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What does a typical day look like for a Clinical Medical Assistant?

I am Currently in school to become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant.

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Keith’s Answer

Greetings! Without question healthcare these days needs medical assistants. They are vital in the healthcare delivery system. Often times the pay and hours are not the best but it is a great place to start your healthcare career and even grow in the position or move to other areas of healthcare. The valuable experience gained from one on one patient interaction will be a great asset. In an average day you could be greeting patients, taking vitals, assisting the physician and even giving injections or drawing blood. All very valuable skills. Congrats on your choice.
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Bether’s Answer

hello.
if you are medical assistant in a hospital, you will be doing a lot of vital signs, passing out food trays, helping people eat if they have trouble feeding themselves, helping people wash up, helping people use the bedpan and bedside commode, checking patient's blood sugar, doing 12 lead ekg's, and basically running and doing things the nurse asks you to, like running to the blood back to picking up blood or go to the pharmacy and pick up meds.
if you are thinking about becoming a nurse it's a great job because you will see up close what they do. most importantly you will learn how to interact with patients, families, nurse and doctors.
good luck!
bether
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Joseph’s Answer

A medical terminology resource is so valuable. Words and spelling matters! For example, it is important to know the difference in words, such as uvula vs. vulva. Sounds simple but spelling and attention to detail are key to supporting the physicians and caring for the patient. This example does not mean the same things. Spelling can mean difference between a similar medication name mix-up which could place the patient in jeopardy and open up to potential litigation. Also, if you don't pay close attention to detail, this may create problems with billing or perhaps other areas of medical administration pertaining to the patient. Remember, you'll be documenting patient history, medication lists, procedures, and more. I worked in a clinic that saw 100+ patients daily. I've documented on paper medical records as well as on electronic medical records. It's all about the details. Good luck to you in your journey into the medical field!
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Renea’s Answer

I am a Medical Transcriptionist 28 years but I know what the Medical Assistants do at my workplace. They type in the patient's medical history and spell medical words to the best of their knowledge as well as take vital signs. A medical terminology class may be of benefit. They do this everyday as well as provide great client service to sometimes 30 patients a day. An added benefit to being a Medical Assistant at this time in your life you will learn how far the money goes and you may consider college/university later. Believe in yourself! I cannot just close without talking about what else I have learned. In your endeavors please pray the Lord to lead you and guide you and HE WILL. I surely wished I had many years ago.

Godspeed,

Sincerely,

Siobhan

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Kess’s Answer

Hello Jacqueline!

Great question and I have a terrible answer: it depends on where you work. As Bether said, hospital CMAs have a vast task list. However, I was a CMA at a small clinic.

This is what a general day for me looked like:
Open the clinic, make sure machines are running that need to warm up, the heater or air conditioner is on, beds have paper on them, etc.
Check phone messages, do call-backs or give the message to the doctor, schedule appointments, and check for any new records or results that may have come in overnight.
Greet patients, update their information, take them to a room and get their vital signs, report to the doc vital signs and their main reason for coming in that day.
Reorder and restock everything from testing supplies and medications to toilet paper.
Turn everything off, clean up, make sure everything has been wiped down, do my last few phone calls to make sure everything is set for tomorrow, lock up and head home.

It sounds like a lot but it was a small clinic. I volunteered in a larger clinic where all I did was vital signs, minimal testing (glucose finger sticks, urine analysis), taking health histories, and assisting the docs in whatever else they needed.
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Rachel’s Answer

I was a medical assistant for 10 years before I was promoted to Director of Operations. At an independent clinic, promotions like this are possible. At a healthcare conglomerate (Mercy, Baptist, Kaiser) this kind of promotion is unheard of, which serves as a tip for choosing the right work environment for your personality.
In a corporation, you won't experience this, but the following is a recap of my typical workday at an independently owned family practice. You wear every proverbial hat in the clinic and tailor it to every patient who walks through the door. You are the patient's advocate, so that they are not lost in the shuffle of a busy doctor's day. You "repackage" their care plan so that they can understand it, and it still remains the same information as the doctor ordered.

When they call the clinic, you will be the point of contact.
Empathy and compassion are mandatory, as you may be the first person to know their biopsy came back malignant. When the doctor is through with his medical vernacular, they will leave the exam room looking for you to reassure them and clarify any questions.

You will be the first to know they are pregnant, and you will cry together in sadness as you draw the lab and hope for the best, and you will cry together in joy, as you tell Jane Doe her HCG levels are consistent with a 4 week pregnancy, and let them know before you end your call that they better name it after you!

You will go to their funerals, the special ones, the ones that, for no apparent reason learned your first name, and only wanted to speak to you about their care. They will talk to you about their family, and ask you about the best time to take their thyroid medication. You will have the knowledge and wherewithal to comment on both topics.

You know their name; you greet them; you take them back and assess their chief complaint and take vitals, you document those things appropriately; you make sure the physician is notified the patient is ready, and they are set up for any procedure. Then you assist with that procedure (or you may perform that procedure - EKG, spirometry, Pap smear chaperone, in-office, CLIA-waived testing, etc). Once they are diagnosed, you will draw labs or give injections as prescribed by MD. You may call in their refill. You make referrals. You gather records from specialist visits. You are the first and last face the patient sees during their care, and you are the reason they look forward or dread coming to the office.
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