Snapshot Profile of a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are responsible for performing a wide variety of different clerical as well as clinical duties. Most medical assistants help doctors examine and treat patients.

Their duties typically include tasks such as drawing blood, giving injections, and checking the height, weight, temperature, and blood pressure of each patient etc. They commonly work in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and other medical professionals

Job Duties and Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

Basically, medical assistants undertake administrative and clinical tasks to keep the operations of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners running smoothly. Medical assistant duties vary according to the medical practitioner, and also depending on the location and size of the practice.

In small practices, medical assistants usually undertake multiple tasks, handling both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner.

In large practices, they tend to specialize in a particular area, under the supervision of department administrators. Some of the mainstream lines of specializations in medical assistance are as follows.

Skill-Set & Competencies Requirements
Interpersonal Skills

Firstly, the medical assistant job description entails strong interpersonal skills, because creating a rapport with the patient is key to the healing process. The kindness projected by the medical assistant actually creates the groundwork for the doctor, a critical trust that acts as a catalyst for patient participation in the cure process. As trust develops between the patient and the doctor, the process of reconditioning the body and spirit becomes a lot easier
Strong Management

Secondly, because of the time-critical nature of the medical profession, dealing with emergencies etc., medical assistants need to be very good time-managers. The ability to work as a team and produce results in real-time actually helps save a lot of lives each year.

Ophthalmic, Optometric, and Podiatric

These are specialized assistants who have additional duties, as follows:
1. Ophthalmic Medical Assistants
2. Optometric Medical Assistants
3. Podiatric Medical Assistants
Ophthalmic Medical Assistants

Ophthalmic medical assistants help ophthalmologists provide eye care, by conducting diagnostic tests, measuring and record vision, and testing eye muscle function. Additionally, they apply eye dressings and also show patients how to insert, remove, and care for contact lenses. They are also authorized to administer medications under the directions of the doctor.
Optometric Medical Assistants

Optometric assistants also help provide eye care, working with optometrists. They provide chair-side assistance, instruct patients about contact lens use and care, conduct preliminary tests on patients, and serve any function as required.
Podiatric Medical Assistants

Podiatric medical assistants make castings of feet, expose and develop x rays, and assist podiatrists in surgery etc.
Medical Assistant Salary and Wages

A multiple range of factors affect the salary earnings of medical assistants. The factors typically include type and level of abilities and previous job experience .The median annual earnings for medical assistants was recorded to be $23,940 for 2002. Earnings typically increase with experience and/or with training and certification.

Career Growth and Opportunities for Medical Assistants

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 62% medical assistants work in physician offices, and employment in this field is projected to grow much faster than average, ranking it among the fastest growing occupations over the 2008–18 decade.

Author's Bio: 

Omar. S is the author of this article. Visit to read the job description for a medical assistant.