MEDICAL OFFICE ASSISTANT: Job Description, Duties, Salary & Certification

MEDICAL OFFICE ASSISTANT: Job Description, Duties, Salary & Certification
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Who is a Medical Office Assistant?

A Medical Office Assistant is a detailed professional in charge of carrying out a wide range of office tasks that aid in ensuring the smooth operation of medical practices, clinics, and hospitals. Medical office assistants interact with patients, physicians, nurses, and other professionals, so having both strong organizational and people skills is highly valued. 

Furthermore, due to their education and command of essential medical terminology, medical assistants are excellent candidates to work as medical office assistants. Additionally, medical professionals and patients place a high value on the accuracy of the administrative and medical records handled by medical office assistants. They are necessary for better clinical outcomes and patient experiences.

What Are the Duties of a Medical Office Assistant? 

The duties of a medical office assistant vary depending on the size, and services provided by the medical facility for which they work, but their primary objective is to manage the front desk and perform any necessary clerical tasks. Their regular duties include the following:

  • Greeting patients who come to the facility, answering their questions, and assisting them in filling out the necessary forms.
  • Answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, directing calls as needed, and handling all inquiries.
  • Informing the Doctor, or other healthcare providers about upcoming appointments.
  • Keeping track of all patient documents and reports.
  • Responding to emails and other electronic messages as needed.
  • Creating invoices and bills, processing insurance forms, and managing vendors and contractors are all part of the job.
  • Inventory management and order placement as needed.
  • Transcribing all treatment-related notes and documents.

Requirements And Skills To Become A Medical Office Assistant

  • Work experience as a Medical Administrative Assistant is required.
  • Practical experience with medical software and Microsoft Office
  • Understanding of healthcare operations
  • Knowledge of medical and insurance legislation
  • Outstanding organizational and multitasking abilities
  • Communication abilities centered on the customer
  • A high school diploma is required, and certification in medical administration is preferred.

Where Do Medical Office Assistants Work?

Medical office assistant jobs are plentiful and required anywhere medical professionals require organizational or administrative assistance, such as:

  • Doctors’ offices
  • Hospitals and Clinics 
  • Surgical centers
  • Rehab centers
  • Birthing centers
  • Outpatient care clinics
  • Dental and orthodontic practices
  • Hospice facilities

Job Description for Medical Office Assistant

Physicians and other healthcare professionals are supported by medical office assistants. Additionally, they carry out a wide range of administrative and clerical duties. These consist of making and keeping appointments, typing, billing, entering data, filing, and taking calls. Note that they could also perform simple medical procedures. 

What is the Difference Between Medical Assistant and Medical Office Assistant? 

Here are some key distinctions between running a medical office and providing medical assistance. 

#1. Duties and Responsibilities:

The main distinction between a medical assistant and a medical office administrator is the more direct involvement of medical assistants in patient care. A medical assistant performs a variety of clinical duties, including taking vital signs, blood pressure, blood samples, and pregnancy tests. They can take notes or help the doctor examine the patient. 

While medical office administrators in healthcare organizations primarily handle administrative tasks, medical assistants also perform clinical and clerical tasks. They may also be referred to as medical secretaries, medical office assistants, or medical administrative assistants because of this. Additionally, they take care of bookkeeping duties and serve as a point of contact for patients and medical staff, ensuring that patient records are current and that appointments are made, among other things.

#2. Educational Requirements:

The educational requirements for medical office administrators and medical assistants are different. A medical assisting diploma (DMAS) or an associate’s degree in medical assisting services are typically required for medical assistant positions (ASMAS). Both degrees will qualify you for some entry-level jobs, but only you can decide which program is best for you.

i. DMAS:

A DMAS might be the best option for you if you want to finish your degree quickly. You can earn your degree at Herzing University in as little as eight months. Additionally, you’ll be ready to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam. 

ii. ASMAS:

You can complete Herzing’s ASMAS program in as little as 20 months, at which point you’ll be eligible to sit for the Registered Medical Assistant Exam (RMA). Therefore, for those who believe they might want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration or health information management, it might be a good option.

Having a degree is not always necessary to work as a medical office administrator. However, having a degree can give you an advantage over applicants who lack formal education or certification. Additionally, there are two courses for students interested in running a medical practice:

i. Diploma in medical office administration:

The course is a quick way to start your career and gain some experience. Herzing allows you to complete your degree in as little as eight months. You will be qualified to take the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam once the program is finished.

ii. Associate degree in medical office administration:

The associate’s degree at Herzing can be finished in as little as 20 months. Following graduation, you will be qualified to take the CMAA exam, just like in the diploma program. For students who are interested in furthering their education down the road or who want a competitive edge when starting their careers, the associate degree program is the best option.

