Medical assistants play an important role in keeping the offices of doctors, medical centres, clinics and other operations running efficiently and smoothly. Medical assistants help doctors and physicians by handling basic clinical tasks and performing administrative duties. They work in hospitals, medical clinics and in offices of doctors and physicians. Their job duties vary from state to state and from office to office.

Generally, there are four types of medical assistants and these include clerical, clinical, administrative and specialist.

Clerical Medical Assistants – perform a number of routine duties which are quite important in keeping operations running smoothly. Their job includes answering phones, scheduling appointments, sorting mails, typing letters and memos and greeting patients. Their task is similar to that of clerical personnel in an office setting.

Clinical Assistants – the job duties of clinical assistants depends on the laws of the state. Their role is highly medical related and quite different from those of clerical assistants. Their duties include taking medical histories, preparing patients for medical examinations, explaining medical procedures and techniques used on patients, assisting the medical professional during examinations, collecting laboratory specimens and sterilizing medical equipments. Their duties may also include taking electrocardiograms, removing sutures and drawing blood.

Administrative Assistants – their job duties are similar to that of a clerical assistant and a clinical assistant. Some of the tasks they handle are medical related such as arranging hospital visits, submitting medical forms, updating patient files and scheduling medical tests.

They also do bookkeeping and billing tasks for the medical facility. Moreover, they also perform general clerical tasks within the office.

Specialized Assistants – there are a number of assistants who specialize in a specific area. These assistants usually have extra duties reflecting their area of expertise. Take for example, assistants who work with optometrists have specialized in this area of work and they work closely with the professional in testing eyes of patients, providing instruction to patients on the correct use of contact lenses and so on.

Podiatrists will have podiatric medical assistants who will help in making castings of feet. Medical laboratory assistants carry out lab related duties which involve testing specimen. Although the job duties of medical assistants vary, they generally work in clean and well lighted environments. They mostly have to interact with people and have to handle a number of responsibilities at once. A number of assistants work full time while others work part time or on evenings. But in most cases, they work for about 40 hours per week.

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