Learn about different types of medical assistant positions!
Medical assistants act as the helping hands of many medical offices. They are responsible for the efficiency of a healthcare facility on a daily basis. They help prepare the exam room for a patient’s appointment and may be the first professionals to greet patients as they enter a healthcare facility.
In the Harris School of Business’ medical assistant training programs, you can learn several different skill sets so you can be fully prepared to perform essential tasks in a medical office or lab. Did you know that there are several different types of medical assistants? Some focus in specialized healthcare fields, while others combine many skills to perform various tasks throughout the day.
Below is a list of various medical assistant jobs. Read through the descriptions to see which career path seems like the best option for you.
Administrative Medical Assistants
Administrative medical assistants’ roles include clerical duties like scheduling appointments and maintaining patient records in a medical office. They may submit health insurance claims, schedule hospital admissions, and arrange for medical tests. They could also be in charge of billing, payment transactions, and bookkeeping for the medical facility where they work. Administrative medical assistants may also be asked to handle some medical tasks, such as dressing a wound or taking vital signs, but the bulk of your work will be administrative.
Clerical Medical Assistants
Clerical medical assistants are required to perform secretarial tasks that keep the office running efficiently. They schedule appointments, answer phones, and greet patients as they come in. They frequently have to communicate with doctors and nurse practitioners to help maintain the accuracy, security, and recording of patient paperwork.
Clinical Medical Assistants
Clinical medical assistants provide the more direct care in a medical office. Their tasks vary depending on the laws of the state in which they work. They perform a mix of clinical duties and clerical duties throughout the day. Their clinical duties include assisting patients before appointments, recording medical histories, and helping physicians during examinations. Clinical medical assistants explain medical procedures to patients and educate them on basic home care procedures. They also provide patients with emotional support during their exams. In this role, you may call in prescriptions to pharmacies, collect and transport specimens to labs, take vital signs, and update patient information. Your training may prepare you to perform an EKG, draw blood, dress wounds, and remove bandages.
Specialized Medical Assistants
With further education, some medical assistants become specialized in a specific medical field that interests them. Interested in eye care? You could work in an optometrists’ office where you will assist an optometry doctor in caring for a patient’s vision. You may also help educate patients on how to protect their eyes from damage, and proper ways to use glasses and contact lenses. If you don’t like working with patients, then you may prefer a job as a medical lab assistant. This role requires you to perform duties of testing and documenting specimens in a lab. There are various fields that you can go into. Research and find the healthcare field that interests you the most.
Medical assistants may work in many different work environments. You could work in doctors’ offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers, or ambulatory care facilities. If you are a specialized medical assistant, you could work in dentist, optometry, or pediatric offices among others.
At the Harris School, our medical assistant training programs give students the opportunities to learn a blend of clinical, administrative, and professional skills sets. Our training programs can help you decide which type of medical assistant job would suit you best. We hope this short guide allows you to find the most fulfilling medical assistant position.