Find out if this career is right for you.
If you are looking for a career in the healthcare field that is varied and fast paced, you may want to find out more about becoming a medical assistant. A medical assistant may work in the front office, provide care, or do a combination of both.
Whether you choose to work in such places as a private medical office, clinic, hospital, or surgery center, you will play an important role of serving both medical professionals and patients. Your job may include greeting patients, scheduling appointments, taking vital signs, or reassuring a patient before a procedure. Seacoast Career Schools offers a professional medical assistant training program at its Manchester, NH, campus. Below is an overview of what your career may look like if you choose to follow this path.
Start of the day
Medical offices typically open around 8 a.m., but some can open as early as 6 a.m. You should plan on arriving at the office about 10 to 15 minutes before your work day officially starts, so you can prepare for the day. First you should check your schedule and then make sure the supplies are stocked and items are available when needed. You will then make sure rooms are clean for each new patient and prepped properly, depending on what procedure is scheduled.
As patients arrive, you will work to keep the office running smoothly either checking them in and making sure they fill out the proper forms or taking their vitals and showing them to exam rooms. No job is insignificant—if you don’t gather the proper information, such as allergies and new medications, it could impact the health of your patient.
In between taking patients to the exam rooms, you may take another patient for x-rays, give injections, or deliver samples to the lab. You also may have to answer phone calls, update charts, provide lab results, and handle other emergencies.
After patient appointments
As soon as patients leave, medical assistants must clean the exam room, including wiping down surfaces, changing the paper lining, and disinfecting equipment. Most doctors schedule appointments every 15 minutes, so you need to be organized to keep everything running on schedule. Be prepared to encounter many obstacles throughout your day, such as doctors running late with patients, patients showing up late, or a patient with an emergency that wasn’t on the schedule, which can easily throw off your day.
End of the day
Your day isn’t over when the last patient leaves. Exam rooms need to be cleaned, equipment needs to be sterilized, and rooms need to be restocked with fresh gowns, specimen jars, and other items. On the administrative side, you may need to return phone calls, complete patient charts and paperwork, and call in prescription refills to pharmacies. Some medical assistants like to organize the rooms for the following day so they have less to do in the morning.
Medical assistants have a unique role within the healthcare field because they can perform administrative and clinical duties. If you are organized, patient, and like to help people, becoming a medical assistant may be a good fit for you.
We hope this overview gives you an idea of what it’s like to be a medical assistant on the job. If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant, contact Seacoast to learn more about our training program or schedule a tour with us!