Medical Assistant Roles and Responsibilities

Medical assistants, by the very nature of their job, are important to the success of a medical institution. This applies to small clinics as well as the larger hospitals and specialized health care centers.

A medical assistant performs important duties in two broad areas related to patient care and management.

The first broad area is – Administrative & Managerial duties.

The medical assistant usually is the first person whom a patient meets, and also the last person whom a patient meets. In other words, the medical assistant is involved in the administrative work related to the organization as well as patient care.

Hence, traditional office tasks performed by medical assistants include:

  • Managing the reception area
  • Welcoming visitors and patients
  • Replying to the phonecalls
  • Keying in relevant data into the computer
  • Receiving and sending mail.

In addition to this, the medical assistant would also handle the tedious statutory paperwork such as

  • Filing insurance forms
  • Helping the other staff in managing patient data and files
  • Ensure integrity of patient information and medical history

The second broad area is – Medical duties.

The medical assistant works alongside the doctor/s in creating the patient’s medical profile by performing tasks such as

  • Drawing blood
  • Sterilization of medical surgical equipment
  • Checking blood pressure and sugar levels
  • Checking and noting other vital signs
  • Other relevant duties

Sometimes, medical assistants may be working in more well-defined roles in specific areas such as eye-care and ophthalmology, cardiac care, pediatric care etc. In such cases, the medical assistant may have additional training relevant to the specific line of medicine or medical treatment. For eg., a medical assistant may be assisting an ophthalmologist or optometrist in doing first-level eyesight & vision tests, using specialized equipment for checking eye pressure, or helping patients learn how to wear, remove, and take care of contact lenses.

With a broad based profile that is important for the smooth functioning of a healthcare setup of almost any size, the career of a medical assistant remains crucial to the industry. This has ensured that medical assistant remains as a career that’s always in demand and showcases a continuous demand-supply gap in favor of employees for the entire current decade.