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What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

medical assistant job responsibilities

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

Medical Assistant job responsibilities vary based on a number of factors. “Medical assistant” is an umbrella term for several kinds of positions that contribute to the daily operations and patient experience within a healthcare facility. What a medical assistant is expected to do depends on:

  • the type of healthcare facility (such as a hospital, an urgent care clinic, or a specialist’s practice)
  • the certification(s) required
  • the individual needs of the healthcare specialist(s)

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medical assistant job responsibilities

Types of Medical Assistants

Entry-level medical assistant positions are generally divided into two categories: clinical medical assistant or administrative medical assistant. Learn more about the difference between administrative and clinical medical assistants.

These positions typically require different forms of certification. For a clinical medical assistant, the most accepted forms of certification include:

For an administrative medical assistant, the most accepted forms of certification include:

Read more about how differences in certification can impact a medical assistant’s career path.

Job Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

While the responsibilities of a medical assistant can vary, here is an overview of the responsibilities the job typically includes, as outlined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Texas Career Check:

Factors that Influence Medical Assistant Job Responsibilities

An important thing to keep in mind is that every workplace is different, and medical assistants may be expected to perform a combination of duties specific to the needs of their medical office. Here are a few examples of how different needs can change the job description:

Size of the Medical Team

In a smaller private practice, a medical assistant may be expected to schedule patient appointments and provide patient care, such as taking weight and height measurements. Meanwhile, a medical office with a large staff, such as a group practice, may separate the roles of patient care and administrative work.

Workplace Structure and Patient Volume

While a small private practice may assign a medical assistant to take X-rays or perform blood draws, a high-volume practice in a hospital may direct their patient to the radiology or diagnostic center within their building. A large hospital will most likely have a billing department, while in private practice, a medical assistant may oversee the processing of billing and insurance claims.

Type of Practice

The specialty or subspecialty of a medical facility affects the expertise and daily duties of its medical assistant. For example, an administrative medical assistant at an urgent care clinic will frequently encounter work-related injuries and worker’s compensation, while administrative medical assistants at a dermatology or other specialty clinic may be required to send and receive referrals.

With campuses in Dallas and Arlington, CCI Training Center offers comprehensive, accelerated career training in Medical Assisting with Nutrition and Weight Management, among other healthcare career options.