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Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?

I would love to know a "day in a life" of a medical assistant so I can prepare myself.

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4 answers

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Pamela’s Answer

Hi Gloria,
MAs are essential to the functioning of a medical office. The medical assistants I have worked with have done some or all of the following, but it’s very practice-dependent:

- set up exam rooms
- greet patients
- gather basic history
- take vitals
- assist with exams and procedures
- chaperone exams as needed
- clean and reset rooms
- clean equipment
- place orders
- coordinate follow up

The most important roles are part of the bigger picture:

- make the patient feel comfortable and welcome
- help keep the providers’ schedule running on time
- troubleshoot challenging situations.
- work well with a team of people all with the same goal.

Hope this was helpful!
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Traci’s Answer

An MSA where I work with does various jobs such as
Scheduling, canceling, re-scheduling patients appointments and/or consults
Monitoring the electronic wait list
Preparing the patient for clinic visits
Ensuring patient forms are completed accurately
updating demographics and insurance information
Processing all emergency and non-emergency transfers to other VA facilities or private hospitals
Performing basic eligibility, co-pays and preauthorization requirements for specific coverage

Most importantly you are often the first person to greet the person and set the tone for the patient and the visit! Your approach can be very instrumental in how their visit goes.
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George’s Answer

The answers you were given so far are excellent. I can add, that in my Specialty of Podiatry, there is a position now called "Podiatry Assistant" that involves many of the duties mentioned but also may include some duties that provide direct patient care. For example, the doctor you work for may train you to debride nails, remove sutures, cast people or use equipment to obtain impressions of the feet so that orthotics (appliances that help with walking) can be sent to a laboratory to be manufactured, etc. I believe, with the advances fairly recently in able to provide more treatment and diagnostic procedures in the office, the job of a Medical Assistant can be very interesting if you have the desire to learn. You may learn to use equipment that tests nerves and blood flow, develop X-rays virtually (through computers), prepare materials for grafting wounds, dispense and fit patients to Fracture Walkers (removeable walking casts), give some injections, etc. You will do all this under the Supervision of the doctor after in-office training. Furthermore, Podiatry Assistants now are able attend seminars in different settings to review and sharpen skills you will be asked to perform. Once you obtain a position in an office it is up to you, depending on your enthusiasm and desire to learn, how interesting and rewarding that experience will be. Medical Assistants working with other Specialties may have the same opportunities. Gloria, the best way to prepare yourself is
to approach your work with enthusiasm, desire to learn, be polite to other staff members and. of course more importantly, all patients. Good luck!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Gloria,

The Essential Role and Daily Duties of a Medical Assistant

In the world of healthcare, the medical assistant is a vital player, providing indispensable support to doctors and other healthcare professionals through a variety of administrative and clinical tasks. The specific duties of a medical assistant can differ based on their work environment, be it hospitals, clinics, or private practices. Here's a snapshot of the usual tasks that a medical assistant might undertake on a daily basis:

Administrative Duties:

Welcoming patients and checking them in for their appointments.
Organizing patient appointments and managing the doctor's schedule.
Responding to phone calls, answering queries, and managing correspondence.
Updating and keeping track of patient medical records.
Dealing with insurance forms and billing procedures.

Clinical Duties:

Recording patient vital signs, such as blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate.
Supporting doctors during examinations and procedures.
Setting up treatment rooms for patient visits.
Gathering and preparing laboratory samples for testing.
Administering medications under the supervision of a doctor.

Patient Care:

Offering basic patient education on medications, diet, and procedures.
Helping patients with mobility or personal care requirements.
Conveying test results to patients as instructed by the doctor.
Following up with patients on the doctor's behalf regarding treatment plans.

Additional Duties:

Ensuring cleanliness and orderliness in the medical office or clinic.
Ordering and stocking supplies as required.
Working together with other healthcare professionals to guarantee efficient patient care.

A Day in the Life of a Medical Assistant

A medical assistant's typical day is often bustling and diverse. Here's a glimpse of what a day might entail for a medical assistant in a clinic:

Morning: The medical assistant arrives early at the clinic to prepare for the day. They check the schedule, prepare examination rooms, and ensure all necessary supplies are available. They welcome patients, check them in, and update their medical records.

Mid-Morning: The medical assistant supports the doctor during patient examinations, recording vital signs and noting patient information. They might also gather samples for testing or administer medications as instructed.

Afternoon: The medical assistant might tackle administrative tasks like scheduling follow-up appointments, answering calls from patients or pharmacies, and updating insurance details. They continue to aid patient care by providing education on treatment plans or test results.

End of Day: As the day concludes, the medical assistant makes sure all documentation is finished and that examination rooms are clean and ready for the next day. They might attend staff meetings or training sessions to stay current on new procedures or protocols.

By shadowing or interning as a medical assistant, you can gain invaluable insights into this fulfilling career and better equip yourself for future healthcare opportunities.

Top 3 Reliable Sources Used:

American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA): The AAMA offers extensive information on the roles and responsibilities of medical assistants, including guidelines for practice standards and professional development.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS provides detailed data on job outlook, salary details, and educational prerequisites for medical assistants in the United States.

American Medical Technologists (AMT): AMT is a premier certification agency for allied health professionals like medical assistants, offering information on certification requirements and continuing education opportunities.