What Medical Assistants Do

Medical assistants have various administrative and clinical duties. These may include taking medical histories, explaining procedures to patients, collecting and preparing specimens for the lab or performing basic laboratory tests themselves, administering or instructing patients on the proper uses of medications, drawing blood, taking electrocardiograms, removing sutures, and changing dressings.

Types of Work Environments

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes and assisted living facilities
  • Ambulatory care centers
  • Urgent care facilities
  • Clinics

Education and Training Requirements

Some medical assistants receive on the job training; however, many have shown their competency by becoming certified/registered or have attended a formal training program resulting in a certificate/diploma or an associate degree.


According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for medical assistants is approximately $42,000 per year.

Professional Organization

The American Association of Medical Assistants

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