What Is a Medical Assistant and What Do They Do?
For those that have heard of the term medical assistant, the question likely comes to mind, what is a medical assistant? There are hundreds of professions in the healthcare field, most of which are in high demand with a great job outlook. One of the most important positions in healthcare is the medical assistant. Assistants work hand in hand with physicians in clinics and medical offices and they are trained in both clinical and administrative duties, making some of the most valuable members of a healthcare team. Since they perform both office and medical tasks, they must undergo extensive training.
Aside from the question of what is a medical assistant is the question of what they do. In the administrative realm, assistants are responsible for the following: answering phone calls, using computer applications to schedule appointments, filing patient records, filling out insurance forms, arranging hospital admissions, and bookkeeping. These tasks may seem menial, but they are some of the most important in a medical environment. Without proper organization, medial offices would fall apart. The filing and filling out of insurance information is crucial, as if the proper information is not recorded, the hospital or office may not receive payment for their treatment.
Other than the administrative duties, medical assistants are also responsible for an extensive list of clinical tasks. These clinical duties include: taking and recording medical histories, explaining procedures or treatments to patients, preparing patients for examination or treatment, collection and preparing lab specimen, basic lab tests, medication and diet instructions, drawing blood, removing sutures and changing sutures, authorizing prescription refills, and recording vital signs. Without these duties being performed, doctors would take extensive amounts of time with patients and would only be able to see a handful each day. Without medical assistants, medical offices would function much less efficiently and hospital waiting rooms would be even more crowded than they already are.
Next time you find yourself asking, what is a medical assistant, check out National Career Education (NCE) and find out for yourself. With courses geared towards preparing students to work as certified medical assistants, NCE offers comprehensive, hands on training in under a year. The path to a career in the field of medicine can be short and sweet at NCE. The only thing standing between you and a job in healthcare is a course at NCE!
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