Chapter 1 Medical Assistant Workbook Answers

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In this chapter, you will review the medical history of a patient. You will learn how to interview the patient and take a complete medical history. You will also be introduced to the medical record and how to document the information you collect.

What is a Medical Assistant?

A medical assistant is a multi-skilled health professional that supports the work of physicians and other health professionals, usually in outpatient clinics. Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians and other health practitioners running smoothly. They perform routine office duties such as answering phones, taking medical histories, scheduling appointments and handling correspondence. They also may help to prepare patients for examinations, assist with minor office surgeries, give injections and take X rays. Some medical assistants specialize in areas such as optometry or podiatry while others work in general medicine.

The Role of a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are vital members of the healthcare team. They perform administrative and clinical tasks that help keep doctors and other medical professionals organized and focused on patient care.

Medical assistants typically work in outpatient settings, such as clinics, physician’s offices, and community health centers. They may also work in hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities. Some medical assistants work in specific medical specialty areas, such as ophthalmology or pediatrics.

Education and Training

Medical assistants are a vital part of the healthcare team. They perform many of the routine tasks that keep doctors’ offices and clinics running smoothly.

Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate or diploma from an accredited program. Some states have certification requirements for medical assistants.

Employers also may prefer to hire candidates who have completed a formal education program. Programs typically take 1 to 2 years to complete and are available at community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools.

Many programs include an externship, which allows students to gain hands-on experience in a healthcare setting.


The process of becoming a certified medical assistant is not as difficult as one might think. The first step is to find an accredited school that offers a medical assistant certification program. Once you have completed the accredited program, you will then need to take and pass the Certification Exam for Medical Assistants (CMA). Once you have passed the CMA, you will be officially certified and able to work as a medical assistant.

Job Outlook

The medical assistant profession is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.


Medical assistants are important members of the health care team. They work closely with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient care.

The median annual salary for medical assistants was $34,800 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,170, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $49,630.

Pros and Cons

As you begin your career as a medical assistant, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of the job before making a commitment. Below are some of the key points to consider:

-A medical assistant can enjoy a career that is both challenging and rewarding.
-The job offers a good blend of clinical and administrative duties.
-A medical assistant can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices.
-The job outlook for medical assistants is quite positive, with the field expected to grow by 29% from 2016 to 2026.
-Medical assistants earn a median annual salary of $31,540.

-A medical assistant must be comfortable working with patients of all ages and backgrounds.
-The job can be very demanding, both physically and emotionally.
-The hours can be long and irregular, including evenings and weekends.

Career Paths

There are many different career paths a medical assistant can take. Some may choose to specialize in a certain area of medicine, such as pediatrics or geriatrics, while others may choose to work in a specific type of medical facility, such as a hospital or private practice. No matter what path you choose, there are certain skills that all medical assistants need to possess. These include excellent communication skills, both written and verbal; strong organizational skills; the ability to multitask; and a strong knowledge of Medical Terminology and procedures. In addition, medical assistants must be able to work well under pressure and maintain a professional demeanor at all times.


1. How often should I check my blood sugar?

Your blood sugar should be checked at least once a day, and more often if you are sick or under stress.

2. How do I test my blood sugar?

You will need to prick your finger with a lancet and then place a drop of blood on a strip of test paper. The strip will change color to indicate your blood sugar level.

3. What is a normal blood sugar level?

A normal blood sugar level is between 70 and 120 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter).

4. What should I do if my blood sugar is too high or too low?

If your blood sugar is too high, you will need to take insulin or another medication to lower it. If your blood sugar is too low, you will need to eat or drink something that contains carbohydrates (sugar) such as candy, cake, fruit juice, or regular soda.

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