The Ins & Outs of a Medical Office Assistant

What Does a Medical Office Assistant Do?

Regardless of location, size, or specialty, every medical office needs a medical office assistant — and most often, they need more than just one. Despite the already large and consistently growing need for medical office assistants, there’s still some confusion about what these professionals do on a day-to-day basis. Let’s take a closer look at the everyday role of a medical office assistant.


What Is a Medical Office Assistant?

The first person to greet a patient when they enter a medical facility, such as a clinic or private practice, is almost always a medical office assistant. Sometimes referred to as medical office specialists, medical administrative assistants, or patient coordinators, medical office assistants essentially perform the tasks needed to keep a healthcare center functioning effectively. Helping to deliver the best healthcare experience possible, these professionals may handle everything from administrative assignments to clinical ones.


What Does It Take to Become One?

Multitasking abilities, strong organizational skills, exceptional communication, and attention to detail are all essential to a succeeding as a medical office assistant. These professionals must be up to date on the latest record-keeping technologies and able to quickly and accurately input information. While many locations only require medical office assistants to have earned a high-school diploma, certain facilities may require them to obtain CMAA certifications or RMA registrations.

What Are Their Day-to-Day Responsibilities?

Medical office assistants wear multiple hats. While their responsibilities will vary depending on which type of medical center they work at, there are some job functions that remain the same just about everywhere.


Once a patient arrives, for example, medical office assistants may help by:

  • Helping them check in
  • Taking vitals
  • Measuring height and weight
  • Recording contact details and medical history information
  • Escorting them to the examination room


In between assisting patients, medical office assistants perform a range of tasks, such as:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing equipment
  • Cleaning and sanitizing examination areas
  • Scanning files and transcribing records
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Billing patients and accepting payments
  • Receiving and sorting inventory, mail, etc.
  • Responding to emails


Starting Your Career as a Medical Office Assistant

The role played by medical office assistants is critical to healthcare facilities small and large. If you’re interested in becoming one and connecting to the clinics, hospitals, or other medical offices with opportunities that match your professional goals, join the HealthCare Support talent network. Our healthcare recruiters will help you put together a professional resume, find relevant job postings, and ace interviews. To take the next step in your healthcare career, contact HealthCare Support today at 407-478-0332.


Things to Know About Being a Medical Office Assistant

The dynamic role of a medical office assistant requires equal parts customer service and clinical administration. However, even those with a keen eye for detail and a charming disposition still have a lot to learn if they want to secure a career in this rewarding role.

Where can I work as a medical office assistant?

Medical office assistants are vital to every healthcare facility, but their role varies from center to center. In larger facilities, like hospitals, medical office assistants usually work in more specialized positions. Focusing on one particular task, like billing or insurance utilization, allows them to effectively manage the higher patient workload and maintain effective customer service.

In centers with more specialized modes of care, medical office assistants must be more adept to multitask and sometimes take on roles outside of their normal scope. Because smaller facilities, like clinics, have less traffic, fewer patients, and lower workloads, medical office assistants often fill their days with a wide variety of tasks.

What are the job duties of a medical office assistant?

The responsibilities of a medical office assistant are rarely black and white. Overlapping duties include:

  • Answering, returning, and transferring phone calls
  • Greeting incoming patients
  • Scheduling patient appointments
  • Organizing, processing, and uploading patient documents
  • Handling and processing patient payments and insurance forms
  • Maintaining a clean and professional reception area
  • Overseeing facility emails and digital communication

Regardless of what kind of facility a medical office assistant works in, they must have respectable phone etiquette and strong customer service skills. They must also be extremely organized and experienced with managing their own schedule.

How do I become a medical office assistant?  

Beyond a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent experience, most employers prefer candidates to have a medical administrative assistant certificate along with one to two years of experience in a similar role. However, even candidates with no prior professional experience can succeed in a medical office assistant position with the help of a healthcare recruiter.

If you’re convinced that the role of medical office assistant is right for you, join the professional network at HealthCare Support. Our team of healthcare recruiters can guide you to the right facility for your schedule, location, and lifestyle. And, we can equip you with the tools to ace any interview and even negotiate a stronger compensation package for the start of your new career. To join our talent network and get ahead of the competition, call us today at 407-478-0332.