Today’s Medical Assistant Study Guide

Today’s medical assistant Study Guide is a blog that covers topics related to medical assisting.

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Job Description

Medical assistants are multi-skilled health professionals specifically trained to work in outpatient settings such as medical offices and clinics. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice.

The core responsibilities of Medical Assistants include:
-Answering patient questions
-Scheduling appointments
-Preparing patients for examination
-Taking blood pressure
-Recording medical histories
-Explaining treatment procedures to patients
-Assisting during examinations
-Arranging laboratory tests and x rays
-Performing basic laboratory tests
-Disposing of contaminated supplies
-Cleaning equipment and sterilizing instruments
Furthermore, medical assistants may also: Get patients’ insurance information and give them instructions on follow up care.


The medical assistant’s job is both administrative and clinical. Most of the time is spent on administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, taking medical histories and insurance information, billing, and coding for insurance purposes. They also answer patient’s questions, provide instruction on taking medications and living with chronic diseases, collect and prepare lab specimens, perform basic lab tests, assist the physician during examinations, give patients injections, take electrocardiograms (EKGs), remove sutures, change dressings on wounds.


There are many ways to become a medical assistant but most have in common some basic prerequisites, such as a high school diploma or equivalent, and completion of a medical assisting training program. Some states have regulations regarding certification and licensure of medical assistants. Although not required in all states, certification demonstrates competence and may offer certain advantages, such as increased job opportunities. Employers may also require certification. There are several ways to become certified, including passing an exam offered by a professional organization


The medical assistant certification is a way of demonstrating that an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties of a medical assistant. There are several organizations that offer certification, but the most common is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To become certified, an individual must pass a national exam administered by the Certifying Board of the AAMA.


The salary for a medical assistant can range between $28,860 and $39,370 annually. The average salary is $33,610.

Job Outlook

Medical assistants held about 634,400 jobs in 2016. The majority of medical assistants worked in physicians’ offices, followed by hospitals including outpatient care centers. A small number worked in other settings, such as colleges, universities, and vocational schools; government agencies; or medical and dental laboratories.
About 1 in 3 medical assistants worked part time in 2016.

Career Paths

There are many different paths that a medical assistant can take within their career. Some medical assistants choose to specialize in a certain area of medicine, such as pediatrics or obstetrics. Others choose to become certified medical assistants, which requires passing an exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants. There are also opportunities for medical assistants to become involved in research or to teach courses on medical assisting at a community college.

Key Skills

As a medical assistant, you will be responsible for performing a variety of tasks to support the work of physicians and other health professionals. Your duties will vary depending on the size and type of facility where you work, but may include taking and recording medical histories, measuring patients’ vital signs, preparing patients for examinations, giving injections, scheduling appointments, assisting with minor surgery, and handling correspondence. You also will be responsible for office management tasks such as handling finances, maintaining medical records and coordinating insurance reimbursements. In smaller offices, you may have more responsibility for patient care; in larger offices, you may be responsible for more office management duties.

Working Conditions

Medical assistants work in a wide variety of outpatient care settings such as medical offices, clinics, and ambulatory care centers. They also work in GPs’ offices, enjoying a close relationship with patients. Medical assistants held about 634,400 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of medical assistants were as follows:

Offices of physicians: 34%
Hospitals; state, local, and private: 15%
Outpatient care centers: 12%
Offices of other health practitioners: 9%
Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. population is aging. The large baby-boom generation is beginning to receive Medicare— federal health insurance for people aged 65 and older—and will be increasingly needing medical services for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritis. In addition, technological advances should also lead to higher demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by medical assistants.


1. What is a medical assistant?
A medical assistant is a healthcare professional who performs administrative and clinical tasks in a medical office or clinic. Medical assistants are usually trained on the job, although some may have completed formal education programs.

2. What are the duties of a medical assistant?
The duties of a medical assistant vary depending on the size and type of facility in which they work, but typically include taking patient medical histories and vitals, scheduling appointments, handling billing and insurance paperwork, and assisting with minor office surgeries.

3. How much does a medical assistant make?
Medical assistants typically earn an hourly wage, with the median wage being $15.00 per hour.

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