Medical assistants are somewhat unique in that they must manage both medical and clerical tasks in the office place. Depending on where they practice, assistants may spend more or less of their time filing, answering phones, practicing medical billing, or being with a patient to take vitals, check in patients, etc. They are also involved in the increasing amount of lab work and medical imaging processes, which are often outsourced from the outpatient medical clinics where medical assistants work.
Depending on the state laws, some medical assistants are able to take on more clinical work than their counterparts in other geographic areas. They may have major responsibilities in the doctors’ office, including taking detailed medical histories, prepping patients for exams, and even administering medications. Besides state law, these responsibilities are also largely dependent on the setting where the medical assistant works (hospital, clinic, outpatient setting, or other patient care center) and on the practicing physician which the MA is assisting.
As a medical assistant, many times you will be working at least forty hours a week, and depending on the doctor and clinic schedules, you may be looking at holiday and weekend work. However, this is not to say that part time and temporary work does not apply, and generally job availability is such that you should be able to find employment that fits your desired schedule.