What Does a Medical Assistant Do?
A medical assistant is a healthcare professional who performs both administrative and clinical tasks in medical settings. In medical facilities, they manage the day-to-day operations under the supervision of physicians and other healthcare professionals. Administrative duties include scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records, and billing and coding for insurance purposes. Their clinical duties may include taking patients’ vital signs, preparing them for medical procedures, and administering medications under the direction of physicians.
A medical assistant plays an essential role in the smooth and efficient operation of medical offices and clinics. It is imperative that they have excellent communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment. As well as providing essential support to physicians and other healthcare professionals, they also provide emotional support to patients and their families.
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National Average Salary
Medical assistant salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Medical Assistant is:
Medical Assistant Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great medical assistant is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
Medical Assistant (Generic)
A medical assistant is needed for hire at [Your Company Name]. The role of the medical assistant involves many minor tasks and responsibilities. While there are several clinical duties to accomplish, there are also administrative duties. It is the assistant’s job to take care of phone calls, whether it is answering patients’ questions or asking for information from a client. When clients enter the building, it is often the responsibility of the assistant to escort them to and from their appointments. Scheduling appointments on behalf of the doctors is a necessary task as well, allowing professionals to make the most out of their time. Outside of these administrative tasks, there are also a handful of medical tasks. These include taking patients’ data, recording vital signs, and taking tissue and blood samples for lab work. If you think you are skilled with interacting with people, as well as organized, this may be the role for you!
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Answer phones
- Schedule appointments
- Record patients’ medical history and personal information
- Process bills and insurance forms
- Measure vital signs, such as pulse and blood pressure
- Help doctors with patient exams
- Prepare blood and urine samples for laboratory tests
- Give patients medication or injections, if permitted
Education and experience
Medical assistants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Post-secondary education, such as vocational training or an associate degree, is preferred. Several types of certifications are available, although many employers do not require them. In some states, medical assistants must graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam.
Required skills and qualifications
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
- Experience with electronic health records (EHRs)
- Strong interpersonal skills for dealing with patients, doctors, and staff
- Discretion and the ability to handle confidential information
- Ability to multitask and prioritize workload
- Calm, professional demeanor
- Keen attention to detail
- Experience with scheduling software
- Medical assistant certification
- Experience working with scared or nervous patients, like children
- Excellent bedside manner
Mid-level Medical Assistant
Are you an experienced Medical Assistant looking for a new opportunity with a prestigious healthcare company? Do you want the chance to advance your career by joining a rapidly growing company? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions – this is the position for you!
- Obtains vital signs
- Monitors and reports patient’s signs or symptoms
- Preparing patient for physician’s care
- Perform basic laboratory procedures
- Administering medication and injections as directed
- Preparing charts
- Keep rooms cleans, stocked, and ready for next patient
- Minimum High School Diploma or equivalent
- Medical Assistant with any experience
- They will accept a MA with externship exp
- MUST be willing to get MA diploma, CMA, or RMA within 6 months of hire
- Exp with Vitals and rooming patients is required
Senior Medical Assistant
Seeking a Senior Clinical Medical Assistant for our practice who provides clinical expertise to ensure all patients receive high quality, efficient care. We are an amazing team that works hard to support each other and are seeking a phenomenal addition like you who feels patient care is as meaningful as we do. We want you to apply now.
What you will do in this role
- You will prepare patients for examination and treatment by taking patient histories and vital signs
- You will prepare exam and treatment rooms with the necessary instruments for your patients including preparation and maintenance of supplies and equipment for treatments, including sterilization
- You will give injections and assist with lab testing and phlebotomy
- You will assist physicians in preparing for minor surgeries and physicals
- You will answer telephone calls to the practice and screens for referral
- CCMA or CMA is required
- 5 or more years of professional experience
Bilingual Medical Assistant
ABC Company is recruiting a Bilingual Medical Assistant to provide clinical and front-desk support at ABC Health Centers.
Assists in the examination and treatment of patients under a provider’s direction by performing the following duties.
- Assists patients by answering routine questions, resolving minor difficulties and giving directions to patients as authorized by the Provider
- Documents all patient communication in patient charts to include any Provider directed instructions
- Supports the patient through the education and information on community resources, such as classes, support groups, and pharmacy assistance programs
- Provides education and support to patients and families as directed by the Provider
- Assists patients in basic self-management goal setting. Applies basic active listening and behavior modification principles in goal discussions with patients
- Makes appointments as needed and directed by the Provider
- As directed by the provider, assists with routine office examinations and procedures that may include administering injections, medications, vaccinations, and blood draws
- Documents all procedures in the patient’s chart
- Documents all patient interaction, tracks, and attaches laboratory and diagnostic test
- results to patient charts; communicates results and orders to patients as directed by the provider
- Serves as a liaison to pharmacies (Ex. In regards to new and refill prescriptions and follows up with patients as needed)
- Participates in both patient and practice level meetings
- Assists with patient/population communications such as calls or letters to remind of needed preventive or chronic care steps
- Prepares, cleans, and sterilizes equipment and exam rooms as established by standard safety and clinical protocols
- Properly handles the disposal of infectious/hazardous waste, according to OSHA guidelines
- Inventories and requests supplies
- Actively participates in quality improvement activities such as meetings, PDSA, pilots, data collection, evaluation of practice or location performance metrics, etc.
- Support a shared goal model in order to achieve high-quality care that is patient and family centered
- Participates in scheduled pre-visit planning/huddle process
- Facilitates coordination of care following hospital, ER utilization or follow up from specialty providers
- May participate in team meetings and quality improvement activities as necessary
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Education or experience:
- High School diploma or equivalent and graduation from an accredited program for Medical Assistants
- MA Registration or Certification preferred
Certifications, licenses, registrations:
- CPR certification required
- Certified or Registered Medical Assistant preferred
Other skills, knowledge and abilities:
- Ability to speak Spanish fluently is a must
- Knowledge of examination, diagnostic, and treatment room procedures
- Knowledge of medical equipment and instruments to administer patient care
- Skill in taking vital signs
- Skill in maintaining records and recording test results
- Skill with geriatric patients and patients in lower socio-economic sectors of the community
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- CCMA. The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant is an exam designed for candidates to prove their worth in the medical field. The requirements for this exam are not too difficult, in consideration of the responsibility of the role. Because medical assistants have a large variety of tasks, CCMA makes sure to cover as much as possible to help candidates succeed in their field.
- CMA. The Certified Medical Assistant certification is one of the most accepted and well-known credentials to have. It gives candidates the opportunity to prove to higher-ups and employers that they have the skills necessary to thrive in this line of work. On top of all this, the certification only needs to be renewed every five years, requiring a pass on an exam. 89% of employers wish or require certification, so candidates don’t have any reason not to!
Sample Interview Questions
- Can you tell me about your previous experience in the medical industry?
- What precautions do you take to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of patient information and records?
- What is your daily task and responsibility management strategy?
- What is the process for taking vital signs on a patient?
- In what ways do you ensure that medical equipment and supplies are sterilized and maintained properly?
- What is the best way to approach patients who are anxious or apprehensive about medical procedures?
- What is your experience with electronic medical records (EMRs) and medical billing software?
- Do you keep up with the latest medical techniques and procedures?
- When was the last time you had to respond quickly to an emergency situation in the medical office?
- What measures do you take to ensure you adhere to all HIPAA regulations and guidelines when working as a medical assistant?