Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners running smoothly. The duties of medical assistants vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner's specialty. In small practices, medical assistants usually do many different kinds of tasks, handling both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner. Those in large practices tend to specialize in a particular area, under the supervision of department administrators. Medical assistants should not be confused with ...view middle of the document...
Medical office operations extend to procedures in managing appointment scheduling, accounts receivable/payable, banking, record keeping, collecting outstanding accounts, and business communications. The proficient Medical Administrative Assistant is highly marketable for responsible career entry positions in medical offices, clinics, hospitals, or industry-related settings. Opportunities for career advancement are excellent.
Medical assisting programs are offered in vocational-technical high schools, postsecondary vocational schools, and community and junior colleges. Postsecondary programs usually last either 1 year and result in a certificate or diploma, or 2 years and result in an associate degree. Courses cover anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology, as well as keyboarding, transcription, recordkeeping, accounting, and insurance processing. Students learn laboratory techniques, clinical and diagnostic procedures, pharmaceutical principles, the administration of medications, and first aid. They study office practices, patient relations, medical law, and ethics. There are two accrediting bodies that accredit medical assisting programs. Accredited programs often include an internship that provides practical experience in physicians' offices or other healthcare facilities (www.bls.gov ).
A medical assistant can become certified or registered by various associations such as the American Association of Medical Assistants or the American Medical Technologists. This involves meeting certain training and experience requirements, as well as passing a national test. Certification and registration are not necessary for employment, but they give a person professional standing.
The importance of human relations and effective communication skills as they apply to the patient & family, physicians, and staff are emphasized during training. The professional Medical Administrative Assistant will apply medical language skills related to general and specialty practices, pharmacology, laboratory medicine, and diagnostic imaging. Knowledge of medical reports including histories and physicals, discharge summaries, and chart notes are incorporated into the program.
Medical administrative assistants are key liaison staffs who keep the medical office running efficiently. As a medical administrative assistant, you'll be at the center of communications within the operation, providing important information to the staff and other organizations. Medical Administrative Assistants should have a good command of the English language since clear communication is such an integral part of the job. Individuals with excellent interpersonal skills will be in demand, as medical office professionals must be tactful in dealing with a wide variety of people. Discretion, empathy, judgment, organizational ability and initiative are also important characteristics. As a medical administrative assistant, you will have a variety of options for...