What Does a Medical Assistant Do? 4 Daily Duties and Skills Needed for The Job


Pursuing a medical assistant career can be rewarding. The strong desire to help others is why many students decide to say “yes” to medical assistant training. Many entering the healthcare field hope to become impactful members of their communities, but this knowledge and skillset doesn’t happen overnight.

It is a conscious decision made to undergo training to gain the skills and qualifications needed to become a medical assistant. Medical assistant duties consist of both administrative and clinical tasks. Their day-to-day responsibilities may include scheduling appointments, updating medical records, preparing patients for physical exams, and more.

You may be asking yourself the question “what are the duties of a medical assistant?” Medical Assistant job duties can vary based on location, specialty, and practice size. Here we have created a list of 4 typical daily medical assistant responsibilities you can look forward to after completing training successfully.

Learn how you could get started with Medical Assistant training today!

#1 Documentation for Medical Assistants: Accuracy is Key

If you are looking to begin a medical assistant career, the first task to master on your list of medical assistant duties is document processing and ensuring accuracy in all that you do.

Having attention to detail is imperative when transferring documentation and recording history and taking vital signs. During document processing, the medical assistants review and form medical health records. The documents contain many different sections, such as patients’ personal information and health, physical and mental conditions, medical history, and current medical care. Medical assistants may use this data to schedule appointments and process medical insurance.

The skills needed for a medical assistant are complex; you must be detail-oriented and organized. These skills are required when recording and handling patient information; if not, then data is compromised. Physicians rely heavily on medical assistants to perform the tasks accurately. Documentation needs to be accurate to help physicians with an initial examination of a patient. These essential records contain medical procedures, treatments, instruction, and care documentation. These documents need to be written accurately, and legibly. If the document processing is incomplete or illegible, the physician’s level of care can be hindered.

#2 Taking Vital Signs and Having Good Technical Skills

Medical assistant responsibilities encompass a wide range, but one of the most impactful is taking vital signs. A great medical assistant has good technical skills and knowledge of the field. As an aspiring medical assistant, you must learn how to operate basic clinical instruments. These essential measurements of bodily function include measuring temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and pulse, or heart rate. These are taken at each visit and are analyzed by the doctor to make sound clinical decisions. Taking vital signs is technical, and validity is a must for medical assistants. Taking vital signs requires basic health knowledge and technical skills as well as precision. It is a perfect task for a trained medical assistant.

#3 Analytical Skills and Assisting Providers and Physicians

The third on the list of medical assistant duties include the following: assisting doctors and other care providers by preparing, administering, and following up with patients for medical examinations, treatments, specimen collection, and office diagnostic procedures. Strong analytical skills are a vital quality of a medical assistant. As a part of the medical assistant’s day-to-day duties, they need to have a firm grasp of medical terminology and understand and follow protocols for the various clinical activities they will be responsible for handling. Medical assistants must be knowledgeable in how to code a patient’s medical records for billing purposes.

#4 Patient Communication and Interpersonal Skills

The final item on our list of medical assistant job duties includes patient communication. Medical assistants are one of the first points of contact a patient may have during their appointment, so good communication skills are essential. As a medical assistant, you need good listening skills. Focusing on the patient when they talk is critical to record all relevant information that the patient provides. The skills needed for medical assistants are to interpret patients’ medical charts, ensure they understand what the patient is telling them, and being caring and empathetic. Medical assistants should also display patience and professionalism in all interactions.

Where can I put these medical assistant duties and skills to use?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants may complete administrative and clinical tasks in the office of physicians and other healthcare facilities.1  No matter where you end up choosing to work, you could have the opportunity to help others in need and constantly change the lives of others. If you believe you have these four skills, it is time to look into a medical assistant career.

Enroll in the Medical Assistant career training program at Dorsey College

By enrolling in the Medical Assistant training program at DorseyCollege, you can complete your training in just 12 months. We want to become a part of your success story. Now that you know what is required of the job and the skills needed for Medical Assistant employment, are you ready to begin your journey towards training? We offer our Medical Assistant diploma program at the following campus locations:

If you are interested, contact Dorsey College today to learn more about medical assistant duties and training!

Begin your Medical Assistant training today with Dorsey College!


  1. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm