Administrative and Clinical Medical Assistants
Introduction to My Medical Assistant Lens
This Squidoo lens has been set up to provide information about Medical Assistants -- How to become one, and a day in the life of a Medical Assistant. Medical Assistants split themselves up into two main categories, Administrative Medical Assistants, and Clinical Medical Assistants. As the name implies, Administrative MA's are more involved with clerical and more organizational work, and Clinical MA's are more involved with helping the doctors with the patients. Thank you for visiting, and please enjoy your stay.
Working As A Medical Assistant -- What You Can Expect
Medical Assistants, whether Clinical or Administrative, come from all walks of life and serve a range of vital purposes within health care settings. As one of the most rapidly increasing professions according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an impressive amount of 527,600 individuals were recorded in 2010 as actively employed as Medical Assistants. Medical Assistants are often considered to be, "generalists", which means they are utilized in numerous areas of a practice or hospital.
If you are aiming to become a Medical Assistant, then you can expect the daily tasks assigned to you to depend significantly on the specialty of the practitioner's office, or if employed within a hospital, to depend on the department(s) in which you are working.
Additionally, a large difference exists between Medical Assistants who have earned a certification from an accredited program and those who have participated in entry-level education/training. The latter is usually charged with less intensive clerical-type duties, and is known as an Administrative Medical Assistant or simply as a Medical Assistant. A Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) is entrusted with far more difficult tasks and responsibilities in regard to fundamental assignments and general patient care. This post will focus on Administrative Medical Assistants.
What Will Your Daily Tasks Entail As An Administrative Medical Assistant?
If you intend to hold the career position of Administrative Medical Assistant, you will be charged with a multitude of clerical/managerial responsibilities in order to maintain the systematic organization within a health care office setting.
The ability to communicate with patients in a clear and kind manner will be an extremely valuable skill for you to possess and utilize when working in this position. The reason for this lies in an Administrative Medical Assistants duties that often include answering/directing incoming and outgoing phone calls. Moreover, scheduling appointments with patients, as well as greeting them as they enter the office.
You must be able to learn quickly in this type of career due to the potential for computer software updates and changes that often take place within health care settings. A general knowledge of computer programs most often used in the health care field will be necessary for you to grasp, especially while performing the task of updating/recording patient insurance information.
Moreover, you will be in charge of handling the admittance and discharge paperwork for patients, in addition to filling out the necessary paperwork for ordering laboratory services. Finally, the general billing, correspondance, and bookkeeping involved in every medical practice, office, or hospital will be entrusted to you, the Administrative Medical Assistant.
More than just a Medical Secretary, the Administrative Medical Assistant will often be called on to do different non-clerical tasks, like working with their employers on different projects, or purchasing supplies from different vendors, or even supervising the secretarial staff.
Additional Medical Assistant Resources
- Medical Assistant Salary
This website is a great place to get information about job description, training required, and salary information for medical professions, including Medical Assistants
- American Association of Medical Assistants
This site states the credentials required to become a Medical Assistant.
- National HealthCareer Association
This website has additional information about becoming a Medical Assistant.
Medical Assistant - What it Involves
Daily Tasks As A Clinical Medical Assistant
In an earlier post we discussed Medical Assistants in general. This post focuses on Clinical Medical Assistants.
There are four main categories of tasks in which you as a Clinical Medical Assistant will be responsible for performing on a daily basis-rudimentary procedures, specimen collection, diagnostic testing, and direct patient care. The rudimentary procedures you will be expected to accomplish involve basic utilization of precautionary measures, such as hand-washing before and after physical contact with patients.
Furthermore, proper disposal of biohazardous materials, and the preparation of medical instruments for autoclaving (sterilization) are both prime examples of rudimentary procedures. Your duties associated with the category of specimen collection will usually include, providing detailed instruction to patients as to how to properly perform a, "clean catch", urine sample collection, as well as the collection of fecal specimens.
In addition, you will be expected to perform venipunctures in order to collect intravenous blood samples, and capillary punctures when collecting blood intravenously is not an option, or not necessary, such as with blood sugar testing. Lastly, you will be expected to carry out the general collection of bodily fluid specimens for microbiological testing.
Your job as a Clinical Medical Assistant will also entail diagnostic testing; for instance, depending on the location and specialty of your employer, may include electrocardiology and respiratory testing. Additionally, you will have a number of CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) waived tests to accomplish, such as urinalysis, hematology, chemistry, immunology, and microbiology.
Several of your most crucial responsibilities as a Clinical Medical Assistant fall under the category of direct patient care. Advanced communication skills play a substantial part in this aspect of the profession, with you being required to conduct over-the-phone and in-person interviews with patients in order to obtain medical histories and records.
You will also be responsible for checking and recording patient vital signs, prepping patients for routine examinations and procedures, and dispensing oral or parenatal medications to patients under a physicians direction. The preparation and general maintenance of treatment/examination rooms will be included in your day-to-day tasks as a Clinical Medical Assistant as well.
In essence, health care centers cannot run smoothly, or run at all, without the individuals who perform all of the above mentioned duties and tasks. It takes a special kind of person indeed to carry out the critical responsibilities required of Medical Assistants, which is why certain people are attracted to such career positions. As a Medical Assistant, you will be relied upon extensively by physicians and patients alike, and in fact be a liaison between the two. A difficult job, yes, but you will find yourself more needed and useful than in most other career choices. If you choose to become a Medical Assistant, you will find the benefits to be considerable, not only in the way of salary and compensation, but also intensely fulfilling and rewarding on a very personal level.
Medical Assistant Resources from Amazon.com
Medical Assistant Job Description
This video provides the highlights of the excellent resource: