Meet Your Co-Workers: Medical Assistant Edition
No one in healthcare works alone. Medical assistants are part of a team, and as a medical assistant you can work with nearly anyone in the healthcare world. These are just a few of the most common types of people an MA can work with.
Related Resource: Why Should I Become a Medical Assistant?
If you’re a medical assistant, you’ll probably work with a doctor. Almost 40 percent of all medical assistants work in physicians’ offices, and with good reason: Caring for patients is a team effort, and one physician might employ several medical assistants.
If you work in a physician’s office, it’s likely you’ll be the point person for patient contact. Working with patients is at the core of what doctors do, but it only represents a fraction of their time. Physicians usually spend less than 25 minutes with patients. Much of a patient’s healthcare experience is going to be with the medical assistants. And when patients aren’t around, you’ll likely be the one telling the doctor who’s coming in that day, what they have scheduled, and anything else they might need to know. Patients may be relying on the doctor for expertise, but doctors will rely on you to keep everything up and running.
Related Resource: What Medical Assistant Specialties Are out There?
Most MAs work in physicians’ offices.
If you work in a hospital or other large care facility, you’ll likely work with nurses. Like medical assistants, nurses perform many of the day-to-day tasks that keep healthcare organizations running. MAs and RNs have a lot of overlap in their job duties, and communication between nurses and medical assistants is important for maintaining consistency in a clinic or hospital, as well as contributing to the well-being of patients. If you do end up working for the type of organization that employs nurses, it’s likely you’ll see them as fellow travelers and peers, dedicated professionals who help make healthcare happen.
Related Resource: What Is Medical Assistant (NCMA) Certification?
Optometrists, dentists, and other practitioners
Physicians aren’t the only ones who need medical assistants at their side. Nearly anyone who sees patients will need someone (and often more than one someone) to help with the clinical and administrative work that comes with running a chiropractic, dental, veterinary, or other type of small clinic.
Medical assistants are a varied lot. They work with equipment like EKG and X-ray machines, draw blood from patients, and code important information necessary for testing, research, and billing. That flexibility carries over into the type of specialists and healthcare providers MAs work with. If there’s a complicated piece of equipment, it’s probably medical assistants who operate it, and if there’s a clinician with an esoteric specialty, they probably have medical assistants at their side.
Being an MA can take you anywhere
Medical assistants can work in all kinds of places. They work in the U.S. armed forces and at university health centers. Working as an MA can take you to government offices, the laboratories of pharmaceutical companies, or into the data-heavy world of an insurance company. Any organization that provides or in any way deals with medicine, testing, or medical data may need medical assistants. With that in mind, your co-workers could be almost anyone at all. No matter where you work, though, healthcare remains a team effort, and medical assistants are essential players.