Medical assistants provide support both in the front and back of medical offices and clinics. The duties required of medical assistants include recording patient information and history, measuring the vital signs of patients, assisting doctors during examinations, preparing blood for further testing and setting appointments.
With more doctors moving to electronic health records, medical assistants are often expected to learn the EHR software used in their medical offices in addition to basic duties. In larger medical clinics and hospitals, many medical assistants serve as clerical and administrative staff. Projected growth in this profession from 2012 to 2022 sits at 29 percent, and the median salary for medical assistants is $29,370.
Specialities within the profession of medical assistant include administrative, clinical, ophthalmic and optometric, and podiatric medical assistance. Clerical medical assistants often code medical forms and fill out insurance paperwork required by the doctor for payment. Clinical medical assistants perform basic laboratory tests, dispose of medical waste and sterilize instruments used during examinations and treatments. Ophthalmic and optometric medical assistants provide ophthalmologists and optometrists with help during eye examinations or surgery and show patients how to insert and care for contact lenses. Podiatric medical assistants work alongside podiatrists, helping doctors during foot surgery, making foot castings and developing X-rays.