A Day in the Life of A Medical Assistant

day in the life medical assistant job description medical assistant professional training programLearn what a typical day is like for medical assistants!

Are you looking for a training program that can prepare you for the workforce in a short time? What about a career helping others? The Harris School of Business offers three different medical assistant training programs that you can complete in a year or less.

If you’re interested in working in a healthcare field, this training program can help you build many professional assets including clerical, clinical, and communication skills.

Before you enter a medical assistant training program, you’ll need to know what you should expect as a medical assistant.

For starters, what is a medical assistant? Medical assistants are healthcare workers who help keep a medical office running smoothly. They provide assistance to patients during appointments, perform clerical duties, and help prepare and clean instruments and patient rooms. They work mainly in doctor’s offices, outpatient centers, and ambulatory healthcare facilities like medical clinics.

Starting the day off right

Medical assistants start their day by logging into their Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system and looking at their schedule to see which providers they’ll be assisting that day. They will also check their email to see if any urgent requests are assigned to them. Sometimes medical assistants will be helping two doctors, or a doctor and a nurse practitioner. They will prepare for the day by looking at the patient schedule to see if the appointments are basic wellness check-ups, physicals, or more specific. This will help medical assistants prepare the exam rooms with the appropriate supplies before each new appointment.

A typical day as a medical assistant

Next, medical assistants will talk to the nurse practitioners in case there are any urgent administrative duties that need to be handled. As patients come in, they will assist them. Medical assistants escort patients from the waiting room into the doctor’s office where they will use the computer system to enter and verify basic information such as patient allergies, medications, changes in health, and recent stays in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. This is important because even the smallest issue can inform healthcare providers on how to correctly assist the patient with another issue. Next, they will take and record blood pressure and other vital signs.

Some patients will need injections, others will need x-rays, and other patients will need to be prepared for examinations. Sometimes samples may need to be taken to the lab and examined.

In a busy healthcare facility, patient appointments may be booked 15 minutes apart, so you may be very active throughout the day. For special appointments, medical assistants will have to set out specific instruments like specimen jars and labels. Patients are then informed that a doctor or nurse will be with them shortly.

When medical assistants have time in between assisting patients, they will log on to their facilities’ healthcare website to contact patients and share and explains test results, schedules, or advice from the doctor. They may also need to get consent forms from patients before procedures occur. Other administrative duties they perform throughout the day include calling other doctor’s offices to get patient reports or records.

Medical assistants may also be responsible for prescription refills through the pharmacy. They need to make sure that perscriptions sent out and verified by the pharmacies. Medical assistants need to follow compliance rules. For example, narcotic prescriptions need to be picked up as hardcopies and can’t be faxed or sent electronically.

After patient appointments

Immediately following patient appointments, medical assistants have to clean procedure rooms inclulding wiping the bedding, changing the paper lining, and putting all the equipment away. If there are specimens that need to be examined, they need to be handled in a timely manner.

End of the day

At the end of the day, medical assistants will help clean exam rooms and sterilize instruments. Rooms are restocked with clean gowns, specimen jars, and all the other products needed for the next day. They also make sure all paperwork and prescriptions are up-to-date and filled out, especially if they are needed urgently.

The unique role of a medical assistant

Medical assistants have a unique role performing a mixture of clinical and administrative duties. Being a medical assistant means you can gain experience in several different professional modes. You also get to interact with patients and build strong relationships as trustworthy professionals in your community. You may feel gratified to know that your actions are essential to the health of others!

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Harris School of Business community, contact us today to learn more about our medical assistant programs!


The Harris School of Business offers Medical Assistant training at our Upper Darby, PA campus, Professional Medical Assistant in Wilmington, DE. The Professional Medical Assistant Plus training program is featured at the Cherry Hill, Hamilton, Linwood, Voorhees, NJ campuses, along with our Dover, DE, and Danbury, CT locations.