The Ins & Outs of a Medical Office Assistant

What Does a Medical Office Assistant Do?

Regardless of location, size, or specialty, every medical office needs a medical office assistant — and most often, they need more than just one. Despite the already large and consistently growing need for medical office assistants, there’s still some confusion about what these professionals do on a day-to-day basis. Let’s take a closer look at the everyday role of a medical office assistant.


What Is a Medical Office Assistant?

The first person to greet a patient when they enter a medical facility, such as a clinic or private practice, is almost always a medical office assistant. Sometimes referred to as medical office specialists, medical administrative assistants, or patient coordinators, medical office assistants essentially perform the tasks needed to keep a healthcare center functioning effectively. Helping to deliver the best healthcare experience possible, these professionals may handle everything from administrative assignments to clinical ones.


What Does It Take to Become One?

Multitasking abilities, strong organizational skills, exceptional communication, and attention to detail are all essential to a succeeding as a medical office assistant. These professionals must be up to date on the latest record-keeping technologies and able to quickly and accurately input information. While many locations only require medical office assistants to have earned a high-school diploma, certain facilities may require them to obtain CMAA certifications or RMA registrations.

What Are Their Day-to-Day Responsibilities?

Medical office assistants wear multiple hats. While their responsibilities will vary depending on which type of medical center they work at, there are some job functions that remain the same just about everywhere.


Once a patient arrives, for example, medical office assistants may help by:

  • Helping them check in
  • Taking vitals
  • Measuring height and weight
  • Recording contact details and medical history information
  • Escorting them to the examination room


In between assisting patients, medical office assistants perform a range of tasks, such as:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing equipment
  • Cleaning and sanitizing examination areas
  • Scanning files and transcribing records
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Billing patients and accepting payments
  • Receiving and sorting inventory, mail, etc.
  • Responding to emails


Starting Your Career as a Medical Office Assistant

The role played by medical office assistants is critical to healthcare facilities small and large. If you’re interested in becoming one and connecting to the clinics, hospitals, or other medical offices with opportunities that match your professional goals, join the HealthCare Support talent network. Our healthcare recruiters will help you put together a professional resume, find relevant job postings, and ace interviews. To take the next step in your healthcare career, contact HealthCare Support today at 407-478-0332.


5 Phrases You May Be Using Incorrectly

It’s no secret that proper grammar should be used in the workplace. Good grammar not only makes you appear more professional, but it also ensures your ideas and messages are conveyed with clarity. Poor grammar can do just the opposite and lead others to make assumptions on your intelligence. A common way business professionals are dropping the grammar ball is with using incorrect idioms and phrases. Here are 5 that even prominent celebs are screwing up.

For all intensive purposes vs. For all intents and purposes

Originating from English law in the early 1500s the correct phrase, “for all intents and purposes” was used to say “officially” or “effectively.”

Shoe-in vs. Shoo-in

Most don’t have a clue they are using this wrong and imagine a shoe crossing the threshold of a door, opening a new opportunity. While the meaning is somewhat accurate the correct phrase is “shoo-in.” Just as you would shoo a bug out of your car window, to shoo means to move something with urgency.

I could care less vs. I couldn’t care less

If you really think this one through you can catch the double negative which has most people saying it wrong. The correct phrase, “I couldn’t care less” says there is no less caring you could possibly do, that is how little you care. Those who say “I could care less” are simply saying its of some importance to them and it is possible for them to care less about it.

Nip in the butt vs. Nip in the bud

A common phrase heard within management when a problem has occurred is, “nip in the bud,” however some have started using “nip in the butt.” While the latter is rather funny, the first is correct. “Nip in the bud” refers to a flower’s bud and cutting the issues straight at the source.

Down the pipe vs. Down the pike

Around here, we ask our clients if there’s any work coming “down the pike” as in turnpike and meaning in the future. This phrase is commonly mistaken for “down the pipe” which is understood given another commonly used phrase, “in the pipeline.”

Incorporating phrases or idioms into your day to day speech may make you feel more polished in the workplace, but you’ll want to make sure you are using them correctly so you’re not the butt of the joke.

