What Is the Job Description for Medical Assistants?


Quick Answer

A medical assistant helps health care professionals with daily activities to ensure everything runs smoothly. The assistant's job responsibilities vary depending of the type of care and location.

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Full Answer

Medical assistants perform clinical tasks, such as taking patients' vital signs, recording their medical history and explaining medical procedures and treatments to the patients. Other tasks include assisting the physician during an exam, changing dressings, collecting specimens needed for lab tests and preparing, cleaning, and sanitizing the exam rooms.

Administrative duties include scheduling appointments, setting up admissions to hospitals, ordering laboratory tests, updating patients' records, handling patient billing matters and interacting with medical staff. The work settings of medical assistants can be physician's offices, clinics, hospitals or nursing homes.

There are two options to become a medical assistant. The first is to go to college to earn a degree or certificate. The second option is to graduate from high school and learn by experience working on the job and completing the required training. Medical assistants earn anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000, depending on where they live and where they choose to work. The medical assistants with a higher paying salary in 2013 were in California and Illinois and were located in metropolitan areas.

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