The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant constantly changes to suit the size and nature of the medical practice. Medical assistants often perform both clerical and clinical duties. Medical assistants who work in a large environment may specialize in one particular area of care, while assistants who work in a small environment may perform the duties of multiple personnel. The medical assistant is a true multi-tasker, acting simultaneously as a secretary, clinical assistant, and patient educator.
Because the medical assistant is often the first person who patients encounter, a positive personality is essential. The stressful nature of the industry requires medical assistants to have excellent communication skills. They must also be organized and understand the scheduling and billing procedures of their office. In addition to their clerical skills, medical assistants need to have competent knowledge of basic medical procedures, as their responsibilities often include administering medication, preparing patients for exams, and assisting in various laboratory tests.
The most efficient way to become a medical assistant is to complete an educational medical assistant program. These programs are designed to provide the necessary training in anatomy, medical terminology, and legal practices. Most programs of this nature take only one year to complete, with two-year Associate degree programs also available.
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Program availability and/or degree offerings subject to change. Employment and salary are not guaranteed.