Using a Temporary Assignment to Land a Permanent Position

Temporary employment has seen tremendous increase over the past few years, especially in healthcare. Many industries, including retail and healthcare, experience increased personnel needs several times a year, be it for a special assignment, auditing or due to a seasonal increase in business.

Although it’s common to first see the cons in a temporary position, there are some very strong positives to keep in consideration. Temporary employment allows you to get a feel for or “test drive” a company and/or position. This type of employment can also offer the opportunity to pick up new skills that were not available to you in your past position.  Another perk to a temporary job comes in the connections you will make. Getting the opportunity to work a temporary job alongside a professional you admire or for a highly sought-after firm will allow you to expand your contacts and build professional and personal connections that could provide solid references or suggest you for a future permanent opening.

Now that you know the vantage point of temporary employment, let’s look into ways you can use a temporary assignment to land a permanent position:

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  1. The first’s ones obvious: Be good at what you do.

Be a successful temporary employee and show them why they need to hire you permanently. Treat your temporary position as a permanent one because managers look for quality workers that are committed, hardworking, and passionate about what they do.

Carpe diem! Seize every opportunity you get to better yourself – whether that be staying extra after work helping someone with their patient or arriving a few minutes early to help the administrators. Make it your mission to come in everyday and learn something new, whether that be in your job description or outside it. There is never such thing as too much growth and knowledge.


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  1. Being a team player can help you turn a temp position into a permanent one.

Teamwork skills are very important skills to build and maintain. Not only does it improve your relationship with your coworkers, but it also shows everyone that you have what it takes to work alongside them permanently. Your coworkers just might become your promoters when a permanent position becomes available.


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  1. Let your employer and recruiting firm know that you’d like to be hired permanently.

This is probably the easiest thing to do, but is often overlooked. It’s important your manager and recruiter know you are serious about this position and want to be hired full time. Show them you are dedicated and motivated to fully be a part of the company. It doesn’t hurt to show them how you’ve impacted the company during your assignment either!

Physical Therapy Assistant

A physical therapy assistant works directly with physical therapists to provide physician-directed rehabilitation and treatments to patients. The primary function of PTAs is to administer suggested treatments to the patient and carry out routine maintenance of their progress. In addition to physical therapists, the PTA also directly corresponds with physicians and nurses when conditions change or treatments require attention.


Teamwork – Working as a PTA means establishing good relationships with each patient’s medical team. These connections not only help the patient’s recovery, but help the assistant grow their own medical based connections.

Listening and Observation – It is vital to listen and observe a patient to help their medical team and physical therapists create the best recovery plans.

Physical Strength and Overall Good Health – A PTA’s job encompasses rapid response times and an active nature that encourages their patients. They should be able to support an average male and female body, with additional emphasis on possible considerations such as obesity.

Knowledge of Current Testing Methods – Tests may be conducted under the care of a physical therapy assistant or in conjunction with the patient’s current physical therapist. In an assistance capacity, the PTA helps to administer the selected test and keeps the patient comfortable during their experience.


Anyone who wants to pursue a career in this field must have an associate degree in physical therapy assistance. It must come from a program that is currently accredited by a legally recognized program.

Additional Considerations:

To act as a physical therapy assistant, a person must be presently licensed by the proper state licensing agency. Licenses do expire after a selected period of time and costs for renewal vary based on various factors.

Director/Manager Of Pharmacy

A pharmacy manager oversees the day-to-day tasks of the pharmacy operations and manages all staff within the department, ensuring that prescriptions are being filled, that staff members complete their assigned duties, and local, and federal procedures have been followed. The pharmacy manager reports directly to the operations manager, or they may work as the head of a pharmacy team. Depending on the location, the pharmacy manager may also need to pick up inventory items and be available to handle pharmacy emergencies.

The pharmacy manager closely monitors prescriptions, assuring that they have medications that are most likely to be prescribed. In addition to keeping prescription in stock, pharmacy managers complete a series of managerial tasks, including handling complaints, maintain contact with the doctor’s office, and assist with over-time for staff management.

