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Medical Assistants Need Lots of Compassion to work in Rheumatology

Medical Assistant Duties in Rheumatology

High quality health care does not just happen. It requires the assistance of a person who can follow the directions of a doctor or a registered nurse while also making the patient feel comfortable and assured; especially at a department that deals with movement disorders. Rheumatology is a branch of medicine devoted to the diagnosis and therapy of rheumatic diseases. It is the study of rheumatism, arthritis, and other disorders of the joints, muscles, and ligaments. Notably, the ability to give the same level of attention and detail to each and every patient is a juggling act, yet this is what distinguishes the medical assistant role. Medical assistants work at outpatient clinics or for private practices; therefore, what are their responsibilities and duties? Also, what does it take to be a medical assistant?

    •The  Medical Assistant Responsibilities:

    A medical assistant has a core role at the healthcare facility they work at, they:

  • Check schedules and organize patient flow.
  • Accompany patients to the exam or procedure room.
  • Collect patient information/history; taking vitals, performing screenings per provider guidelines, and relay instructions to patients and their families.
  • Send or receive patient medical records in accordance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other state and federal regulations.
  • Comply with the requirements of appropriate regulatory agencies and with all Health System policies and procedures.
  • Prepare, clean and sterilize instruments and maintain equipment; stock patient exam rooms while maintaining cleanliness and organization, and dispose contaminated items according to protocol.
  • Perform phlebotomy, electrocardiogram tests (EKG), hearing and vision screens and level one labs.
  • Assist physicians and perform clinic procedures according to policy and procedure.
  • Start I.V.’s
  • Administer ordered medications and/or vaccines via oral, injection, topical, rectal, ophthalmic, and/or inhalant administration.
  • Schedule patients for diagnostic testing and follow up as appropriate to ensure completion of testing.
  • Obtain lab/x-ray reports, hospital notes, referral information, etc.
  • Document patient information into the medical record.
  • Verify insurance coverage and patient demographics.
  • Answer calls and provide pertinent information including patient education as directed.
  • do other front office responsibilities as required.
  • perform Electrocardiograms
  • perfrom venipuncture/phlebotomy
  •   A Medical Assistant Duty:

A Medical Assistant should stay humble and raise their humanity, they need to know how to:

– Greet and prepare patients for the health care provider while maintaining a positive and caring attitude.

– Be attentive to the patient’s needs, coordinate care, administer care, and document appropriately.

– Maintain strict confidentiality related to medical records and other data by protecting the patient privacy rights while observing HIPAA regulations.

– Assist patients who need the help to walk, transfer, dress, collect specimens, prepare for tests and other tasks.

– Provide education for patients and their families in an understandable way, individually or in group format.

-Arthritis takes on many forms, such as osteo-arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis and psoriataic arthritis.  Each of these forms are unique unto themselves, in that the signs and symptoms differ.  They however are all very painful and eventually debilitate the patient almost completely.

It is not unusual for patient’s to cry from the pain and the disfigurement.  A medical assistant cannot feign compassion, they must have it in the hearts.  Compasson must be a part of who they are as a person.  Patient’s know when someone shows false concern.  Keep in mind that rheumatology covers the disease of the immune system and therefore patient’s disease process is not unlike a type of cancer.  As a matter of fact, many patients are administered types of cancer drugs in the office, by the medical assistant.

These drugs must be given intravenously and the medical assistant must know how to perfrom an IV insertion as well as hang a bag of medication and calculate the drip rate.  Sounds pretty tought right? Well it is!  That is why the school which the medical assistant chooses to attend should have an IV class with certification.  The truth is, many do not, because it is mostly a skill which is tasked to the registered nurse.


  •   What does it take to be a medical assistant in Rheumatology?

For people who are interested in this field, prior medical assisting experience is preferred. The medical assistant needs to maintain composure even in very difficult situations, so they need to know patient handling techniques. Moreover, being a medical assistant means to be as much human as they can and to first handedly deal with patients. Assistants must show sincere interest in others and their concerns, have high customer service skills, and develop effective relationships with patients, hospital departments, and other external parties.  Most importantly when working in Rheumatology is to remember that your patient’s are in immense pain.

In addition, working at the Rheumatology department requires its fellows to obtain knowledge of terminology that is used in diagnosis and classification of illnesses, injuries, and disabilities as well as knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology, generic and trade names and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding. Also, the job requires knowledge of hematology-blood collection technology, techniques, and procedures, too.

Nevertheless, knowledge and skills are not all that is required! Working as a medical assistant in the Rheumatology department requires lots of physical effort, too. Medical assistants endure constant standing and walking. They frequently use speech to share information through oral communication, and they use their hearing ability to distinguish body sounds, hear alarms, malfunctioning machinery and so. Also, they frequently lift, carry, push and pull objects weighing 0-50 lbs as well as they occasionally lift and move patients. Medical assistants might bend, stoop, crawl, kneel, sit, squat and do repetitive foot/leg and hand/arm movements, too.

 Medical assistants have pride in their empathy with patients: they whiz at getting a patient ready for an exam or test; they value working in a humanity-filled environment, and they are good at accurately conducting tests, recording patient stats and handling test results. Being a medical assistant in Rheumatology department is not something easy to do; however, it is a job that gives twice as much as it takes. At Phlebotomy Career Training, we are committed to teaching the application of industry leading techniques to our Medical Assistants.