Administrative Medical Assistant vs. Clinical Medical Assistant

There are two types of medical assistants- the Administrative Medical Assistant and Clinical Medical Assistant.

Administrative medical assistants and clinical medical assistants are considered medical careers. These individuals can work in physician’s offices, clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities. Generally speaking, a medical assistant would need to undergo further studies after graduating in high school or getting a GED equivalent. You can opt to get a certificate or diploma course for a year or an associate degree for two years. Upon completion, the interested individual can apply for a certification. If you are a Certified Medical Assistant you will have an edge over those who are applying without certification. You will have better job security and salary as well.

There are two types of Medical Assistants, administrative and clinical. For some people, these jobs may seem the same, performing the same tasks. But they do have differences and in the workplace they perform different duties.

medical assistant

What is an Administrative Medical Assistant?

The administrative medical assistant works in the frontline of the office or clinic. He or she is the first person the patient sees when they enter the physician’s office or clinic. Aside from this, an administrative medical assistant performs clerical tasks and ensures that the clinic or office is running smoothly. This person answers phone calls and sets up appointments. He or she is in-charge of handling paperwork such as filing of patients’ records, bookkeeping, and filing of insurance forms and claims. When a patient needs to be admitted it is the administrative medical assistant’s job to help the patient get admitted in the hospital and provide background of the reason why the patient has to be admitted. Another part of an administrative medical assistant’s job is to ensure that there are enough supplies (medical or otherwise) in the clinic or office.

What is a Clinical Medical Assistant?

A clinical medical assistant, on the other hand, works more closely with doctors or physicians and patients. Should there be a registered nurse present, he or she assists the registered nurse in attending to the patient. The clinical medical assistant’s tasks include preparing the patient to see the doctor, which may entail getting and recording the patient’s vitals. He or she is also expected to perform basic medical tests and drawing of blood, administering injections and medications and removing sutures. If an x-ray is needed, the clinical medical assistant also prepares the patient for this. If a procedure is needed to be performed, it is his or her job to explain the procedure to the patient. He or she is in-charge of instructing the patients regarding medicine intake.

The clinical medical assistant undergoes a more rigid training geared towards their job responsibilities. Sometimes, additional education would be needed before someone can be certified as a clinical medical assistant. The job description of both may vary depending on the state the health care facility is located.