Pharmacy Manager Duties and Responsibilities

  • Pharmacy managers are typically required to notify the local board of any changes in pharmacist personnel.
  • Review prescriptions in the health departments and be responsible for dispensing at health clinics.
  • Pharmacy manager accepts responsibility for the operations of their clinic or pharmacy department in conformance with all statutes and regulations.
  • Pharmacy managers administer immunizations to patients, following safety protocol.

Pharmacy Manager Training and Additional Education

Pharmacy managers will typically have a bachelors degree in a related field of study. Employers will require managers to have current pharmacy licenses in the state where they work, as each state has its licensing requirements. Pharmacy managers will have to have current immunization certification as well, which is a certification obtained after participants complete a training course.

Salary and Job Trajectory

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacists occupied more than 300,000 jobs in 2016. By the year 2026, the number is expected to grow 6 percent, which is exponentially faster than other fields.

Laboratory Supervisor/Manager

A laboratory supervisor/manager in the medical field is responsible for overseeing day to day activities in the laboratory. This includes supervision of laboratory personnel, quality assurance, and overseeing the collection, analyzing and ultimate use of lab data. There are generally different levels of lab supervisor positions in the medical field, with some positions having considerably more responsibility in terms of overseeing laboratory personnel.

Education and Experience

As a laboratory supervisor/manager, you may be required to possess a specialized bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study. Your path to becoming a lab supervisor may include obtaining a bachelor’s in medical technology or an associate’s in clinical laboratory science. In addition to these education requirements, lab supervisors are often required to have a certain amount of work experience in an individual role—as much as two years in some cases.


Although the job of a laboratory supervisor is to oversee operations in the lab to some degree, it’s not necessarily your job to give orders. Instead, a lab supervisor should help coordinate the work of others while keeping a close eye on the progress of each individual team to suggest ways in which they can improve. If you see a process that could be done in a more efficient way to save time, it’s your job to make that suggestion and help the team implement it. In addition to this, you are also a source of knowledge for the people you work with. As an experienced laboratory supervisor, you should provide as much relevant knowledge to those around you as you can. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t actually have authority over staff members.

The Impact of Body Language

Something so little as a slouched posture can decide someone’s fate of getting their dream job. But is that how it should be? Most bad body language happens when people are stressed and uncomfortable, and these feelings come out during a job interview. Is it right to base your first impression on someone’s body language during an interview? Most of the time that’s not how the candidates act all the time. So, why is body language so impactful?

Let’s break it down first: What is body language?

Body language, or nonverbal communication, is not about what you’re saying but about how you say it and what your body is doing while talking. Body language is a way to better your conversation by using your facial expressions, hand gesticulation, and posture in your favor.

Some examples of body language:

Eye Contact:

Eye contact is a very controversial thing and a matter of opinion. In some countries, constant eye contact is rude while in in others it shows politeness and good manners. Some may think that too much eye contact is intimidating and consider it staring, which we all know is a very ill-mannered thing to do. Eye contact also exhibits interest, honesty, and confidence.  So how much eye contact is enough and how much is too little? It’s a delicate subject but during an interview, keep enough eye contact and keep it consistent. If you’ve been making great eye contact the entire interview then start blinking or fidgeting with your eyes, that is a sign of nervousness.

Body Posture:

Slouching is never a good thing. Not only is it bad for your back, but it shows a lack of interest and respect for your interviewer. Remain upright and lean forward, this shows that you are engrossed in the conversation. Just like other types of body language, you can overdo it. Don’t get too close, everyone needs their own personal space.


Fidgeting is a major sign of nervousness. Whether if it’s picking at your nails, constantly touching your hair, or shaking your legs, the interviewer will get the sign that you’re uncomfortable. So, keep your hands placed on your lap and cross your legs so you don’t get the urge to twitch.


Have you practiced your handshakes with a friend before your interview? You should. Do you know when a handshake is too much versus when it’s too little? The limp handshake can be just as detrimental as the cutting-off-your-circulation handshake. Have all your items in your left hand so you’re prepared to shake someone’s hand. If you have sweaty palms, go for a subtle wipe of your hand on the side of your pants before shaking so you don’t give a clammy handshake.

