The common duties of medical assistant workers, or MAs, are many. They perform certain clinical duties and administrative tasks, all under the direction of a qualified physician.
A basic overview of the types of tasks they perform include insurance coding, billing, appointment scheduling, maintaining medical records, taking vital signs and recording them, prepping patients for examination, drawing blood, recording medical histories, and administering medications (only as directed by a qualified physician).
An MA position is similar to what most people believe a nurse would do. They interview the patients to get medical information. They measure the patients vital signs along with their height and weight. They show them into the examination rooms and then prepare them for the examination from the physician. They prepare medications and administer them as the attending physician directs them. An MA will collect tissue, blood, and various other lab specimens, then log them in and get them ready for testing.
MAs are the ones who explain the diets, medications, physician instructions, and treatment procedures to the patients. They actively help physicians in examining and treating patients by handing materials and instruments to them. They sometimes give injections and remove sutures. They can authorize drug refills and often provide pharmacies with prescription information. Before patient treatment rooms are used, they ensure the rooms are neat and clean.
Cleaning and sterilizing instruments as well as disposing of contaminated supplies is also the duty of an MA. Scheduling appointments and changing and dressing wounds is their responsibility as well. They are constantly asked to jump from the administrative to the clinical.
Greeting and logging in patients is another task performed my MAs. They answer phones, take dictation, and fill out insurance forms regularly. They keep financial records, perform bookkeeping duties, handle credit and collections, and mail out monthly statements for their patients. They give their patients physiotherapy treatments like galvanic, hydrotherapy, and diathemy. They also operate EKG and X-ray equipment for administering routine diagnostic tests.
Skills Needed to Perform MA Duties:
Because their duties include interviewing patients, an MA must possess active listening skills. They need to have the ability to stay focused on what people are saying to them and taking the time to understand what points are being made. They have to know when to ask questions as well as when doing so is appropriate and when it is not. Naturally, their speaking skills need to be effective and clear.
Good social skills are always a necessary asset for dealing with the public. A good MA will be able to teach other people how to do things. They’ll be able to grasp and understand the implications that new information can have and use that understanding in their decision-making and problem-solving.
Time management, sound judgment, a grasp of mathematics, and good troubleshooting skills, are all part of the make-up of a solid MA.
As you can see, the contribution of an MA is an invaluable asset to any healthcare facility they may work in. Their duties are many, and their skills are diverse.