Career summary

Details for Medical Assistants


Description

Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding 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.
  • 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.

Interests

  • 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.
  • 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.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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