The Daily Duties of Certified Medical Assistants

As a certified medical assistant you will have many different duties that you may have to carry out through your work day. These duties can vary depending on the doctor that you work for, the hospital you are working in, or the state in which you reside. These differences aside, essentially all certified medical assistants will perform clerical, administrative, and clinical duties.

An assistant’s clerical duties will include answering phones, greeting and checking in patients, making appointments, handling all correspondence for the office, sorting and distributing mail when needed and basically handling the receptionist duties of the office and the department.

The administrative duties of a medical assistant will include functions such as pulling and filing records and making sure a patient’s file is up to date with all information, scheduling patients for labs or tests and screens that need to be done out of the office, setting up hospital stays, and handling all insurance forms and filings between doctors, patients, and the patients families.

Additionally, a certified assistant will have several clinical duties as well. These duties will consist of actually working with the patient in a medical setting. The medical assistant will get the patient ready to see the doctor. They will take all vital signs and record them in the chart for the doctor. They will also collect lab specimens and send them to an outside lab or do a cursory lab test and provide results on the spot. They also draw blood, remove wound dressings, and perform simple tests on machines such as an EKG machine.

A medical assistant’s duties are many, and what you get up to day to day will often depend on what type doctor you are working for. There are many different things that you will have to handle as assistant in a medical setting. You will need to have a good education and attention to detail in order to perform this type of job at a top level, as the level of care that you provide is very important to each patient’s health.

It can be easy to trivialize the individual daily roles of certified assistants, making them out to be throw away duties of little importance. But the truth is, everything a medical assistant does, certified or otherwise is aimed towards helping the patient and making he or she feel better in some way. There’s nothing trivial about that.

Celeste Botonakis

On the Nursing Assistant Guides blog, certified medical assistant Celeste Botonakis explores the daily life of a CMA. She'll keep you up-to-date with the latest on what’s happening in the field, and provides tips for those who are interested in becoming a medical or nursing assistant. Celeste has served in the medical field for over six years, and is passionate about helping people. She currently works at CSR Primary Care in Skokie, Illinois. Click here to learn more about Celeste Botonakis and