Medical Assistants Recognition Week takes place every year during the third full Week in October. It’s a time to thank and celebrate medical assistants and the important contributions that they make in health care. Be sure to show your appreciation for the medical assistants in your life!
What does a medical assistant do?
Medical assistants improve the quality of healthcare that patients receive. They’re an important member of the healthcare team who work with physicians and other healthcare professionals in clinics and medical offices to improve the patient experience.Medical assistants are versatile healthcare professionals who often perform a variety of tasks ranging from administrative work to clinical duties.
The specific responsibilities of a medical assistant vary depending on the clinic or office in which they work. Here are a few of the responsibilities that a medical assistant may perform:
- taking medical histories
- updating patient medical records
- scheduling appointments
- setting up hospital admissions or lab services
- drawing blood
- measuring vitals
- taking electrocardiograms
- preparing or administering medication
- preparing patients for an exam and assisting the physician during an examination
Medical assisting includes helping patients feel comfortable and at ease during their visit, as well as helping patients understand instructions and information provided by the physician.
Medical assistants by the numbers
There’s an increasing demand for medical assistants in clinics and medical offices. In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the medical assistant profession would grow 29% by 2026. The average growth rate for all occupations is 7%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics attributes some of this growth to an aging population; physicians will need more medical assistants to accommodate the increasing number of older patients.
According to the most recent BLS statistics, 57% of medical assistants work in medical offices. State, local, and private hospitals are the next largest employer of medical assistants; 15% of medical assistants work in hospitals. Outpatient care centers hire 9%, and 4% of medical assistants work with chiropractors.
We’d like to thank all of the wonderful medical assistants working towards making healthy communities here in Northwest Arkansas. Thanks to all of the medical assistants in the MANA network!