Medical Assistants are crucial people in the medical field. “Medical Assistants are multi-skilled members of the health care team who perform administrative and clinical procedures under the supervision of a licensed health care provider such as a nurse or doctor.”(American Association of Medical Assistants, Library) Medical Assistants do have a variety of different duties that they have to perform on a day to day basis. As a medical assistant, a person will have administrative and clinical duties; work with nurses and doctors, and comply with OSHA and HIPAA guidelines.
Some of the administrative duties a person might have to perform as a medical assistant include: “greeting patients, handling correspondence, scheduling appointments, answering telephones, creating and maintaining patient medical records, handling billing and insurance processing, and performing medical transcriptions.” (K. Booth, L. Whicker, T. Wyman, S.M. Wright 2008-2011) All of these administrative duties that a medical assistant does, they must remember to follow HIPAA guidelines and privacy of the patient. (HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.) If a medical assistant fails to follow these guidelines they could possibly face legal charges such as: fines, imprisonment, and/or loss of job. There was a case in Kansas were a man was suspended for unknown causes but, did have to go to court to see if “an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare requiring immediate state agency action.” said presiding officer Dr. Nancy Welsh.
Some of the clinical duties a medical assistant might have to perform include: “assisting the doctor during the examination of a patient, infection control, performing tests (urinalysis, blood work, ECGS(Electrocardiogram)) , preparing and giving injections and medications, phlebotomy (blood work), disposing of contaminated supplies, preparing patient for examination, vital signs and medical histories, preparing the exam room before and after examination of a patient, removing of sutures or changing dressings on wounds, and sterilizing equipment.”(K. Booth, L. Whicker, T. Wyman, S.M. Wright, 2008-2011)
With all of the clinical duties, as well as the administrative duties, a medical assistant must remember to follow the HIPAA guidelines. Depending on the office a medical assistant works in will depend on the clinical duties they will be preforming. For example, if a medical assistant is assisting a surgeon or a surgical technician they might have duties like: sterilizing equipment, making sure the operating room is stocked properly with supplies(gauze, medical tape, suture kits), and talking with the patient about the procedure.
As a medical assistant there are certain values or qualifications that you need to have. These qualifications might include: critical thinking skills, time management, empathy, attention to detail, flexibility, professionalism, neat appearance, positive attitude, remaining calm in a crisis, team work, proper judgment, and good communication skills. (K. Booth, L. Whicker, T. Wyman, S.M. Wright, 2008-2011) Such things as time management, empathy, attention to detail, neat appearance, and positive attitude are extremely important in the medical field. No patient wants to be taken care of by someone who is rude, has a negative attitude, does not exhibit proper hygiene, or who just plainly doesn’t care about the patient. In the medical profession, professionalism is something that a person must have!
The difference between a CMA and an RMA is: a CMA is a certified medical assistant and an RMA is a registered medical assistant (www.aama-ntl.org). A certified medical assistant has only a state wide certification. In order to practice in another state a person would have to transfer their certification to that state. It is different for a registered medical assistant. For a registered medical assistant it is nationwide, which means a person does not have to transfer anything. A person with a RMA can practice anywhere in the U.S., but a person with a CMA would have to transfer their certification first before they could practice in that state.
The current issues that medical assisting face is that they are a “new breed” into the medical field. Which means that a person with a degree in medical assisting; might find it hard to find a job right now. The job field for medical assisting is growing and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the field is to grow 31% in the years to come. (Bureau of Labor Statistics; Publications; Job Outlook 2010-20). So, in the next few years, medical assisting should be as common as certified nursing assistants are today. The median average pay for medical assistant right now is around $28,860 a year or around $13.87 per hour.
For more information about Medical Assistants you can visit the following websites: www.aama-ntl.org ( American Association of Medical Assistants), www.caahep.org (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education), www.amt1.com (American Medical Technologists), www.jcahpo.org (Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthmology), and www.aspma.org (American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants). These websites have helped me a great deal with not only research but, questions that I have had about my degree as a Medical Assistant. I know that they have helped me and I hope that they will help others with either questions they have or concerns that they might have about the medical assistant degree or duties.
Becoming a Medical Assistant takes hard work and dedication. Working as a Medical Assistant takes even more hard work. Medical Assistants do a lot to help doctors and nurses every day. Some of the things they do for them are: answering the phone so that patients can make or cancel appointments or to answer a question they might have, preparing the patient and the room for the patient, doing blood work for the doctor or nurse, handling insurance paperwork, giving medication or getting it ready for the nurse, and cleaning up after the doctor is done with the patient’s examination. Medical Assistants are a very important part of the everyday duties in the medical field.
Bureau of Labor Statistics; summary; job outlook.
American Association of Medical Assistants website (www.aama-ntl.org); become a CMA. Medical Assisting: Administrative and Clinical Procedures with Anatomy and Physiology, 4e; Kathryn A. Booth, Leesa G. Whicker, Terri D. Wyman and Sandra Moaney Wright; Pages 9,26-38 License of medical assistant suspended Hutchinson News, The (KS), Apr 07, 2012 Newspaper Source; Kaplan Library