What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

Clinical medical assistant helping patient

If you’re interested in a career in healthcare that will allow you to get started right away, one of the best options is to become a medical assistant.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for this in-demand field is projected to grow 14 percent from 2022 to 2032—a much faster growth rate than the average occupation.
And while becoming a medical assistant requires training and certifications in some states, it does not require a lengthy or expensive educational journey. This makes the medical assistant field a practical and rewarding choice for students who are ready to dive right into their healthcare career and start earning a salary sooner rather than later. The median annual medical assistant salary was $38,270 in May 2022.

What Are the Different Types of Medical Assistants?

There are two main types of medical assistants:

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

Clinical medical assistant duties vary by state law—but some common responsibilities include:

  • Performing basic laboratory tests
  • Disposing of contaminated supplies
  • Sterilizing medical instruments
  •  Instructing patients about medications
  • Taking patients' vital signs, such as blood pressure and weight
  • Helping physicians with patient exams
  • Giving patients injections or drawing blood as permitted by state law, and more.

Specialized Medical Assistant Skills

The job description of a medical assistant may also differ based on whether or not the setting is a specialized medical practice. For example: 

  • What does a medical assistant do at a cardiologist's office? In this type of practice, clinical medical assistant duties may include assisting with stress tests and echocardiograms.
  • What are the responsibilities of a medical assistant in an ophthalmology office? In this type of setting, the job duties of a medical assistant may include showing patients how to insert, remove, and care for contact lenses.
  • What does a medical assistant do as part of a dermatology team? The job duties of a medical assistant in the dermatology field could cover prepping patients for skin procedures or assisting with cosmetic injectables.

Keep in mind that medical assistant roles in specialized practices may require additional credentials or on-the-job training. 

How to Become a Medical Assistant 

Residents in the Finger Lakes area of New York who are interested in medical assistant programs can earn their Clinical Medical Assistant microcredential in as little as one semester at Tompkins Cortland Community College.
The program gives graduates all the medical assistant qualifications they need to secure in-demand medical assistant jobs in the area and start working right away.

Medical assistant education requirements at TC3 include four courses: 

These four courses can be applied towards TC3’s Liberal Arts and Science: General Studies A.S. degree and can be taken with nursing prerequisites. 
TC3 offers many community college programs in the healthcare category, so be sure to take a look at the different programs for medical assistant vs. CNA and more. 

Earn Your Clinical Medical Assistant Credential at TC3 Today

Are you still asking yourself: “What can a medical assistant do with a certification?” We invite you to learn more about how to become a medical assistant and start using your medical assistant skills right away with a Clinical Medical Assistant microcredential from Tompkins Cortland Community College.