Medical Assistant Job Description

Medical Assistant Job Description

The medical assistant job description outlines the role of a professional responsible for performing clinical and administrative duties in clinics, hospitals, or other healthcare facilities. They collaborate with doctors and other medical professionals to complete activities like filling out insurance documents or giving patients clinical care as needed.

The medical assistant job description should also highlight other key responsibilities that the individual does, including organizing patient visits, logging and updating medical histories and contact information in patient files, and carrying out routine care procedures like taking blood pressure, checking vitals, or collecting lab results.

Technical expertise is necessary for medical assistants to utilize equipment and take patients' vital signs. They should also pay good attention to detail because they must accurately record all patient information in their records so that doctors and insurance companies can consult them. Medical assistants should also have good communication skills to handle patients from various backgrounds. 

Medical Assistant Job Description: Overall Purpose of the job

Assists patients by offering aid, services, and information.

Related: Job Description of Nursing Director

Medical Assistant Job Description: Primary duties


  • Confirm patient information by speaking with the patient, writing down their medical history, and asking about the reason for their visit.

  • Establishes and maintains appointment schedules by entering new patient data into the scheduling/medical records system.

  • Updates and files insurance reports and medical records by securely filing paper documents such as consent forms and information sheets.  

  • Plans hospital admissions and laboratory services by scheduling lab tests and imaging studies following provider orders. 

  • Verifies patient information and enters it into patient charts by first putting the patient's name, date of birth, medical record number, and insurance information.

  • Participates in medical examinations by taking and documenting vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, and temperature.

  • Creates and distributes correspondence memos, letters, faxes, and forms by typing letters, forms, and reports using the right formatting and style from drafts or templates.

  • Manages patient accounts that are receivable and payable and preserves financial records by noting fees, payments, adjustment amounts, and balances owed to patients.

  • Cleans and sterilizes medical equipment by autoclaving sensitive items like surgical instruments and dressings.

  • Collects blood samples by selecting the proper needles, tubes, and holders for blood collection.

  • Enters data into the EMR system by typing in patient registration information such as name, DOB, address, and insurance.

  • Checks and records vital signs by manually taking blood pressure or using an automated cuff on the upper arm while seated.

  • Makes exam rooms clean by dusting horizontal surfaces like window sills, shelves, and ceilings.

  • Returns phone calls by taking detailed messages that include the name, number, purpose for the call, and any urgency.

  • Provides patients and their families with empathetic care, attention, and help by calmly outlining processes in straightforward language.

  • Maintains compliance with all health care requirements by adhering to customary infection control precautions and practices.

  • Follows medical professionals' instructions when preparing and giving patients' prescriptions by providing the patient with critical instructions, adverse effects, or specific concerns. 

  • Supports doctors throughout medical procedures and treatments by equipping exam rooms with the essential tools and supplies.

  • Organizes medical supply inventories and furnishes exam rooms with the proper equipment by replenishing first aid kits, prescription pads, and syringes as required.

  • Concludes care for patients by scheduling referrals or follow-up appointments as necessary. 

  • Assists with referral processing by contacting the referral specialist's office to make an appointment as soon as possible.

  • Plans laboratory services by reviewing lab test requests and ensuring the necessary clinical data is supplied.

  • Manages invoicing by confirming the patient's insurance coverage and gathering up-to-date data.

Medical Assistant Job description: Educational Qualifications

  • A high school diploma, bachelor's degree, or equivalent is vital to ensure potential employees possess the reading and learning abilities required to perform clinical work under qualified supervision. A medical assistant certification can also be a pivotal step toward acquiring the skills needed for clinical work, as preparing for your medical assistant certification exam using practice tests provides invaluable knowledge and insights. Such tests equip you with the theoretical understanding and practical skills required in healthcare.

Related: Job Description for Clinical Director

Medical Assistant Job description: Experience Required 

  • At least 2+ years of working in healthcare is needed to comprehend healthcare systems and compliance. 

  • Demonstrated job experience as a medical secretary or assistant.

