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Medical assistant uses blood pressure cuff on patient in exam room

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

As anyone who has ever been a patient already knows, the quality of care provided by medical assistants can greatly impact one’s experience of healthcare. These team members facilitate communication between medical professionals and patients, as well as taking care of many small tasks that make a big difference.

While it can sometimes be difficult to pin down a medical assistant job description because of the varied nature of their work, there are some baseline duties performed. If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, consider the medical assistant program at Unitech Training Academy. We have six campus locations, welcoming students from across Louisiana. Here, we discuss the various hats worn by medical assistants in the healthcare industry.

Are There Different Types of Medical Assistants?

There is a natural division between the clinical and administrative in healthcare, and this also pertains to the medical assistant. However, while some medical assistants do focus entirely on administrative work, it’s probably more common to find these healthcare stars performing duties related to both direct patient care and the office.

The healthcare sector includes many specializations and fields, and this is also true of medical assistants. As much as there are similarities, there are also real differences in the duties required of medical assistants who work in oncology compared to pediatric practices. There is a different set of commonly used medical terms and demographics. Laboratory tests, billing procedures, and patient load are all affected by the type of medical office or institution, the field of medicine, and the types of treatments performed in each setting. 

Medical Assistant Job Description

Here is a basic medical assistant job description. These skills are addressed in the curriculum for the medical assistant program offered at Unitech Training Academy. Common duties performed by medical assistants include:

  • Schedule patient appointments and prepare examination rooms
  • Record vital signs, such as patient weight and blood pressure readings
  • Review current medical history for the electronic health record
  • Aid the comfort of patients during examinations with physicians
  • Collect and prepare samples, such as urine or blood for the laboratory
  • Perform some basic laboratory tests
  • Administer injections and medications as directed by a physician
  • Take electrocardiograms and blood samples
  • Provide wound care, change wound dressings, and remove stitches
  • Assist with patient education, teaching about symptoms, treatments, and medication protocols
  • Communicate patient prescriptions with pharmacies and other medical offices
  • Order supplies and keep inventory
  • Process paperwork for billing and insurance companies, including medical coding

As medical assistants move through different job experiences, they may find that they prefer working in a particular medical specialty. There is a certain amount of on-the-job training that occurs in the working world of medical assistants. However, most of these healthcare professionals complete a postsecondary program of study, such as the medical assistant program at Unitech Training Academy.

Medical Assistant Program at Unitech Training Academy

The medical assistant program at Unitech Training Academy is a hybrid program. This means some of the coursework is offered in a convenient online format, with the remainder taught in the classroom, as hands-on experiences in the labs, or through working in the local community to fulfill the externship requirement. Courses in this program include:

  • Anatomy and pathophysiology
  • Patient education and safety in the medical office
  • Administrative duties for the medical assistant
  • Clinical medical assisting duties
  • Pharmacology
  • Electronic health records

Prospective students must have graduated from high school or completed a GED and be at least 17 years of age to apply for admission to Unitech Training Academy. Financial aid is available for students who qualify, potentially in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. The admissions and financial aid offices at Unitech Training Academy can assist students as they explore a new healthcare career.

Healthcare Careers Start at Unitech Training Academy

Healthcare is a fast-growing sector of the U.S. economy. As the healthcare sector continues to grow, workers are needed at all levels to assist in patient care, including medical assistants. Unitech Training Academy offers several healthcare job training programs. These include medical office assistant, pharmacy technician, EKG/phlebotomy technician, and medical billing and coding.

Start Your Career as a Medical Assistant

Develop the knowledge and skills you need to handle a medical assistant job description at Unitech Training Academy. If you enjoy helping people feel more comfortable and have a passion for accuracy in your work, the role of medical assistant may be just right for you. Medical assistants work with electronic health records, interface with the billing and coding functions of the medical office, and perform direct patient care. These are three areas in healthcare that are growing quickly. Enter the exciting, in-demand medical field and work every day with people who want to make a positive difference in their patient’s lives. Get started now.