What does a Medical Assistant do?

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.

Jobs Roles

  • Interview patients to obtain medical information and measure their vital signs, weight, and height.
  • Show patients to examination rooms and prepare them for the physician.
  • Record patients' medical history, vital statistics, or information such as test results in medical records.
  • Prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician.
  • Collect blood, tissue, or other laboratory specimens, log the specimens, and prepare them for testing.
  • Explain treatment procedures, medications, diets, or physicians' instructions to patients.
  • Help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments or materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures.
  • Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information to pharmacies.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean.
  • Clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies.
  • Schedule appointments for patients.
  • Change dressings on wounds.
  • Greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.
  • Contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission.
  • Perform general office duties, such as answering telephones, taking dictation, or completing insurance forms.
  • Inventory and order medical, lab, or office supplies or equipment.
  • Perform routine laboratory tests and sample analyses.
  • Set up medical laboratory equipment.
  • Keep financial records or perform other bookkeeping duties, such as handling credit or collections or mailing monthly statements to patients.
  • Operate x-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), or other equipment to administer routine diagnostic tests.
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