Medical Assistant Description: Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics (KSAO)


  • Knowledge of methods and practices used in medical offices is needed to set up patient appointments utilizing practice management software effectively.  

  • Knowledge of MS Office and patient management software is needed to efficiently enter information into the electronic health record (EHR) about patient visits, diagnoses, procedures, histories, etc.

  • Knowledge of systems for keeping track of electronic medical records is needed to enter and retrieve precise, fast patient data, including the patient's demographics, vital signs, diagnosis codes, medications, allergies, and medical histories.

  • Knowledge of care and examination techniques for patients is needed to properly measure things like weight, height, temperature, blood pressure, respiration, and pulse rates.


  • Excellent verbal communication skills are needed to address patient grievances and misunderstandings and prevent escalation.

  • Writing skills are needed to summarize patient information succinctly.

  • Good time management skills are needed to schedule tasks, give every patient the best treatment possible, and avoid expensive blunders.

  • Attention to detail skills are needed to capture patient information correctly without mistakes.

  • Strong organizational and planning skills are needed to manage patient schedules. 

  • Customer service skills are needed to answer calls, welcome patients professionally, and create a friendly atmosphere.

  • Interpersonal skills are needed to work along with other administrative and clinical staff.


  • The ability to multi-task and prioritize work is required to handle the needs of several patients at once. 

  • The ability to speak politely and amiably with patients in clear, effective communication is required to establish rapport and gain patients' trust.

  • The ability to maintain discretion at all times is required to keep the patient's trust. 

Related: Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Everything you need to know


The medical assistant job description describes the job of a person who is crucial to the healthcare sector and gives patients, nurses, and doctors the help they need. A training program must be finished to become a medical assistant, and special abilities must be developed to succeed in this industry.

Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Assistants

Q: What distinguishes a certified nursing assistant (CNA) from a medical assistant?

A: Medical and certified nursing assistants aid healthcare professionals in giving patients the quality care they need, but their qualifications and duties differ. For instance, medical assistants carry out administrative and clinical duties in a healthcare centre. They undertake particular clinical tasks, such as obtaining blood samples, doing physical examinations, assisting patients with scheduling appointments, and updating patient files. A Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certificate is required.

CNAs, on the other hand, don't carry out administrative duties. Instead, they support medical personnel by helping patients with routine care activities, including eating, bathing, repositioning, changing bandages, and using the restroom. Additionally, home care agencies and facilities for assisted living are more likely to hire certified nursing assistants to assist aged, disabled, or ill patients. All Certified Nursing Assistants require a certified CNA certification from a recognized program.

Q: What tasks does a medical assistant perform every day?

A: A medical assistant often analyzes the appointment schedule for the day at their clinic. When patients arrive, they welcome them and arrange their paperwork. Medical assistants work with patients during examinations all day before the doctor or general practitioner arrives. Patients are questioned about any changes to their medical history and any issues they want to discuss with their doctor. Additionally, they might take their blood pressure, listen to their lungs, and monitor their heart rate.

Patients with upcoming appointments are also called by medical assistants to confirm their availability and, if necessary, reschedule appointments.

Q: What characteristics define a good medical assistant?

A: An efficient medical assistant can keep up-to-date patient files since they are well-organized. Additionally, they prioritize continuing education and work to become certified in medical terminology and practices to help doctors and nurses as much as possible. Medical assistants should be patient and empathetic so that patients feel at ease and relaxed before, during, and after their appointments. A good medical assistant also has outstanding interpersonal skills, which enable them to efficiently modify their communication strategies to communicate with patients, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

Q: A medical assistant works with whom?

A: A medical assistant typically works under the supervision of physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals. They provide support in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and private practices. Medical assistants may work directly with patients, assisting with tasks like taking vital signs, preparing patients for examinations, and collecting medical histories. They also perform administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, managing patient records, and billing. The specific responsibilities of a medical assistant can vary depending on the healthcare setting and the needs of the healthcare team they work with.

Ashleigh Masiko
This article was written by Ashleigh a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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