What Does A Medical Office Assistant Do?

Helping patients with paperwork. Preparing exam rooms. Scheduling appointments. These are just a few of the tasks that may come across your desk as a medical office assistant. MOAs are responsible for providing much of the behind-the-scenes support that allows doctors, nurses, and other clinicians to do their jobs as seamlessly as possible. Medical office assisting involves administrative and clinical responsibilities.

For the Record

When you’re on desk duty, you will likely be in charge of keeping track of patient records and health insurance information. You may be tasked with checking patients in and scheduling appointments, too.  MOAs may sometimes be called upon to help patients fill out forms to chronicle their medical history. Part of your job description may also include handling matters related to billing, such as collecting copays and processing claims.

What the Doctor Ordered

On the clinical side, you may, under the supervision of a doctor or other healthcare professional, prepare patients for X-rays, perform labwork, and administer medication. When working with patients, MOAs need to be compassionate and professional. The prescription for effective communication with clinicians and patients includes the following:

  • attentive listening
  • time-management, efficiency
  • excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • good decision-making
  • patient-oriented attitude
  • situational awareness

What Medical Office Assistants Are Not Responsible For

Although a medical office assistant may help doctors with simple medical procedures, state laws generally prohibit them from being involved in more complex procedures that can only be performed by doctors, nurses, or physician assistants.

How Can You Become A Medical Office Assistant?

You can earn a certificate, diploma, or associate degree in medical office assisting through a community college or vocational school. Accredited online colleges may also offer courses of study in that field.  Online learning is often highly-affordable and can give you the flexibility to study whenever and wherever you choose. In many cases, a certificate or diploma is all you need to start your career. Amid a growing demand for healthcare, job growth in this area is expected to outpace other sectors.

Students who complete (or are very close to completing) their program of study may be eligible for professional certification.

Ultimately, medical office assisting involves periodic check-ups of your clinic or hospital department’s vital signs and making sure all systems are running as they should. Request info or enroll today to begin working toward a medical administrative assistant certification.