Medical Assistants

Also called: Autopsy Assistant, Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Chiropractic Assistant, Chiropractor Assistant, Client Service Coordinator

$36,930

estimated salary

Medical assistants 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 a physician.

  • 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.
  • Show patients to examination rooms and prepare them for the physician.
  • Prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician.
  • Collect blood, tissue, or other laboratory specimens, log the specimens, and prepare them for testing.
  • Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information to pharmacies.
  • Explain treatment procedures, medications, diets, or physicians' instructions to patients.
  • Clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies.
  • Perform routine laboratory tests and sample analyses.
  • 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.
  • Help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments or materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures.
  • Contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission.
  • Inventory and order medical, lab, or office supplies or equipment.
  • Operate x-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), or other equipment to administer routine diagnostic tests.
  • Change dressings on wounds.
  • Set up medical laboratory equipment.
  • Keep financial records or perform other bookkeeping duties, such as handling credit or collections or mailing monthly statements to patients.
Work Context
  • Contact With Others — 85% responded "Constant contact with others".
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 75% responded "Extremely important".
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 75% responded "Extremely important".
  • Telephone — 84% responded "Every day".
  • Physical Proximity — 66% responded "Very close (near touching)".
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 87% responded "Every day".
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 76% responded "Every day".
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Work Activities
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Interview patients to gather medical information.
  • Assess physical conditions of patients to aid in diagnosis or treatment.
  • Record vital statistics or other health information.
  • Give medications or immunizations.
  • Collect biological specimens from patients.
  • Record vital statistics or other health information.
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Knowledge

Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Medicine and Dentistry
  • Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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Skills

Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Social Perceptiveness
  • Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
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Abilities

Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Electronic mail software
  • Microsoft Exchange Hot Technology
  • Microsoft Outlook Hot Technology
  • Email software
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
  • Spreadsheet software
Data base user interface and query software
  • Microsoft Access Hot Technology
  • Data entry software Hot Technology
  • Database software
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Education

Post-Secondary Certificate or
Associate's Degree (or other 2-year degree)
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Job Outlook

New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Salary
$35,850
$26,930
$50,580