, more tailored medical assistant jobs are being created so it may be that one’s career veers towards non-conventional medicinal settings as well, such as working in an allergist’s office, Yoga or holistic health setting or for an acupuncturist as they too can find much value in assistants.
Setting the Pace
As a graduate begins to examine their options, one of the pivotal things to take into consideration is the pace at which they would like to work at. Whereas working in a hospital can be fast paced and ultimately more demanding, other medical settings may be slower. You will want to choose a setting that is conducive to your personality type and working style. So do take time to understand what does a medical assistant do under those environments and specialize in area that is to your interest.
Also take into consideration the size of the facility you may want to establish yourself in. Some offices are very small and have few staff members and in these cases it is likely you will work with a small group of co-workers and report directly to the physician or a department administrator. Some prefer these more intimate settings because it allows for closer relationships, especially if the patient number is low.
Larger offices may require you to report to several supervisors or a board and the number of patients is generally more excessive which means your time with each one will be less. Larger offices also tend to be more demanding as the pace is quickened, the patient docket is vast.
What Does a Medical Assistant Do – Types of Medical Assistants
Generally speaking the role of a medical assistant will vary depending on which type of assistant one chooses to be. The main categories or types of assistants are as follows: Clinical Medical Assistants, Ophthalmic Medical Assistants and Administrative Medical Assistants. Each of these titles will bring with them essential and particular skill and job expectations. To truly understand what those responsibilities include, the varying types should be examined more closely.
Clinical Medical Assistants
Becoming a Clinical Medical Assistant is often a very high demanding job and the laws and regulations are specific in what they can and cannot do in their roles. Much of the tasks in this position centers on patient care and intake duties. This includes gathering from the patient all of their medical information and history and documenting all the details. This is important as doctor’s offices need to rely on their medical assistants to record visits and health information in a timely and accurate manner so that present and future care is given.
Another important role for Clinical Medical Assistants is to prepare patients for procedures and surgeries and this includes taking their vital signs, explaining what will happen during their procedure and at time mediating with family members who will also have questions and concerns.
It may be too that you will be asked to assist the doctor during exams and procedures and for many that choose this field this can be an exciting time as there is a lot to learn and digest. It is also a great segway for those interested in possibly going into the nursing field or who are interest in pursuing a medical degree.
Because this is a clinical role you may be asked to assist in the drawing of blood or assisting in labs or asked to take x-rays for patients. Those in this role are often the right hand people of the physicians to ensure that procedures and required prep work is completed.
Other tasks include being involved in organizing or arranging for lab specimens and even performing some basic lab tests and analysis. If you intend to work within a lab there is usually further mandated testing required as you will be handling hazardous materials and will need to know how to handle and dispose of those materials in accordance with the laws and regulations.
Other tasks may be assigned, but this provides a general overview of what to expect in this type of role.
Administrative Medical Assistant
An Administrative Medical Assistant will also have varying roles but much of their work, as the title implies has to do with the paperwork and documentation within a doctor’s office. One of the pivotal roles in this type of position is to collect patient information and process paperwork having to do with insurance forms, waivers and other documentation that is needed prior to services and care being rendered.
It is the job of this professional to ensure that all patient files and records are consistently updated and correct, as well as being expected to greet patients as they enter the office or location, answer questions about health and procedures and monitor all incoming phone calls, faxes and deliveries. They are of sorts the office managers who ensure that the patients are happy and comfortable and that the entire office runs smoothly.
Other tasks may also include monitoring the billing services, calling insurance companies to inquire about late or upcoming payments or contacting patients about their balances due. It is generally through the Administrative Medical Assistant that all billing inquiries are handled and processed and some accounting or bookkeeping may also be assigned.
Specialized Medical Assistants
Specialist doctors often require Medical Assistants to perform functions and duties that specific to their practice needs. An example of this would be a medical assistant that works for an ophthalmic practitioner. In an office such as this the assistant will likely perform tasks such as measuring and recording vision, assisting in diagnostic testing and recording or testing the muscle functions related to the eye.
In other specialized offices the medical assistants may help in sterilizing tools and instruments, assisting the physician during examinations or otherwise participating in patient procedures and needs. Since these officers cater to a specific type of patient clientele, it is impossible to list all of the expectations as they will differ depending on the specialization and what the doctor needs.
In summary, if you are interested to work as a medical assistant, your first priority will be to understand what does a medical assistant do and their area of specialty so that it can match your personality and make your work more fun.