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Carrington College Blog

What Do Medical Assistants Do?

November 4, 2015

Medical assistants can be the heart of their office. Their job is to keep the office working. They do a bunch of things that help keep their office working at a productive and efficient level.

Medical assistants are the Swiss Army Knives of their offices… they do a little bit of everything. We’re talking stuff like front desk work, clinical jobs and working with the doctor and patient. That’s a lot!

Guess what? Since medical assistants can do a billion different things, that means they’re in high demand! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for these medical professionals is expected to grow by 29 percent between 2012 and 2022.1

Where do they do all this work? Typically in doctors’ offices or other health care facilities. Check out all the jobs medical assistants need to know how to do.

Welcome to the Office

If you want to be a medical assistant it helps to be a people person. A big chunk of most medical assistant’s day is spent at the front desk. They’ll be answering phones, filling out insurance forms, doing bookkeeping, scheduling appointments, putting patient info in the computer and calling in prescriptions. That’ll keep you busy, right? Sometimes in bigger offices medical assistants work in teams, but there’s a chance you’ll get to cover all that ground by yourself.

Clinical Tasks

Don’t worry, you get to work with patients too! Medical assistants also help with clinical tasks. They can escort patients to exam rooms, take patient histories, collect lab specimens, draw blood, sterilize equipment, explain medical lingo and help doctors in exam rooms. Medical assistants are there to do a lot of the work physicians just don’t have time to do. They’re a supporting member of the medical team, ready to jump in and help.

Work Between the Physician and the Patient

You’ll be there to help your physician and work with the patients. Because the physician is typically super busy, medical assistants usually help answer the patient’s questions.

They can’t actually give medical advice, but medical assistants can keep the appointment moving and help the patient with things they need. They can answer questions about medical procedures, billing, insurance claims and new appointments. A medical assistant’s job is to make the patient feel comfortable from the minute they walk through the door. A good medical assistant gets what a patient is going through and helps the patient through their appointment.

What Medical Assistants Need to Know

Medical assistants have a ton on their plates. It’s important for them to be good multi-taskers. It’s pretty unusual for a medical assistant to only have one or two things to do. Most have about a billion tasks to do at the same time. Time management is important too. Medical assistants will be really busy during their shifts which means they need to manage their time well so they get everything done.

Medical assistants also have to be good with people. They need to work well with everyone from doctors and nurses to patients and other medical assistants. People who rock as medical assistants can also move up the health care industry ladder.

According to the American Association of Medical Assistants, successful medical assistants can become office managers and they might even qualify for other administrative roles.2 Many go on to pursue degrees in the medical field. The sky is the limit!

Click here for more information about how you can become a Medical Assistant.

1“Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medical Assistants” Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, January 8, 2014.

2 “Medical Assisting Career” American Association of Medical Assistants, May 2013.