A medical assistant is a person that completes clinical and administrative tasks in offices of health professionals. The duties of a medical assistant will vary based on the specialty, size, and location of the practice.

Typically the duties of a medical assistant will consist of:

  • Taking down and recording personal information and history of the patient
  • Taking vital signs of the patient
  • Helping the physician perform patient examinations
  • Providing injections to patients as directed by the supervising physician
  • Scheduling appointments for patients
  • Preparing blood and other bodily fluids for lab tests

A medical assistant will be in charge of taking and recording personal information about a patient. They must be able to keep this information confidential and only discuss it with other medical professionals who are involved with the treatment of the patient.


How Medical Assistant Jobs are Changing

With most medical records being kept electronically, the job of a medical assistant is changing. Most physician offices now use electronic health records for their patients. Assistants will need to learn the electronic health record software that is used in the office that they work in so that they can be efficient and effective at their job. In some larger practices a medical assistant may specialize in either clinical or administrative work.

An administrative medical assistant will fill out insurance forms and be in charge of filling out medical information about the patient. They will typically schedule patient appointments and answer phone calls. Many medical assistants who are in administrative positions will work closely with laboratory services and other hospital administrators.

A clinical medical assistant will have duties that are somewhat different. These positions will require an individual to do basic lab tests, dispose of supplies that have been contaminated, prep patients for x-rays and other tests, draw blood, remove stitches, and change dressings.


Medical Assistant Salaries

The average medical assistant salary in 2012 was $29,370. The median wage for a position refers to the wage that half the employees in a specific occupation earned more than and the other half earned less. The lowest 10% of medical assistants earned a salary of less than $22,000 and the top ten percent working in the field earned over $41,500.

The majority of medical assistants work full time and some will work on weekends and during the evening hours in order to cover the shifts in the medical facilities, which are always open.

The amount of a medical assistant salary will vary greatly based on location and specialty. Clinical medical assistants are more hands on, and will typically earn more than those who specialize in administrative work.

Another factor that will determine the salary of a medical assistant is the type of practice that they work in. Those who work in a larger practice or at a hospital will typically make more. However, those who work in a smaller practice are more likely to work fewer hours and may not have to work evenings and weekends if the practice is not open during these times.



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