What is a Medical Assistant’s Scope of Practice?

Posted On December 11,2017

What is a Medical Assistant’s Scope of Practice?

Being a medical assistant is as involving as it is interesting. Most people want to know what they’re signing up for long before they begin training. Your responsibilities as a medical assistant draw heavily from state scope of practice laws. Even though the laws vary by state, there are some general responsibilities that hold across the table. These are a great way to tell if being a medical assistant is the right thing for you or not.

An Interesting Career Opportunity if You Love Helping

Like most types of nursing, a career as a medical assistant only suits people who love helping others. Your sole responsibility will be working with physicians at ambulatory or outpatient facilities to give perfect care to your patients.

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According to the BLS (United States Bureau of Labor Statistics), medical assisting is among the nation’s careers that are growing faster than average. This increases your chance of getting an education as long as you train with the right institution.
The BLS predicts the demand to remain high thanks to:

  • A gradual increase in outpatient care institutions
  • An increasing number of the elderly population that needs close care
  • Technological advancements in the field

Medical assistants work in shifts and have to ramp up a specific number of hours per month. This leaves you some extra time when you are out of the shift to either take care of your kids or work a second job to make ends meet. Alternatively, you can take on extra hours to push up your effective salary by gathering more bonus pay.

The Medical Assistant’s Scope of Operation

As a medical assistant, you will receive diverse training that makes you the perfect assistant in both clinical and administrative responsibilities. If you are working in a small institution, chances are that you will have to take on both administrative and clinical duties. However, if you want to specialize in one branch of medical assisting, you can look for established institutions that are looking for a dedicated medical assistant.

Medical Assistant’s Administrative Scope of Operation

This gives you a life that is a little bit removed from hands-on patient interactions. Your work is ensuring that all the correspondence between the medical staff and patients go smoothly and that all medical records are up to date. Your duties will include:

  • Using computer applications to gather, process, and maintain patient data
  • Answering phones and receiving patients
  • Filing and updating patient medical records
  • Coding and filling medical insurance forms
  • Scheduling hospital admission or lab appointments
  • Taking care of billing, bookkeeping, and correspondence

Medical Assistant’s Clinical Duties Scope

Clinical duties put you into a more practical setting and let you interact with patients on personal terms. This will be more interesting if you’ve always wanted to work with people and don’t really derive much fun from doing paperwork or recordkeeping all day long. Your responsibilities will include:

  • Explaining different treatment options to the patients
  • Taking medical history and preparing the patient for an exam
  • Helping the physician during an examination
  • Collecting and preparing lab specimen
  • Preparing and administering prescribed medication
  • Removing sutures and changing dressings

Your biggest responsibility as a medical assistant is to ensure that the patient is comfortable in the physician’s office. It’s up to you to explain physician instructions or expound on a medical procedure that is about to happen hence instilling confidence in the patient. With the BLS quoting an average pay of $31,540 a year, being a medical assistant is the first great step to financial independence. You can then take additional part-time classes to grow your career and grow your pay gradually. Learn more and schedule a campus visit with Athena Career Academy.

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