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A Day in the Life of a Medical Administrative Assistant

Apr 08, 2010

A career as a medical administrative assistant can be very rewarding. Medical administrative assistants are responsible for keeping medical offices running smoothly. This can involve many different tasks and requires the ability to multitask and follow directions. If you feel that this would be a good career for you, then read on to find out what a day as a medical administrative assistant involves.

Usually your day will start by opening the office, which means you’ll have to arrive before regular office hours. When you enter the office you will ensure that everything is prepared for patients to arrive. This may mean that you have to check each examining room to ensure that all supplies are restocked. If anything is missing, you’ll need to ensure that it is replaced before the examining room is used.

Your next step will be to check the fax machine and computer for lab results that have arrived overnight. The results will be attached to the patient’s medical file and given to the physician to review. The physician may ask you to call the patient to schedule a follow-up appointment so they can discuss the results, diagnosis, and treatment if required.

If lab results have not arrived, you will need to follow up with the lab once they are open. It is imperative that all lab results are received in a timely manner, as they may require follow-up tests or a referral to another health care facility. Part of your job is to ensure that patients receive good medical care.

If you work in a small local office you may also be responsible for answering phones, greeting patients, and scheduling appointments. Since you are not a medical professional you are not permitted to give out any medical advice, test results, or diagnosis. All these types of requests need to be completed by a registered nurse, physician’s assistant, or the physician.

Periodically you may need to place orders for medical supplies or office supplies to keep the office well stocked and ready for an emergency or medical procedure. This requires that you become acquainted with the different types of medical apparatus and devices in the office. Usually a medical professional in the office will fill out a request form and you’ll be responsible for putting in the order and following up to ensure that everything is received.

Additionally you may be responsible for ensuring the completeness of patients’ medical charts, retrieving and filing charts, completing hospital admission forms, completing laboratory services requests, handling correspondence, and other general office duties. Medical administrative assistants may also be in charge of billing for insurance purposes as well as bookkeeping and bill payments.

As you can see, a career as a medical administrative assistant is busy, challenging, and offers many opportunities. Those who work in a larger office setting may only be responsible for a few of these tasks, but will have more opportunity to move up into a supervisory role – such as an office manager. It all depends on your education and experience, as well as your willingness to take on new responsibilities.

Employment opportunities as a medical administrative assistant are growing rapidly. While you may be able to secure a job as a medical administrative assistant with no training, you’ll have significantly more job opportunities if you complete a one or two year program. Those who have more training will find that they move up quicker than their job responsibilities and salary, so it may be worth looking into a longer program, or to continue your education after your first medical administrative assistant job is secured.

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