What are the Different Medical Assistant Careers?

Erin Oxendine
Erin Oxendine
Some medical assistants are responsible for scheduling appointments for patients.
Some medical assistants are responsible for scheduling appointments for patients.

A medical assistant is a person who assists with medical and clerical tasks in a medical facility. There are many job opportunities available for someone interested in medical assistant careers. For example, a person may work in a doctor’s office or hospital facility under the doctor’s supervision.

Some assistants may not have formal education and training but may have office experience. The majority of individuals who go into medical assistant careers will have completed a program from a vocational school or local college. Upon completion, students are then eligible to work in any number of medical assistant careers including assistants, health care administrators, and research.

Of the different medical assistant careers available, the most common position is a medical assistant for a doctor's office. These members work with the doctor to complete administrative and medical duties. Some of the tasks might consist of taking vital signs, updating intake forms, and helping the doctor with exams. Large medical practices may have several assistants perform these responsibilities.

Another job in medical assistant careers is assisting at a public hospital. At the hospital, medical assistants may help check patients in and prepare Medicare and Medicaid forms. The professional might also help with patient education regarding public health programs.

Eye doctors employ medical assistants, referred to as ophthalmologist medical assistants. This professional may schedule appointments, give eye exams, and update patient records. Other assignments may include repairing eyeglasses and filling contact lens prescriptions.

Surgery departments use trained health professionals. Doctors may use assistants to coordinate surgeries, review charts and comfort patients in recovery rooms. Duties may also consist of changing dressings, monitoring patients, and giving medication.

Chiropractic medical positions are another option for persons interested in medical assistant careers. Assistants for these doctors may greet patients, schedule appointments and prepare insurance documents. Some other tasks might be to help perform chiropractic exams and x-rays.

While most medical assistant careers involve working with the public, there are positions that allow the assistant to work in a more private setting. These positions might be in a laboratory assisting with research or working for solo practitioners.

A position as a medical assistant can be a very rewarding job. People who are considering medical assistant careers should think about other qualifications needed for this position. The assistant would probably need to know how to perform CPR. The person may also need to know basic administrative skills such as typing and record keeping.

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    • Some medical assistants are responsible for scheduling appointments for patients.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      Some medical assistants are responsible for scheduling appointments for patients.