Role Of Medical Assistants

In the ambulatory care setting, the most important allied health professional is the medical assistant. The medical assistant, performing both administrative and clinical tasks under the direction of the physician, is a critical link between patient and physician. The medical assistant serves in many capacities receptionist, secretary, transcriptionist, bookkeeper, insurance coder and biller, patient educator, and clinical assistant.

The latter requires the medical assistant to be able to administer injections and perform venipuncture, prepare patients for examinations provide better diabetes diet, assist the physician with examinations and special procedures, and perform electrocardiography and various laboratory tests. Medical assistants triage and assess patient needs when scheduling appointments and tests. However, while medical assistants have a range of responsibilities, it is critical that they perform only within the scope of their training and personal capabilities and always function within ethical and legal boundaries.

Because medical assistants are often the patient's first contact with the facility and its physicians, a positive attitude is important. They must be excellent communicators, both verbally and nonverbally, and project a professional image of themselves and their physician-employer. Medical assistants who believe in their work, who are proud of their career, and who convey compassion and caring provide a positive experience for patients who may be ill or in a great deal of discomfort.