Medical assistants are important members of a medical staff or team who perform many different tasks that ultimately help to provide patients with efficient and attentive health care. Medical assistants may work in a private doctor’s office, hospital, nursing home and many other types of health care facilities. Because these assistants are responsible for many different kinds of tasks, medical assistant training focuses on clerical skills as well as certain clinical tasks that the assistant will be expected to perform.

Most medical assistants receive their medical assistant training by taking a one or two year course offered by a community college or vocational school. However, some people may be lucky enough to find an employer who will train them to become a medical assistant with just a high school diploma. There are no laws that currently require medical assistant certification, but those who do become certified are often able to find higher paying jobs in less time. More and more employers are starting to require certification for their medical assistants.

On the job, a medical assistant may be expected to handle typical office duties such as answering the phone, setting up appointments, filing documents and sometimes more, depending on the needs of the employer. On top of that, medical assistants also help out with some health care tasks, such as collecting urine or blood samples, escorting patients to and from examination areas, taking blood pressure and more, depending on the medical assistant training that they have received.

To make assistants more appealing to prospective employers, some medical assistant programs also include additional training in areas such as phlebotomy. This training allows the assistant to perform basic clinical tasks so that nurses and doctors can spend more time diagnosing and treating illnesses. Almost every health care facility has at least one medical assistant on its staff. In many areas, nurses and doctors are in short supply, so medical assistants take care of basic office and clinical tasks so that the doctors and nurses on staff can spend most of their time directly caring for patients.

Medical assistants combine the jobs of many health care workers into one. Because of this, their services are always in high demand. It’s not hard to find medical assistant programs since most community colleges offer training courses. The salary for a medical assistant can range between nine and 18 dollars per hour, depending on experience, location, training and responsibilities. Having a medical assistant certification can also increase the pay rate.