I used to work as a medical assistant (MA) before I was in medical school. I worked at a sleep medicine clinic for those with sleep apnea, insomnia and a variety of other sleep conditions.
My role: I would take vitals of the patients that would come in (Blood pressure, Heart rate, Temp etc.) and then room them for the doctor. I prepared patient charts with questionnaire forms, schedule follow up appointments, call insurance companies to check cost of visit for patient and prescription prices.
It depends on what type of clinic you work at if you would like to receive more administration and behind the scenes work or if you do more things with patient care! Best to have skills of both to make you a valuable MA!
Hope this helps
Robert J.’s Answer
I was a medical assistant in the U.S. Navy (many years ago). Medical assistants in the Navy are called corpsmen. I really enjoyed being a corpsman and taking care of Sailors and Marines; and working for my doctors to ensure the best care was delivered. I supported routine, urgent and emergent care. The Navy allowed me to do many things far beyond the normal scope of medical assistants. Under some conditions it was very hard. 24/7. And often in very austere environments. But very rewarding work.
I have since moved on. I am a group practice administrator for a very busy Northern Virginia based women's health clinic. However, my background as a Navy corpsman (medical assistant) taught me how to lookout for my medical assistants. I make sure they are working at the top of their abilities, and encourage their personal and professional development. Now, one of my former medical assistants is in school to become an administrator and another is in nursing school to become a registered nurse. Others have gone on to become licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and physicians assistants. Presently, I am working with one to get her through community college, then into a pre-med program and ultimately become a physician. That's her dream.
I am sure you will do great things in your professional pursuits.
Robert J. recommends the following next steps: