What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

what does a medical assistant do

Whether you’re just starting your career or considering changing your existing profession, why not consider joining the medical field as a medical assistant? You may be wondering though, what does a medical assistant do exactly? Typically found on the frontlines of a doctor’s office or clinic, medical assistants work directly with patients. They also ensure the medical office or clinic operates efficiently. For a more in-depth look at what the medical assistant career looks like and how you could get started on this career path, keep reading.

Learn more about Dorsey College’s medical assistant program!

What is a medical assistant and what do they do?

A medical assistant works alongside and under the supervision of doctors and other medical staff. They typically perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks depending on what type of medical environment they work in. A medical assistant may be responsible for scheduling appointments, taking medical histories and helping patients understand their treatment plans.

Medical assistants must be able to perform their duties with compassion and empathy and must also have excellent communication and organizational skills. When it comes to education to prepare medical assistants for their career, they typically have at least a high school diploma and most have completed a postsecondary training program.

A day in the life of a medical assistant

No two days are the same for a medical assistant. You might be scheduled for a full day of patient visits, or you might have some down time in between appointments. Regardless of how your day is structured, you’ll likely have a lot of contact with patients. You may be responsible for escorting them to exam rooms, taking their vital signs, assisting the physician during the exam, or completing various other tasks. While the day-to-day duties of a medical assistant can vary, there are some common tasks that you can expect to perform on a daily basis.

Medical assistant responsibilities

The exact duties of a medical assistant will vary depending on the size and type of healthcare facility they work in. However, there are some common responsibilities that all medical assistants must be able to perform. Medical assistants typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can vary depending on the size and type of medical practice. However, there are some common duties that all medical assistants perform.

These may include:

  • Obtaining patient medical history and vital signs
  • Scheduling appointments and laboratory tests
  • Assisting with medical procedures
  • Preparing patients for examination
  • And more!

Education needed to complete the basic medical assistant duties

In order to seek employment and complete the basic duties of an assistant in the medical field, you will typically need to graduate from a postsecondary education program which leads to a certificate or a diploma1. Some states have specific requirements for certification, so a school with a strong hands-on component with experienced instructors could be beneficial to start your new medical assistant career.
Many training programs can be completed in a year or less. In choosing a program, it’s important to evaluate the school’s curriculum to ensure you’ll be receiving the training you need (and want) before starting your journey. The first step in your journey is to get the skills and practical experience needed to start. Utilizing a medical assistant duties checklist can help you prepare for your career and find the school that’s right for you.

Take a step towards a new career as a medical assistant with the help of Dorsey College!

At Dorsey College, our Medical Assistant program is designed to allow students the opportunity to learn the basic duties they may need to succeed, whether that be in a medical office, clinic, or another healthcare facility. The program is offered at a variety of locations across the Metro Detroit area, as well as in Saginaw, and Grand Rapids.
Those who successfully graduate from our program could have the opportunity to challenge the national certification exam. The program covers a variety of topics including electronic health records, first aid, taking vital signs, administration of medication, and so much more! Take your first step to pursuing a rewarding career with the Medical Assistant program at Dorsey College!

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1.Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Assistants, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm#tab-4