Medical Assistant

The Medical Assistant is a multi-skilled health professional rendering clerical, administrative and technical aid to the physician. The help and support of a medical assistant is inevitable and it counts a lot when the doctor is busy with great number of patients.

Duties Of A Medical Assistant

A medical assistant generally works in the laboratory areas or in the front/back office. The job of the medical assistant is directly controlled by the department administrator.

Unlike the physician’s assistants, medical assistants have to undertake/perform some administrative and clinical duties as well. The administrative duties incorporate attending telephone calls, scheduling appointments, updating medical records of patients and many more. The clinical duties are like preparing patients for medical examination, explaining treatment procedures to the patients or assisting the physician during the examination.

A Medical Assistant cannot perform any independent practice or cannot make any independent decision about treatment, diseases and/or emergency plan about the patient. The job of a medical assistant is limited to the offices of health practitioners such as the chiropractors, podiatrists, physicians and others and is generally directly dependent on the practitioner's specialty.


The primary education of a Medical Assistant can happen in a technical institute or community college or vocational school, technical institute or proprietary school. If you are very much eager to be a Medical Assistant in the future, but not interested in taking education in any of the mentioned institute, then you can opt for the online educational programs. Nevertheless, before taking up any particular medical assisting program, make sure that the program is accredited by any renowned institution.

Registration And Certification

Before becoming a full time medical assistant, it is necessary to obtain certification. For this you have to undergo a test conducted by the National Board of Medical Examiners or the notable bodies. Once you have cleared the exams successfully, then you are certified as a registered medical assistant. If a person wants to become a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), then he or she should be at least 18 years of age and should pass a medical assisting curriculum in a school accredited by any renowned institution. To become a RMA, the person needs to have a minimum of 5 years of experience.

Scope Of Practice By The Medical Assistant

The medical assistants have a huge scope of practice which have been listed as below:

Since the medical assistants are not licensed, therefore, they are required to work under the direct supervision of the licensed health care professional like the physician or the registered nurse.

In case, a medical assistant is working under the direct supervision of a unlicensed health care provider, then it is necessary for both of them to have authorization by the state for such practices as allergy testing, needle injections, venipuncture and Mantoux skin test.
In some states, medical assistants are required to produce proof of their qualification or seek permissions before exposing the patients to x-rays or before blood tests, etc. Some states even require them to pass a certain examination.

The medical assistant acts as a communicator between the patient and the physician. Therefore, the service of a medical assistant is indispensable and utile in medical practice.

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