What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

A Day in the Life of a Medical Assistant


Are you interested in training for a career as a medical assistant? Medical assistants are essential healthcare workers, and these important medical professionals are in high demand in today’s economy. If you are considering training for a reliable and rewarding career as a medical assistant, Integrity College of Health offers an excellent training program. With ICH’s hybrid, hands-on, and online classes, you can earn your Medical Assisting diploma in as few as 27 weeks! Medical assisting is a great choice for a promising future – read on to learn more about what a medical assistant does, and what you can expect if you choose this career path. 

What is a medical assistant? Medical assistants provide hands-on care, working alongside doctors to provide patients with the highest level of care. Medical assistants complete both administrative and clinical tasks, and act as a patient coordinator by providing a means of communication between patients, doctors and other health care providers. Working in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities, medical assistants play a vital role in the healthcare field. 

What can you expect from a career as a Medical Assistant? Here is a glimpse inside the busy workday of a medical assistant: 

Medical assistants often work in a doctor’s office, and most doctor’s offices open at 8 am. When the medical assistant arrives at the office, they begin their day by logging into the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system, and checking phone messages and emails. Next, the medical assistant organizes the charts and fills out any paperwork needed for the day, such as surgical permission forms, health check forms and insurance paperwork. The medical assistant then reviews the patient schedule for the day, and prepares the exam rooms for the first appointments. 

Once patients begin to arrive for scheduled appointments, the medical assistant must work efficiently to keep things flowing smoothly. An administrative medical assistant checks patients in for their appointment, verifies patient information and health insurance and helps the patient fill out any appropriate forms. A clinical medical assistant then greets the patient and takes him or her to an exam room. Then the medical assistant takes the patient’s vital signs, performs a patient interview, and prepares the patient for any scheduled procedures. The medical assistant may also be responsible for administering medications and injections, recording information in medical recordkeeping systems, preparing and handling medical instruments and supplies, and collecting and preparing specimens of bodily fluids and tissues for laboratory testing. 

Medical assistants are constantly busy, as most medical offices book appointments just 15 minutes apart. If there is time in between patients, medical assistants might answer phone calls or update patient charts. The medical assistant uses the electronic health portal to correspond via email, share and explain test results, schedule and follow up on appointments, send necessary forms, and more. Medical assistants are also responsible for obtaining consent forms before each procedure. Sometimes medical assistants need to call other doctors’ offices to get reports on patients.

After every patient visit, the medical assistant cleans the exam room by wiping everything down, putting everything away, and bringing specimens down to the lab. If there’s an urgent lab sample, the medical assistant must make sure it gets down to the lab in a timely fashion, and check to make sure the results come in quickly. Results such as those usually come directly through to the office’s printer or EMR system, and it’s the medical assistant’s responsibility to make sure those results go straight to the patient’s medical provider, so the provider can relay those results to the patient.

Medical assistants also handle prescription refills through the pharmacy. The medical assistant must fax them out and verify that the pharmacy received them. The medical assistant must also ensure the practice is following the rules about certain types of medications – narcotic prescriptions, for example, cannot be faxed but instead must be picked up in hardcopy – so the medical assistant makes sure the office is in compliance with rules like those. Some patients also have to get drug testing if they’re on narcotics, to make sure they’re taking the prescribed medication and dose, so the medical assistant handles that too.

At the end of each day, the medical assistant helps to clean all procedure rooms and sterilize all the tools that were used that day. The medical assistant stocks all the rooms with the necessary gowns, cleaning products, specimen jars, OBGYN equipment, and all the other items necessary for the next day. In a career as fast-paced as this one, good organization skills, patience, stamina and a love for the job are all important qualities.

How does the life of a medical assistant sound to you? If you find this stimulating and rewarding career interesting, ICH offers a Medical Assistant program that can prepare you for an entry-level position in as few as 27 weeks! ICH utilizes a hybrid learning model that includes a combination of hands-on instruction and online theory coursework, so you can learn the essential skills you need to be successful in your future position. Graduates of ICH’s Medical Assistant program receive a Certificate of Completion, Medical Assisting diploma, and are prepared to test for the nationally-recognized MA certification.  

If you are ready to find stability in the job market, consider training for an essential healthcare career as a medical assistant! With ICH’s hybrid, hands-on, and online classes, you can train to enter this rewarding career in as few as 27 weeks! Learn the necessary administrative and clinical skills for immediate employment, and gain the knowledge to test for valuable industry certifications. Located in Pasadena, California, ICH is an excellent choice for your healthcare career training. Call ICH at 626-808-0215 or contact us here to get started today. Why wait any longer to pursue a better career? Your healthcare career begins here, with training from ICH!

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