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A Day in the Life of a Medical Assistant

Posted Monday, Oct 21, 2019 by Altierus

Looking for a career path that keeps you on your toes and has good job growth prospects? Consider becoming a medical assistant. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects national job openings for medical assistants will grow 23% over the 2018-2028 period—that’s more than four times as fast as the overall national job growth rate of 5% and much faster than the overall national healthcare job growth rate of 14%.[i]

Another advantage of the medical assistant career path is that you don’t have to invest years in a training program. At Altierus Career College, our medical assistant diploma program takes as few as 10 months to complete. In addition to hands-on training, our program includes exam preparation for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam or Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam.

So, what does a medical assistant do all day? Their tasks span the clinical and administrative, and while every day is different, here is an overview of what most medical assistants are likely to accomplish on a daily basis.

Starting the Shift

As of 2018, 57% of medical assistants worked in physicians’ offices.[ii] This means most medical assistants work a typical eight-hour office workday. Those who work in hospitals, urgent care clinics, and other facilities with extended hours may have different schedules.

Regardless of when the shift starts, medical assistants will spend the first part of it becoming familiar with the day’s appointments and preparing for the arrival of patients. They may:

Prime Time: Seeing Patients

When patients begin to arrive, the day becomes very busy. Many physicians’ offices and clinics see patients every 15 to 20 minutes. While the clinical duties a medical assistant can carry out will vary depending on the practice they work for and the laws of the state they practice in, typical duties include:

Depending on how many administrative staff work at the practice, medical assistants may also have additional duties such as answering phones, typing up correspondence, and completing other medical office tasks.

At the End of the Day

A medical assistant’s day does not end after the last patient has gone. Routine end-of-day or end-of-shift tasks may include:

Medical assistants who work in facilities that are always open, such as hospitals, may also check in with the medical assistant on the next shift to provide an update about what happened in the department that day, what appointments the new shift has, and any other outstanding issues.

Training for Medical Assistant Careers

As you can see, a medical assistant’s day is busy and draws on capabilities ranging from organizational skills to clinical skills. If this sounds like a career path that interests you, Altierus Career College offers a 10-month Medical Assistant diploma program that is available at all three of our campuses. Find out more about this program and how to apply – contact us today!

Additional references:


[i] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm#tab-6

[ii] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm#tab-3