Where do Medical Assistants Fit In?

In the several years I’ve been teaching students about the Medical Assistant profession, I have been asked numerous times by both healthcare professionals and non-healthcare professionals, “what does a Medical Assistant do?” Each time I’ve been taken aback by this. What do you mean what does a Medical Assistant do? The truth is; we do a lot!

Medical Assistants duties typicall fall somewhere between a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and an LPN (License Practical Nurse). However, with the advanced training options available today, MA’s are taking their place next to the LPN’s.

MA’s are primarily used in physician offices, but are not limited to them. They have been known to work in hospitals under the title of a PCT (Patient Care Technician). The duties are very similar. While it is important for an MA not to work out of their scope of practice, it is just as significant for an MA not to limit his or herself to one particular specialty. MA’s can be used in so many areas, which has resulted in the broadening of the MA’s medical knowledge.

As an MA, it is your duty to make sure that adequate care and consideration is given to each and every patient you encounter in your facility. You are the liaison between the physician and the patient. If there is an RN or LPN working at your facility, then you also serve as support staff to them. This involves front office reception, administrative and clerical skills, which lead into back office clinical skills. A front office MA will greet each patient, check patients in for their appointment, reschedule appointments, process insurance verification and answer phones among many other things.

A clinical MA will triage patients, take vitals, perform CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) approved POL (Physician's Office Laboratories) testing such as Urinalysis, Glucometer readings, pregnancy testing, Hemoglobin readings and other Venipuncture procedures. A clinical MA will also perform EKG’s, Peak flows, assist the physician in minor surgical procedures, school physicals, DOT physicals, child vaccinations, medication injections and pharmacy verification. The clinical MA is also responsible for the quality control of waive testing equipment used at the facility.

For a typical visit to your doctor’s office it is a Medical Assistant or MA who assists you and is your first point of contact after the reception desk.

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college.

Add your comment


Please enter your name.


Please enter your email.


Please enter your comment.


chart-credential-laddering-rsd 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 181 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE icon-colored-advance icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-developement icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-national icon-colored-prep icon-colored-regional icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-camera icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play