What Is A Medical Assistant?

If you're new to the world of medical terminology and you're wondering just exactly what it is that a Medical Assistant does, then you've come to the right place - this will get you started with all the basic information you need to know.

Basically a Medical Assistant is someone who helps Doctors and Nurses to care for patients.

The duties of a Medical Assistant can range from basic administrative tasks to more advanced procedural work such as administering injections.

Here are some of the duties you can expect to be called upon to perform depending on your experience and qualifications.

Basic Medical Assistant Duties:

  • Answering the telephone
  • Organizing appointment schedules
  • Organizing patient records - updating & filing
  • Completing insurance forms
  • Writing letters and responding to incoming correspondence
  • Organizing hospital admissions
  • Coordinating laboratory services
  • Bookkeeping & billing

Advanced Duties:

  • Changing dressings
  • Sterilizing instruments
  • Taking X-rays
  • Giving Injections
  • Collecting laboratory specimens
  • Removing sutures (stitches)
  • Ordering prescriptions

Don't worry if some of the advanced duties seem a little daunting at first, you'll only ever have to do that kind of work under the supervision of a Doctor or Surgeon once you have the necessary experience and qualifications.

It's important to know that some of the advanced duties listed above can only be performed in certain states with specific qualifications.

The duty descriptions above apply only to the United States - if you live in a different country then you'll need to get advice from your local authorities. You can find an overview of tasks and responsibilities at Wikipedia.

The most important thing to understand, regardless of where you live, is that in order to do your best as a Medical Assistant you need to have compassion and a sense of understanding for your patients. Sometimes you'll meet people who's lifestyle or health problems make you feel uneasy, but it's important to be able to give your best efforts to all patients seeking help. Remember, all Doctors are sworn to the Hippocratic Oath and you must be ready to meet this standard if you want to become a successful health care professional yourself.

The role of a Medical Assistant is a rewarding one in and of itself, and if you find it personally rewarding it can lead to higher levels of qualification all the way from Nurse to Doctor - the sky's the limit for a dedicated caring professional!

This information is intended for people who would like to work in Medical Centers, Doctor's Offices, Small Practices, and Hospitals. If you are looking for information on other medically related areas such as Dental Assistants then you will need to consult information specific to those career choices.

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