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What is like being a medical assistant?

What are the days like being a medical assistant? Is it challenging? #medicine #healthcare

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Nija’s Answer

Hi Karima,

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:

I hope this information helps you gain insight about a typical day for a Medical Assistant.

Nija recommends the following next steps:

Continue to do your research.
Volunteer or do an internship where you are given an opportunity to work under medical assistants.
Interview different medical assistants to gain insight on the nature of the job responsibilities.
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Rachel’s Answer

I work at a cancer center where the medical assistants play an integral role in patient care. They check the patients in, take vitals, check histories, assist with procedures, and dispense medication when necessary. Many of the MA's bond with the patients after years of caring for them during treatment. Often the MA's become closer to the patients than the physicians because the MA's have more time to spend with them.