The role of a medical assistant is to act as both a healthcare professional and administrator performing both clinical duties while also managing administrative tasks in a variety of medical offices, clinics, labs, and other healthcare settings.
In addition to the more general clinical and administrative roles of medical assistants that are listed below, medical assistant programs offer specialization in a variety of different healthcare practices. Specialized medical assistant roles may vary slightly from the list below.
- Answer phones and greet patients
- Scheduling appointments
- Filing and updating patient’s medical records
- Communicating with laboratories and insurance companies
- Planning hospital visits and admitting patients
- Ordering both medical and office supplies
- Accounting, billing, and bookkeeping tasks
- Communicating medical procedures to patients
- Preparing patients for examination
- Sterilization of medical equipment
- Assisting physicians
- Drawing blood and giving injections
- Performing lab and diagnostic tests
- Completing electrocardiograms (EKGs or ECGs)
- Changing dressing bandages and removing sutures
What Should I Expect from a Medical Assistant Role?
A role as a medical assistant will provide you with an opportunity to gain professional medical experience while growing your network and meeting like-minded healthcare professionals. Throughout your career, you will come across a wide range of opportunities to learn and grow professionally and personally.
Medical assistant roles change daily and they are presented with many new and exciting challenges. Typically their workday involves a wide range of both clinical and administrative tasks including but not limited to the tasks listed above.
What Qualities Should a Medical Assistant Have?
To be a great medical assistant, you should have the following qualities:
- Friendly and personable, able to ease patient’s mood.
- Attention to detail, as you will be examining and recording patients’ medical records.
- Good communication, with both doctors and while interacting with patients and families.
- Trustworthy and ethical, as you will be handling sensitive medical information.
- Respectful, you will likely work with a wide variety of professionals and patients from different backgrounds.
- Clean and organized, as you will be responsible for managing your clinic’s inventory, scheduling, reception area, and phone answering.
- Ability to take initiative, working independently when needed.
Questions About What the Role of a Medical Assistant Is?
If you have any other questions about the role of a medical assistant, then ask our community in the comments below.
In the state of Virginia–Can a certified medical assistant refill a prescription from a faxed request or an electronic request from the pharmacy?
Thanks for your comment. Although we do not provide legal advice to our users, we are happy to point you toward the proper sources.
According to the AAMA, Virginia law does permit delegation to unlicensed professionals that would allow an MA to,
“They might instruct patients about medications and special diets, prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician, authorize drug refills as
directed, telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy, draw blood, prepare patients for x-rays, take electrocardiograms, remove sutures, and change dressings.”
The complete legal document regarding the scope of Medical Assistants in Virginia can be found here: http://www.aama-ntl.org/docs/default-source/legal/vmgma-vascope.pdf?sfvrsn=2
I am also updating our Virginia Page with this information.
I hope this helps!