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Medical Assistants and Their Roles in the Healthcare Industry


You might have heard the term “medical assistant” often and wondered what it is they actually do. Perhaps you have also taken an interest in the healthcare field and are looking for the right position that suits your skills and interests. Whether you are thinking of studying to become one, or just want to simply get to know the field better, it’s important to get to understand what these medical assistants actually are and what they do in the field of health care in order to appreciate their importance in our lives.

Medical assistants (MA) are basically unlicensed caregivers who work primarily in doctors’ offices and clinics, although many also work in hospitals and medical facilities and rehabilitation centers. The job description includes a variety of roles and responsibilities, which differ from job to job. Although a medical assistant’s primary function is to make sure that the doctor’s office runs efficiently, listed below are the various roles and functions of medical assistants:

  • Testing Duties

    Medical assistants have to work under the supervision of a medical director—which, at most times, is a licensed physician. Medical assistants perform testing duties by following a protocol written and prepared by the doctor. They are also responsible for collecting, packing, and labeling different samples needed for laboratory testing.

  • Patient Preparation

    Preparing patients is another duty to be fulfilled by medical assistants. They would get the patient ready for testing, treatment, or any other medical procedures that a doctor will perform. They expose affected areas by removing clothing or bandages, and—when necessary—shave areas of the patient’s body.

  • Patient Assessment and Care

    Taking vital signs, performing a physical exam, and obtaining the patient’s medical history are all key roles of medical assistants. Vital signs include blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and breathing rate, while a physical exam includes height, weight, as well as looking for any irregularities on the patient’s body.

  • Clerical Duties

    Medical assistants commonly have front-desk duties which include a lot of clerical work such as filing, answering phones, and scheduling appointments. They are also in charge of greeting patients and obtaining their personal information, medical records, and insurance information. Overall, medical assistants keep the office running smoothly and efficiently.

Gaining a better view and understanding of the different roles and responsibilities of medical assistants allows appreciation their presence in the field of health care. If you believe you have what it takes to take on the roles of a medical assistant with precision, efficiency, and care, then your next step will be in finding the right school that will help develop your skills and later on bolster your career. New Lake College offers healthcare training in Illinois for students aspiring to enter the field of medical assistance or practical nursing, among others. We provide you with the right stepping stones to achieve your dream and be successful in your career path through quality, well-crafted, and exceptional healthcare training programs in Hanover Park, Illinois.

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