Medical Assistants

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Also known as:
Autopsy Assistant, Certified Medical Assistant, Chiropractic Assistant, Clinical Medical Assistant, Morgue Attendant, Ocular Care Aide, Optometric Aide, Optometrist Assistant, Optometry Assistant, Orthopedic Cast Specialist

ABOUT MEDICAL ASSISTANT CAREERS
Video transcript

Medical assistants are essential in keeping medical establishments organized and running smoothly. They must be organized individuals who can do several tasks at once and handle a large amount of detailed, important paperwork.

If you are interested in this profession, you must work well with your hands, since duties may include the disposal of contaminated supplies, or the sterilization of medical instruments.

You should also enjoy talking to people, because you must make patients feel comfortable before and during an examination, and in some states, meet with patients to explain treatment procedures.

The amount of responsibility varies depending on where you work. For example, in smaller practices, handling both clerical and clinical is to be expected, whereas many large practices encourage specialization in one area. Regardless of where medical assistants work they are invaluable in making life easier for the medical staff and its patients.

SNAPSHOT
Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Change dressings on wounds.

Inventory and order medical, lab, or office supplies or equipment.

Clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies.

Greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.

Contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission.

Collect blood, tissue, or other laboratory specimens, log the specimens, and prepare them for testing.

Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information to pharmacies.

Prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician.

Help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments or materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures.

Operate x-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), or other equipment to administer routine diagnostic tests.

Schedule appointments for patients.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
TOP SKILLS
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.