A medical assistant or healthcare assistant is an allied health worker that supports the work of doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other healthcare providers, typically in a clinic setting. Medical assistants can become certified through an accredited program.
Medical assistants perform many administrative duties, including answering phones, greeting patients, updating and filing medical records, filling out insurance forms, handling mail, scheduling appointments, arranging hospital admission and laboratory services, bill and keep books.
Duties may include taking personal medical histories and vital signs, discussing treatment methods to patients, preparing patients for examination, and assisting during diagnostic exams.
Medical assistants gather and prepare lab specimens, run basic lab tests on site, and sanities medical devices. They educate patients about drugs and special diets, prepare and dispense medications, authorize drug refills, phone prescriptions to pharmacies, draw blood, prepare patients for X-rays, take electrocardiograms, remove sutures, and change dressings.