What Are Clinical Duties for Medical Assistants?

A medical assistant’s clinical duties may vary depending on the state in which they practice, but there are some common tasks that they typically perform. These duties may include taking medical histories, measuring vital signs, and assisting with physical examinations.

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Job Description

Keywords: Medical assistants Job description, screenings, patient history
The job description of a medical assistant is both wide and varied. In general, Medical Assistants perform both administrative and clinical duties. Their responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Answering telephones
Scheduling appointments
Taking and recording patient history
Measuring patients’ vital signs (i.e. blood pressure, weight, temperature)
Preparing patients for examination
Assisting the physician during examinations
Performing routine laboratory tests
Coding and filling out insurance forms
Maintaining medical records

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of medical assistants vary from state to state and from one medical office to another. In general, medical assistants perform routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians and other health practitioners running smoothly. The specific duties of medical assistants depend on their qualifications, the type of healthcare facility they work in, and state regulations.

Medical assistants usually perform both administrative and clinical tasks, although their duties may be primarily clerical or primarily clinical depending on the size, location, and type of practice. In small practices, medical assistants usually do a little bit of everything, from scheduling appointments to taking X-rays. In larger practices, medical assistants are often assigned to specific departments such as billing or insurance processing, or they may be trained to perform more specialized clinical tasks such as phlebotomy or electrocardiography.

State laws regulating the scope of practice for medical assistants vary widely. In some states, medical assistants may perform all clinical and administrative tasks after completing a short training program or on-the-job training. In other states, medical assistants may only perform routine administrative tasks unless they have completed an accredited medical assisting program and/or passed a standardized exam such as the Certified medical assistant exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

The duties and responsibilities of medical assistants include:
-Answering telephones
-Scheduling appointments
-Taking patient histories
-Preparing patients for examination
-Assisting with minor office surgical procedures
-performing laboratory tests
-Administering medications
-Instructing patients about medication and special diets
-Assisting with billing and insurance processing

Skills and Qualifications

Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate, although some have completed an associate’s degree program. Most programs take about a year to complete, although some two-year associate’s degree programs are available. Programs typically include courses in Medical Terminology transcription, and scheduling as well as office practices and insurance processing.

While formal education is important, employers also look for certain skills and qualities when hiring medical assistants. For example, you will need to be able to work well under pressure, juggle multiple tasks at once, and be detail oriented. You should also have good people skills since you will be working closely with patients and other healthcare professionals.

Education and Training

Medical assistants must complete an accredited medical assisting program, which typically takes about one year to complete and results in a certificate, diploma, or an associate degree. Some states have formal education requirements for medical assistants, but most do not.

While in school, medical assistants take coursework in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, administrative medical assisting, and clinical medical assisting. Many programs also include an externship as part of the curriculum, which gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting.


There are a few types of medical assistant certification, but the three most popular are the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), and National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA). Many employers prefer to hire certified medical assistants, and some states even require certification. To become certified, medical assistants must complete an accredited training program and pass a standardized exam. Some organizations also require recertification every few years to ensure that medical assistants remain up-to-date on best practices.

Most clinical duties for medical assistants involve direct patient care. This can include taking vital signs, administering injections or medications, drawing blood, and performing basic lab tests. Medical assistants also often take patient histories and document patients’ symptoms. In some states, medical assistants may be allowed to perform more advanced tasks such as electrocardiograms (EKGs) or minor surgical procedures.

Salary and Job Outlook

Medical assistants are in high demand, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 29% growth rate in employment from 2019 to 2029. This is much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual salary for medical assistants was $34,800 in 2019, with the top 10% earning more than $50,590.

There are many reasons for this high demand, but one of the biggest is that medical assistants perform both administrative and clinical tasks. This allows them to work in both outpatient and inpatient settings, giving them a level of versatility that is highly valued by employers.

Some of the most common clinical duties for medical assistants include:
-Taking patient medical histories
-Measuring patients’ vital signs (height, weight, blood pressure, etc.)
-Collecting and processing laboratory specimens
-Preparing patients for examination
-Assisting the physician during examinations
-Performing basic laboratory tests
-Instructing patients on medication and special diets
-Maintaining examination and treatment room
– handling correspondence
-Arranging hospital admissions and laboratory services
-Authorizing prescription refills

These are just a few examples of the duties that medical assistants may be asked to perform on a daily basis. As you can see, they play a vital role in helping to keep both patients and physicians organized and on schedule.

Career Paths

Medical assistants can find employment in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physician offices, and other healthcare facilities. Their responsibilities vary depending on the size and type of facility where they work, as well as the state in which they are employed. However, there are some duties that are common among medical assistants in all settings.

Clinical duties for medical assistants include:
– Taking and recording patient medical histories
-Taking and recording patient vital signs (weight, blood pressure, temperature, etc.)
-Preparing patients for examination
-Assisting the physician during examinations
-Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
-Performing basic laboratory tests
-Instructing patients on taking medication and other home care instructions
-Scheduling appointments
-Making referrals to specialists and other healthcare professionals
-Maintaining medical records

Working Conditions

Clinical duties for medical assistants may include preparing patients for examination, taking and recording vital signs, updating medical histories and administering basic treatments and medications. They also may collect and prepare lab specimens or perform basic lab tests, schedule patient appointments and provide instruction on wound care or rehabilitation exercises.

Pros and Cons

Clinical duties for medical assistants pros and cons can be very beneficial to those who are looking into this career. Many people choose to enter the medical field because they are interested in helping others, but they may not be sure if they want to work in a hospital or in a doctor’s office. There are many different types of medical assistant jobs, and each has its own set of pros and cons. It is important to know what you want before you decide on a career, so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

One of the pros of being a medical assistant is that you will have the opportunity to work with many different types of people. You will meet people from all walks of life, and you will learn about their culture and their backgrounds. This can be very beneficial, especially if you plan on working in a hospital setting. You will also be able to learn about different diseases and conditions, which can be very helpful when you are working with patients.

Another pro of being a medical assistant is that you will be able to work in a variety of settings. You can choose to work in a hospital, in a doctor’s office, or even in a clinic. Each setting has its own set of pros and cons, so you will need to decide which one is right for you. You may also want to consider working as a home health aide, which can be very rewarding.

There are some cons of being a medical assistant as well. One of the biggest problems with this job is that it can be very hectic. There are often times when you will have to deal with sick patients, and this can be very stressful. If you do not have experience working in the medical field, this job may not be right for you. In addition, there is often a lot of paperwork involved in this job, which can be very time consuming.


-What are clinical duties for medical assistants?
-How can I become a medical assistant?
-What kind of training do I need to be a medical assistant?
-How much does a medical assistant make?

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