Medical Assistants

Description

Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.

Tasks

  • Record patients' medical history, vital statistics, or information such as test results in medical records.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean.
  • Interview patients to obtain medical information and measure their vital signs, weight, and height.
  • Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information to pharmacies.
  • Clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies.
  • Prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician.
  • Show patients to examination rooms and prepare them for the physician.
  • Explain treatment procedures, medications, diets, or physicians' instructions to patients.
  • Help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments or materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures.
  • Collect blood, tissue, or other laboratory specimens, log the specimens, and prepare them for testing.
  • Perform routine laboratory tests and sample analyses.
  • Contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission.
  • Operate x-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), or other equipment to administer routine diagnostic tests.
  • Change dressings on wounds.
  • Set up medical laboratory equipment.
  • Perform general office duties, such as answering telephones, taking dictation, or completing insurance forms.
  • Greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.
  • Schedule appointments for patients.
  • Inventory and order medical, lab, or office supplies or equipment.
  • Keep financial records or perform other bookkeeping duties, such as handling credit or collections or mailing monthly statements to patients.

Knowledge

Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Physics
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Skills

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Technology Design
Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Wrist-Finger Speed
The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Response Orientation
The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.

Work Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Interests

Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Lay Titles

Autopsy Assistant
Certifed Medical Assistant (CMA)
Certified Coding Specialist
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT)
Certified Phlebotomy Technician
Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
Chiropractic Assistant
Chiropractor Assistant
Clinic Assistant
Clinical Assistant
Clinical Medical Assistant
Clinical Office Technician
Doctor Assistant
Doctor's Assistant
Eye Technician
Health Unit Clerk
Hospital Clinic Assistant
Medical Assistant
Medical Billing Coder
Medical Billing Specialist
Medical Department Secretary
Medical Office Assistant
Medical Office Technician
Medical Office Worker
Morgue Attendant
Ocular Care Aide
Ophthalmic Aide
Ophthalmic Assistant
Ophthalmic Technician
Optometric Aide
Optometric Assistant
Optometric Technician
Optometrist Assistant
Optometry Assistant
Orthopedic Assistant
Orthopedic Cast Specialist
Outpatient Surgery Assistant
Phlebotomist
Physician's Aide
Podiatric Assistant
Podiatrist Assistant
Registered Medical Assistant
Respiratory Therapist Assistant
Sleep Technician
Sterile Processing Technician
Surgery Scheduler
Visual Training Aide

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$14.12 hourly, $29,370 annual.
Employment (2008):
553,140 employees