Medical assisting is expected to be fastest growing occupation through the year 2012 according to the Department of Labor Job Outlooks.

Medical assistants perform routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices and clinics of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and optometrists running smoothly.

Depending on office location size and specialty, the medical assistant will have a variety of duties. In small practices, medical assistants usually handle both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager or physician. In larger practices, a medical assistant could specialize in a particular area under the supervision of a department administrator.

Medical assistants answer telephones, greet patients, update patient medical records, fill out insurance forms, handle correspondence, schedule appointments, arrange for hospital admission and laboratory services and handle billing and bookkeeping.

Medical assistants are also trained to assist in clinical duties such as taking vital signs, doing ECGs, giving injections, drawing blood, assisting with procedures, exams and office surgeries. Medical assistants are trained to do visual acuities and hearing tests. In addition, medical assistants are trained to do waived laboratory testing and with additional training can do limited X-rays.

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