Medical Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Medical Assistant, also called a Medical Office Assistant, is responsible for completing administrative and clinical tasks under a Doctor or other medical professional’s supervision. Medical Assistants work in Doctor’s offices, outpatient clinics, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and other medical facilities .


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What does a Medical Assistant do?

Medical Assistants usually work for doctors in hospitals or small offices. They communicate with insurance companies, provide customer service, accept payments, and take care of many other tasks that are essential for keeping any medical facility running smoothly. Medical Assistants’ day-to-day activities often vary, from reassuring patients to making a trip to the post office to performing basic tests. They help medical professionals to save time and give people the quality care they need, and they’re essential for keeping healthcare facilities operating efficiently.


Medical Assistant duties and responsibilities

Some Medical Assistants help with a wide range of tasks. The duties and responsibilities in a Medical Assistant job description may include:

  • Updating patient records
  • Cleaning and preparing exam rooms before patient appointments
  • Administering medications under a Physician’s supervision
  • Sending tissue and fluid samples for laboratory analysis
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Calculating billing amounts
  • Explaining medical procedures to patients
  • Maintaining medical inventory by ordering new supplies and equipment as needed 


Medical Assistant skills and qualifications

Successful Medical Assistants usually have a combination of social and technical skills. They can adapt quickly to changing conditions and technologies, be professional, meet the needs of a busy office, and help everyone stay organized. Top skills and qualifications for Medical Assistants include:

  • Customer service skills
  • Inventory management skills
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Computer and data entry skills
  • Planning and organizational skills
  • A basic understanding of biology, human anatomy, and the benefits of the procedures that healthcare providers perform


Medical Assistant experience requirements

Most Medical Assistant jobs require one or two years of experience at a medical practice or hospital, but many positions are entry-level. You can also expand your hiring options by considering candidates who’ve worked in related fields such as office management or customer service.


Medical Assistant education and training requirements

Most Medical Assistant positions require an associate-level degree or higher in a medical field and a high school diploma. Ideal areas of study include medical administrative services and healthcare administration, and many employers prefer bachelor’s degrees. Professional licenses or certifications aren’t typically required, but candidates should be willing to complete on-the-job training.


Medical Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Medical Assistant is $17.93 per hour. Pay rates for individuals depend on location, experience and education levels, and the employer.


Job description samples for similar positions

If a Medical Assistant isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, here are some other job description samples that may fit your needs:


Medical Assistant job description FAQs


What are the day-to-day clinical duties of a Medical Assistant?

The clinical duties of Medical Assistants vary according to provincial law and employers. They often take patients’ medical histories, record vital signs, give instructions for at-home care, dispose of biohazardous waste, and sterilize medical instruments. They may also perform simple laboratory tests, draw blood, authorize prescription refills, prepare patients for scans or tests, remove sutures, and change dressings or bandages.


Who does a Medical Assistant report to?

A Medical Assistant must report to a Physician working in the same location. The Doctor may delegate some supervision of the Medical Assistant to a Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse, or other medical professional. Medical Assistants with more education and experience sometimes supervise Receptionists and similar employees. They also work with Phlebotomists, Laboratory Analysts, and other professionals.


How is a Medical Assistant different from a Physician Assistant?

Medical Assistants need to perform all of their administrative and clinical tasks under the direct supervision of a Doctor. Physician Assistants can collaborate with Physicians to examine, diagnose, and treat patients more independently. Physician Assistants will consult Doctors before making major treatment decisions. This distinction makes working from home and communicating with patients digitally easier and more practical for Physician Assistants. However, many Medical Assistants work in call centres and similar environments.


What makes a good Medical Assistant job description?

A job description helps candidates decide whether their skills, values, experience, and education are a good match for the job openings available. It encourages quality applicants and limits people who are underqualified, making the hiring process more efficient. To write an appealing Medical Assistant job description, include an overview of your organization, and its culture and values. You should also summarize key responsibilities and let readers know what skill, education, and experience levels you are seeking.

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