Medical Assistant Job Duties and Responsibilities

Medical assistants play a vital role in the healthcare industry. They perform a variety of duties and responsibilities that are essential to the smooth running of a medical facility.

In this blog post, we will take a look at the job duties and responsibilities of a medical assistant We will also discuss the skills and qualities that are necessary for this position.

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Job Description

The medical assistant job description is very important in terms ofwhat the job entails and what is expected of those in the profession. This guide will give you a better understanding of what a medical assistant does on a daily basis as well as the skills necessary to perform their job duties.

A medical assistant is a professional who works in a medical office or clinic and is responsible for providing patient care, administrative support, and clinical assistance to physicians and other healthcare providers.

Medical assistants are often the first point of contact for patients and are responsible for greeting them, scheduling appointments, verifying insurance coverage, and collecting co-payments. They may also take medical histories, measure patients’ vital signse, prepare examination rooms, and assist physicians during examinations.

In addition to their direct patient care duties, Medical assistants are responsible for a variety of administrative tasks such as maintaining medical records schedulingLaboratory tests and diagnostic procedures ordering supplies, billing insurance companies, and coding patient charts.

To be successful in this role, Medical Assistants must have excellent communication skills and be able to multi-task in a fast-paced environment. They must also be detail oriented and able to work independently with minimal supervision. Most medical assistants have at least a high school diploma or equivalent although some jobs may require postsecondary education or certification.

Duties and Responsibilities

The medical assistant job description usually includes performing a variety of clinical and administrative tasks to support the work of physicians, nurses and other medical personnel. Medical assistants may be involved in everything from patient care to insurance billing and coding. Depending on the size and type of doctor’s office or clinic, they may also be responsible for scheduling appointments, handling patient inquiries and completing general office work. No matter what their duties entail, medical assistants typically work collaboratively with other members of the healthcare team to ensure quality patient care.

Here is a closer look at some common medical assistant duties and responsibilities:

Clinical tasks:
-Taking patient vital signs
-Drawing blood
-Administering injections
-Preparing patients for exams
-Assisting with minor surgeries
-Collecting urine and fecal samples
-Ensuring exam rooms are clean and stocked
-Scheduling laboratory tests and X-rays
-Performing basic laboratory tests
Coding and billing:
-Verifying insurance benefits
-Preparing bills
-Filing insurance claims

Administrative tasks: -Answering phones -Greeting patients -Scheduling appointments -Arranging for hospital admissions and diagnostic testing -Handle patient correspondence -Update patients’ Medical records -Process insurance forms


In order to be a medical assistant, there are certain qualifications that are needed. First, it is important to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Then, completion of an accredited medical assisting program is necessary. Additionally, certification is required in some states. Once all of these qualifications have been met, an individual can then begin their career as a medical assistant.

The duties of a medical assistant vary depending on the state in which they practice, but generally include tasks such as taking patient medical histories and vital signs, preparing patients for examination, assisting the physician during the examination, performing basic laboratory tests and scheduling patients for follow-up visits. Medical assistants also often handle administrative tasks such as updating patient records and handling billing and insurance paperwork. In some states, medical assistants may also be allowed to give injections or perform other minor medical procedures.

Education and Training

Education and Training
Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate, although some have Associates degrees in medical assisting. Some states require certification for all medical assistants, while others have no certification requirements.

There are many ways to become a certified medical assistant. Certificate programs typically last about 1 year and result in a credential such as the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential awarded by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Associate degree programs typically last 2 years. These programs often lead to eligibility to take the CMA exam, as well as other certification exams.

Certain postsecondary education programs may include an externship, which is a period of time spent working in a healthcare setting to gain hands-on experience.


In order to perform the job duties of a medical assistant, there are certain skills that are required. These include:
-Excellent communication skills: Medical assistants must be able to communicate effectively with patients, doctors, and other members of the healthcare team. They need to be able to understand and follow instructions.
-Interpersonal skills: Medical assistants must be able to work well with others. They need to be able to build rapport with patients and reassure them when they are anxious or in pain.
-Organizational skills: Medical assistants must be able to keep track of patients’ medical histories, test results, and appointments. They need to be able to prioritize tasks and juggle multiple tasks at one time.
-Detail oriented: Medical assistants must pay close attention to detail in order to accurately take vital signs, update medical records and administer medications.
-Physical stamina: Medical assistants may be on their feet for long periods of time and may have to lift patients or assist them in walking.

Salary and Job Outlook

Medical assistants are in high demand and the Bureau of Labor projects employment will grow by 29% through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median salary in May 2017 was $32,480.

Job responsibilities vary depending on the size and location of the practice, but there are some duties that are common to most medical assistant positions. Many times, medical assistants are the first person a patient comes into contact with and they set the tone for the visit. They might greet patients, answer questions about paperwork, take patients’ vital signs or escort them to an examination room.

Once the patient is with the physician, medical assistants record the physician’s notes from the visit, prepare laboratory specimens for testing and scheduling follow-up appointments. Many times they also provide instruction to patients on taking medication or how to care for wounds. Medical assistants might also assist with minor office surgery, such as suturing lacerations.


In order to be a medical assistant, you will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, although some employers may prefer you to have completed a postsecondary medical assisting program. In addition, you will need to earn certification from an accredited organization such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To become certified, you will need to pass the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam.

Advancement Opportunities

As a medical assistant, you may find that you have opportunities to advance your career. Some medical assistants choose to specialize in a certain area of medicine, such as pediatrics or surgery. Others may pursue further education to become a registered nurse or a physician.

Working Conditions

Medical assistants work in clean, well-lit, and well-ventilated offices. They spend most of their time standing or walking and may be required to lift or turn disabled patients. They are exposed to communicable diseases and blood and body fluids. In some states, they may be exposed to x-ray radiation.

Job Opportunities

Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians and other health practitioners running smoothly. The duties of medical assistants vary from office to office, but there are many duties that are common in most medical offices. Most medical assistants have completed a postsecondary educational program that has awarded them a certificate or diploma, although some have associate degrees in medical assisting.

Common duties of medical assistants include:
Answering patients’ questions and providing them with information about procedures
Scheduling and confirming appointments
Taking patient histories and vital signs
Preparing patients for examination
Assisting the physician during examinations
Drawing blood and performing laboratory tests
Coding and processing insurance forms
Maintaining patients’ medical records
Arranging hospital admissions and laboratory services

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