Facial Expressions:

Smile! Giving someone a smile puts them at ease and conveys a sense of calm, control and confidence.  Smiling also reveals enthusiasm for the position and the company.

Body language can make or break you during interviews, even if you aren’t a fidgety person in your daily life. There are many ways you can positively express yourself through nonverbal communication, which can bump you up in the position standings. So, keep eye contact, sit up straight, and give them that million-dollar smile!

Medical Technologist

Medical Technologist

A Medical Technologist, also sometimes known as a Medical Laboratory Scientist, performs clinical laboratory testing on bodily fluids and tissues, including urine, blood, cervical spinal fluid, and all types of bodily tissue samples in order to assist with diagnosis and treatment.

Core tasks and responsibilities of a Medical Technologist include:

  • Performing tests of varying complexity in accordance with all state, federal, and other applicable regulations
  • Reports and interprets test results
  • Processing specimens and logs requisitions as needed
  • Performing quality control testing
  • Maintains automated chemistry, hematology, coagulation, and urinalysis instrumentation as required
  • Working with physicians to analyze results and conduct difficult, non-routine tests
  • Consult with medical laboratory technicians and phlebotomists as required
  • Assist in orienting and mentoring new staff members
  • Compliance with all applicable legal requirements, standards, and procedures

Required Qualifications

  • Most entry-level positions will require a Bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory technology, or a related field like biology or chemistry
  • Some positions may accept an equivalent combination of education, certification, training, or experience as a replacement for a Bachelor’s degree
  • A valid Medical Technology License in your state of residence
  • Ability to communicate effectively through written and oral means
  • Be able to establish and build cooperative working relationships with coworkers

Licensed Practical Nurse

The Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN, provides patients with the essential care they need during their stay in a hospital. LPNs also assist Registered Nurses and Doctors with maintaining records, facilitating efficient communication between different members of the care team, and helping patients’ families understand how to better care for their loved ones.

Core Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develops and revises care plans under the guidance of a Registered Nurse
  • Manages care plans by administering care or by supervising nursing duties that are delegated to nursing assistants
  • Regularly checks patients’ vital signs following established company policies or at the LPN’s discretion where needed
  • Take measures to ensure patients’ comfort
  • Create and maintain accurate records of care administered to patients
  • Reporting significant findings or changes to the nurse in charge or physician
  • Conduct daily rounds to ensure the standard of patient care
  • Administering medications
  • Collecting specimens for testing
  • Maintaining a clean, safe, organized workspace

Education and Experience

  • Some positions may require a college degree in nursing or a related field, or equivalent state certificate
  • Some positions prefer previous experience working with a population being served in a nursing capacity
  • A current LPN license in your state of residence

Exceptional written and oral communication skills are important – the LPN must be able to effectively communicate with team members, physicians, patients, and their families

X-Ray Technician

The x-ray technician plays a pivotal role in the patient care process. They use top-of-the-line imaging technologies to map the inside of the human body, helping physicians to more accurately diagnose and treat a wide range of illness or injury.

As an x-ray technician, you would have the opportunity to work at the forefront of medical imaging technology, and take satisfaction in knowing that you are able to assist and support patients undergoing treatment.

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Prepare patients for their radiological procedures
  • Capture x-ray images following established protocols to ensure a high standard of patient care and safety
  • Develop and process film
  • Produce quality diagnostic images for physicians, while maintaining an acceptably low repeat rate
  • Ensure imaging equipment stays in working order and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations
  • Log all completed radiological procedures
  • Complete any associated paperwork accurately
  • Assist in maintaining examination rooms
  • Maintain stock of necessary office and radiological supplies

Education and Skills

  • Positions require a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of a limited-scope/LMRT/NCT radiological course
  • Have a working knowledge of anatomy and physiology sufficient for x-ray testing
  • Possess a strong knowledge of relevant radiology equipment
  • Be able to quickly position patients correctly for their imaging tests
  • Possess skill in identifying and solving equipment problems