When you think of a medical facility like a hospital or a clinic, for example, all you probably see is the way in which the doctors and the nurses function. The way in which everything confirms to your idea of a 'hospital' - the clinical smell, people waiting to see the doctor, many of them over at the counter getting the formalities of their medical reports done and more incidents like the same. What you don't see, and more so over, don't realize, is the people behind all of this. While all these (doctors, nurses) are the main elements that make a hospital, there are other elements too, that are equally important. These being the medical office assistants, who are responsible for the smooth functioning of the administrative section of the hospital. They are often confused with medical assistants, but their range of duties are completely different. In this following article we will take you through the medical office assistant duties and responsibilities and help you understand this profession better.
Medical Office Assistant Job Description
There are several duties that a medical office assistant will perform, most of which are of an administrative nature, but they definitely aren't limited to merely those. They transcend to include several other forms of duties as well. Let us get into the details of the same in the following section.
■ These assistants work in varied medical centers and other healthcare institutes, including hospitals, nursing homes, medical centers at education institutes and for private practices of dentists, chiropractors, physicians and more. The duties of a medical office assistant will vary from one center to the other, depending on the size and facilities that are provided in that center. In some centers, they will handle only administrative duties, while in others, they might have to take up a variety of other duties as well.
■ One of the main tasks that they are responsible for performing is handling the front desk. This typically includes duties like answering phone calls and providing information on varied queries related to patients admitted or about a particular condition, for example. Being at the front desk, they also handle the procedure of filling forms of the patients and admitting them, as well as scheduling appointments over the phone.
■ In case, the primary care nurse or assistants are unavailable, they might have to take over some of their duties and handle things like taking patient's blood pressure, obtaining blood and urine sample, preparing them for an X-ray and other preliminary tasks.
■ One of the most important duties that they perform is to maintain and update varied documents, files and reports that include and cover varied factors and sections of the hospital. These could include patient reports as well as medical supplies. They might also have to maintain records of the varied operations and procedures.
■ They must have the proper schedule of all the procedures and appointments that are scheduled for the coming weeks. In that way, they have to maintain records and facilitate the patient-doctor appointments. Along with that, they are also responsible for rescheduling any appointment in case of an emergency procedure that comes up.
■ They also have to take up certain technical tasks like handling transcriptions, medical billing and coding, processing of insurance and the like. They might also have to proofread the medical reports that have been formulated by the doctors.
■ They might also have to operate and handle varied machines and equipment in the medical center like computers, fax machines as well as copy machines.
There are several other duties that might be handled by these assistants, which include providing primary care for the patients. Which is why most medical centers make it mandatory for the medical assistants to have basic training in healthcare like CPR and the like.
A medical office assistant job is ideal for those who are adept at organizing and planning and want to work in a medical setup. With a perusal through the varied duties that have been mentioned above, the nature of the job must have become clear. This will help you understand all aspects of the job and help you to make a well-informed decision about taking this up as a career.