ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Administrative and Clinical Medical Assistants

Updated on November 11, 2012

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.

Medical Assistant - What it Involves

Daily Tasks As A Clinical Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant with Doctor and Patient
Medical Assistant with Doctor and Patient

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 Job Description

This video provides the highlights of the excellent resource:

http://medicalprofessionsalaries.com/medical-assistant-job-description

Medical Assistant Poll

New Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 3 years ago

      @royal666: Thank you for your feedback, all the best, Bob

    • profile image

      royal666 3 years ago

      Medical assistants are becoming an increasingly vital part of healthcare teams around the world. A medical assistant is often something of a jack-of-all-trades in the medical world, bringing a bevy of skills to their job of assisting physicians and medical personnel. Their work may range from administrational tasks like updating and filing medical records, to clinical work like sterilizing equipment and taking vital signs.

      medicalprofessionsalaries.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My partner is working as med�ical assistant, and from what i can see this job is underpayed... :(

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks very much.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @diadi1989: I am sure that you can earn more as a Medical Assistant, but there is an investment involved in order to get there. See this article: http://medicalprofessionsalaries.com/medical-assis...

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Sure, that's the simple understanding of Medical Assistants.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @JemimaSchroeder192: hahaha, should I add another poll?

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @Mary_Booker: Thank you, I'm honored

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Wow, thank you for your feedback. Best of luck with your job.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you very much.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @Eustacia51: Eustacia, Well, I imagine that yes, unless you want to become a purely Administrative Medical Assistant. Not being to stand blood is a handicap for someone who wants to get into the medical profession I would think.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @anonymous: foosen, if you take the link above in the link section, this one: http://medicalprofessionsalaries.com/medical-assis... you will find all your answers there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for taking your time and sharing useful info.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for your visit and for your comment, I appreciate your appreciation. Take care.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @phanthink1967: I also understood that way at first, but that's how the US government sites define it. Therefore I wrote my articles in that vein, pun intended.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Mabel, in my lens above in the links section, I put a link there to Medical Assistant Salary. There is another post in that section, next to it, http://medicalprofessionsalaries.com/medical-assis... you can probably find your answer there.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @Edith54: Thank you very much.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @PhoebeHitt: Thank you for commenting.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for the visit and for the comment.

    • BobRapp profile image
      Author

      BobRapp 4 years ago

      @Hugo_Coe: Well, it could be said so, but I wouldn't say it, it all depends how you feel. The BLS reports that there are 5 times as many RN's as MA's, and there are plenty of other kinds of nurses, and they obviously don't feel the way you do. I think that a nurse requires more preparation and has more responsibility, therefore in a certain sense she has a wider range of possible satisfaction.

      That being said, if you find your call in Medical Assistantship, go for it.

    • profile image

      MeghanMurillo137 4 years ago

      huh...i dont think i would be suitable for this kind a task

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I dont think i would ever be able to work in medical branch because i could not stand dealing with patients and similar... that is why i respect those who choose to work as medical assistants, nurses...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What can you expect to learn from these short programs? Do you actually get some knowledge that is suitable for task or not?

    • profile image

      EleanorCoates 4 years ago

      I would love to work as medical assistan, but sadly i can not afford to pay for education and certification at the moment.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      How long does it take to become a medical assistant?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      People dont appreciate this kind a job, but for me every honest job is deserving respect.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      It looks like medical assistants are like "boy/girl for everything"

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Good lens... Always nice to run into some useful info.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • profile image

      diadi1989 4 years ago

      interesting career option... maybe i should think about this before... now im working as clerk :(

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I didnt know medical assistans are also asigned for actual patient care...

    • profile image

      JemimaSchroeder192 4 years ago

      I wonder how many squidoo members work as medical assistant...?

    • profile image

      Mary_Booker 4 years ago

      Great reading! I have bookmarked this one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I work as medical assistant, and i love my job. Yes, it can be frustrating sometimes, but that is nothing new in real world.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thumbs up for great share.

    • profile image

      Eustacia51 4 years ago

      Do you get in touch with blood as medical assistant? Im asking because i can not stand blood, and i was thinking about becomming one...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What im interested in is payment... Is it good, or not so good when you are working as medical assistant?

    • profile image

      phanthink1967 4 years ago

      What I dont understand is how can someone be administrative medical assistant??? For me administration is one thing, and medical assistant is other.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      How much does it cost to get certification?

    • profile image

      Edith54 4 years ago

      bookmarked and squid liked.

    • profile image

      PhoebeHitt 4 years ago

      This was informational. Thank you for posting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you for sharing this with us.

    • profile image

      Hugo_Coe 4 years ago

      Well... it looks like being medical assistant is more interesting than being a nurse :)