#3. Soft Skills

Medical assistants need a variety of skills because they perform both clinical and administrative duties, such as:

  • Compassion. Medical assistants should care for their patients and demonstrate empathy for their concerns. Furthermore, they ought to feel at ease conversing with patients in both clinical and office settings.
  • Ability to multitask. Medical assistants frequently juggle a lot of patient-facing and administrative responsibilities, so they need to be able to prioritize their to-do lists and multitask when it’s practical.  
  • Adaptive. Being a medical assistant means that every day is unique, so you must be flexible and ready to deal with any surprises that may arise. For instance, it’s typical for healthcare organizations to add last-minute appointments for ill patients, necessitating that you modify your schedule and reprioritize as necessary.

While the skills above are great for any professional, medical office assistants, should be:

  • Detail-oriented. Administrators of medical offices deal with a lot of paperwork that needs to be accurate, including invoices and patient data.
  • Computer literate. Additionally, they should feel at ease using computers and picking up new software, particularly as healthcare organizations continue to digitize some processes and adopt electronic health records.
  • Positive. Patients and coworkers appreciate working with someone who keeps their composure and a positive attitude while getting the job done because healthcare work can be fast-paced and stressful at times.

What Is the Highest Paying Medical Assistant Job?

#1. Podiatry Medical Assistant – $70,000 per year

The care of the feet is called podiatry. You will assist with bedside procedures like ingrown toenail removal and bunion correction as a podiatry medical assistant.

#2. Ophthalmology Medical Assistant – $46,000 per year

Most medical assistants in ophthalmology are required to hold a special certification in the field. They will help with basic eye exams and guide patients toward properly fitted eyewear.

#3. Fertility Medical Assistant – $45,000 per year 

Infertility clinics assist those who are having trouble getting pregnant. They could provide assistance with in-vitro fertilization or hormone injections, for example. As the pregnant woman progresses, they may work with the expecting parents. Our medical assistant guide for OB-GYNs has more information.

#4. Cardiology Medical Assistant – $42,000 per year

Your days as a medical assistant in cardiology will be spent providing care to patients with heart issues. ECGs, which record heart rhythms and can look for issues like heart attacks, may require specialized training.

#5. Dermatology Medical Assistant – $38,000 per year

You might encounter patients in a dermatology office who have a wide range of skin conditions. By taking pictures of any skin lesions that are of concern and performing skin biopsies to check for cancer, you will help the doctor. 

What Are the Top Skills for a Medical Office Assistant? 

You can succeed as a medical office assistant if you possess these crucial abilities.

#1. Passion for Healthcare:

It is essential to be passionate about medicine if you want to enroll in a medical office assistant program. Note that if you don’t have a passion for healthcare and the medical field, it is difficult to maintain a career in this field. Therefore, you are more likely to succeed as a medical office assistant if you have a passion for helping people and the medical industry.

#2. Computer Literacy: 

Computers have transformed the healthcare sector. Modern practices submit insurance claims and store medical records using cutting-edge software. In order to manage important tasks like scheduling appointments, billing, managing financial statements, and handling medical records, a professional medical office assistant uses computer applications.

#3. Good Communication:

A patient’s primary point of contact with their doctor is through a medical office assistant. They must therefore be excellent communicators. A medical office assistant handles everything from taking phone calls to checking patients in and out. Additionally, a medical office assistant needs to be personable and informed. He or she must have the self-assurance to voice their opinions.

#4. Positive Attitude: 

Patients value working with teams that are laid back and enjoyable. A medical office assistant should have a cheerful disposition.

#5. Excellent Listening Skills: 

Patients frequently experience stress, so having a warm medical office assistant will make them feel better. A medical office assistant needs to be able to listen well.

#6. Problem-Solving: 

Problem-solving is a multi-step process, after all. A medical office assistant’s natural disposition is problem-solving. Therefore, to keep the entire team on task, he or she can deal with issues in the front office.

#7. Using Simple language

Medical office assistants must explain their information to patients because they are unfamiliar with medical terms. Additionally, they must use medical jargon when speaking with medical professionals.

#8. Integrity

A medical office assistant should be morally and ethically upright and uphold these values. He or she must be prepared to accept responsibility for significant actions. Therefore, patient respect and ethical behavior are requirements for medical office assistants.

#9. Quality Customer Service 

Every day, medical office assistants interact with patients. It’s crucial to have good customer service abilities, including patience, effective communication, and a composed demeanor. To please patients, a medical office assistant must be able to deliver excellent customer service while working at the front desk or taking phone calls.

Furthermore, the abilities listed above will enable you to succeed as a medical office assistant. If you possess these abilities, sign up for a medical office assistant training course! Additionally, the Medical Office Assistant Program is created to equip students with the skills necessary to work as medical front office assistants in hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities.

What is the Strongest Skill in a Medical Office? 

The most typical qualifications for medical office assistant jobs include knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Word, the capacity to manage customer correspondence, telephone skills, billing and bookkeeping knowledge, basic computer knowledge, and written and oral communication abilities.

What is the Average Salary Of A Medical Office Assistant?

In the United States, the average hourly wage for a medical office assistant is $17.

What Is Your Weakness as a Medical Assistant?

Your capacity for multitasking may be your biggest weakness. Since most people are focused when on duty but become distracted when they have too many things going on at once, therefore, you have to learn how to better manage your time and become more conscious of your surroundings.

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