Written by Madeline Hyden, MGMA web content writer/editor
This post is a part of a blog series that outlines job descriptions of various positions in a medical practice.
Medical assistants are a crucial component to your practice’s clinical staff, but their roles can vary in breadth depending on the size of your practice and the amount of work your physicians, physician assistants and nurses choose to give them.
A general medical assistant job description will include:
• Report to clinical coordinator or practice administrator
• Perform nursing procedures under supervision of physician or physician assistant
• Assist physician and physician assistant in exam rooms
• Escort patients to exam rooms, interviews patients, measure vital signs, including weight, blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and document all information in patient’s chart
• Give instructions to patients as instructed by physician or physician assistant
• Ensure all related reports, labs and information is filed is available in patients’ medical records prior to their appointment
• Keep exam rooms stocked with adequate medical supplies, maintain instruments, prepare sterilization as required
• Take telephone messages and provide feedback and answers to patient/physician/pharmacy calls
• Triage and process messages from patients and front office staff to physicians and physician assistants
• Maintain all logs and required checks (i.e. refrigerator temperatures, emergency medications, expired medications, oxygen, cold sterilization fluid change, etc.)
• All other duties as assigned by clinical coordinator or practice administrator
Keep in mind that the responsibilities of your medical assistants will also vary based on practice location, as the legal scope of practice varies by state. For example, some states require medical assistants who perform certain procedures, such as blood draws, ultrasounds or EKGs, to have license to do so, while some states do not. Many practices leave it up to the physician to make decisions about a medical assistant’s scope of responsibility, since they are technically working under the license of the physician.
If you’re creating a new job description, consult with your malpractice attorney to make sure your medical assistants are included in your malpractice policy.
Medical assistants must have knowledge of:
• Healthcare field and medical specialty
• Medical terminology
• Grammar, spelling, and punctuation
• Knowledge of EHRs (if applicable)
• Exceptional customer service and phone etiquette
• Ability to maintain effective and organized systems to ensure timely patient flow
• The ability to perform phlebotomy and administer injections
• High school diploma; some college preferred
• Medical assistant certification (if applicable)
Read our last installment of the job description series on medical directors for information on responsibilities and compensation using MGMA Survey Data.