Nija Jackson, LMSW
I am not a medical assistant but I researched some valuable information that can be very useful for you to review. The information is based on literature called " A Day In the Life of a Medical Assistant" from the website listed below:
Starting the day off right
Medical assistants start their day by logging into their Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system and looking at their schedule to see which providers they’ll be assisting that day. They will also check their email to see if any urgent requests are assigned to them. Sometimes medical assistants will be helping two doctors, or a doctor and a nurse practitioner. They will prepare for the day by looking at the patient schedule to see if the appointments are basic wellness check-ups, physicals, or more specific. This will help medical assistants prepare the exam rooms with the appropriate supplies before each new appointment.
A typical day as a medical assistant
Next, medical assistants will talk to the nurse practitioners in case there are any urgent administrative duties that need to be handled. As patients come in, they will assist them. Medical assistants escort patients from the waiting room into the doctor’s office where they will use the computer system to enter and verify basic information such as patient allergies, medications, changes in health, and recent stays in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. This is important because even the smallest issue can inform healthcare providers on how to correctly assist the patient with another issue. Next, they will take and record blood pressure and other vital signs.
Some patients will need injections, others will need x-rays, and other patients will need to be prepared for examinations. Sometimes samples may need to be taken to the lab and examined.
In a busy healthcare facility, patient appointments may be booked 15 minutes apart, so you may be very active throughout the day. For special appointments, medical assistants will have to set out specific instruments like specimen jars and labels. Patients are then informed that a doctor or nurse will be with them shortly.
When medical assistants have time in between assisting patients, they will log on to their facilities’ healthcare website to contact patients and share and explains test results, schedules, or advice from the doctor. They may also need to get consent forms from patients before procedures occur. Other administrative duties they perform throughout the day include calling other doctor’s offices to get patient reports or records.
Medical assistants may also be responsible for prescription refills through the pharmacy. They need to make sure that perscriptions sent out and verified by the pharmacies. Medical assistants need to follow compliance rules. For example, narcotic prescriptions need to be picked up as hardcopies and can’t be faxed or sent electronically.
After patient appointments
Immediately following patient appointments, medical assistants have to clean procedure rooms inclulding wiping the bedding, changing the paper lining, and putting all the equipment away. If there are specimens that need to be examined, they need to be handled in a timely manner.
End of the day
At the end of the day, medical assistants will help clean exam rooms and sterilize instruments. Rooms are restocked with clean gowns, specimen jars, and all the other products needed for the next day. They also make sure all paperwork and prescriptions are up-to-date and filled out, especially if they are needed urgently.
The unique role of a medical assistant
Medical assistants have a unique role performing a mixture of clinical and administrative duties. Being a medical assistant means you can gain experience in several different professional modes. You also get to interact with patients and build strong relationships as trustworthy professionals in your community. You may feel gratified to know that your actions are essential to the health of others!
This information was retrieved from the following website: https://www.harrisschool.edu/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-medical-assistant/
I hope this information helps you gain insight about a typical day for a Medical Assistant.
Nija recommends the following next steps:
I'm currently a medical assistant with Avance Care. I work in a primary care setting meaning we typically see patients that are dealing with high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression/anxiety. We see patients that need routine physical exams as well (especially those needed for sports like baseball and basketball).
I clock in at 7 am and get the following ready:
1. Patient exam rooms (tidy up the patient bed, make sure to have a thermometer, etc.).
2. Patient paperwork (handouts that we share with patients or any forms they have sent us ahead of their appointment to fill out).
3. Electronic medical records system (the program we use to house patient information on our laptops and desktops).
At 730 am I go to the waiting room and call in my first patient. I take their weight first and guide them to the patient exam room. I then go through the following steps:
1. Take notes on the reason for their visits and record on my laptop.
2. Ask about medications they are taking and any changes that have happened since their last visits (any surgeries? any new allergies?).
3. Measure their heart rate and oxygen saturation.
4. Take their temperature.
5. Check their blood pressure.
Next, I walk outside and let the provider (doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner) know a recap of why the patient is there and then they go in to see the patient.
I help the provider with anything the patient may need such as x-rays, vaccine administration (shots), drawing blood, etc. after the provider comes out of the patient exam room. I share all updates with the provider to make sure they know what all has been performed and so they can review any tests we perform while the patient is still there. I guide the patient to the front desk for checkout after the provider has confirmed that the patient is good to go.
I go back to my desk and update the patients chart to include more notes and any test results before I go out and call my next patient. This happens at least 15 times during my 12 hour shift and I am able to get a lunch break from 12:45 pm to 1:30 pm.
Around 7 pm I make sure to do the following:
1. Clean the patient exam rooms so they are ready for the next day.
2. Share any remaining documents with the front desk so they can add to the patients chart.
3. Clean my workspace because I may not be there the next day and want my coworkers to have a clean workspace.
4. Sign off the electronic medical records system.
Lastly, I turn off the lights in the medical assistant station and leave the clinic knowing that I helped my patients with their healthcare needs!