Behind the Scenes with Shore Medical Assistants

October 15, 2021

Congratulations to the Medical Assistants at Shore Medical Center and Shore Physicians Group who are recognized with National Medical Assistants Day on October 20. The MA’s go a long way to providing compassionate care for every patient that chooses Shore.

Medical assistant’s duties are both administrative and clinical. They assist medical practitioners during routine clinical exams, and these professionals talk with patients as well as complete necessary paperwork. 

There are 40 medical assistants working across the Shore network. Providers were quick to recognize their medical assistants. SPG Primary Care Physician, Dr. Charles Roche praised the MA’s saying, “I would say that Medical Assistants are the heart of the group. To our patients, they are the kind voice you hear on the phone, the patient listener you tell all your woes, the doctor’s right hand to get things done, and the friendly face you’ll see when you return to your medical home away from home.”

SPG Neurologist, Dr. Joshua Daniel added, “Medical assistants are definitely an extension of the provider. They are the first line of the practice in getting in and gaining access to the provider. Definitely a vital aspect to the care patients receive.”

Primary Care Physician, Dr. Jackie Rounds echoes the sentiment of Dr. Roche adding, “The MA’s are the pulse of the office. They set the mood, the mode and the tone for the day with patient interactions, helping providers run smoothly and on time. They are the lifeline between clinical and non-clinical, between patients and providers. They are amazing and we certainly would not be able to do what we do without them.” Dr. Rounds added that she and her MA Celeste have worked together for five years and the workflow is great and the communication effortless.

Ann MacMurray, APN said her medical assistant is a critical part of her team. “Her compassion and caring for our patients along with her many clinical skills are invaluable. She is a good listener, and the most valuable skill is her healing touch and caring heart. She treats our patients like family.”

What is a Certified Medical Assistant?
A CMA is a medical professional who works in a doctor's office or in other clinical settings performing a range of duties, including maintaining patient files, managing correspondence, booking appointments and completing insurance forms. They also answer phones and emails, schedule lab tests, process results and order supplies to ensure the surgery room is well-stocked for every procedure scheduled.

Certified medical assistants also have some patient care duties, including collecting samples and specimens, changing dressings and taking vital signs. A CMA will also conduct patient interviews before procedures, explaining and supporting them with treatment plans and preparing patients for tests. A CMA's duties may also include supporting the medical team by sterilizing equipment, preparing treatment rooms and disposing of contaminated waste to maintain a safe and sanitary environment.

What Is a Medical Assistant?
Medical Assistants work alongside nurses and physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as medical offices and clinics. Medical assisting is one of the nation's careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, attributing job growth to the following: Predicted surge in the number of physicians' offices and outpatient care facilities, technological advancements, and the increase in elderly who are in need of medical treatment.

Job Responsibilities
MA’s are cross-trained to perform administrative and clinical duties. Clinical duties may include: Taking medical histories, Explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examinations, assisting the physician during examinations, performing EKGs and phlebotomy, instructing patients about medication and special diets, removing sutures and changing dressings, and transmitting prescription refills as directed. The MA’s may also prepare and administer medications, including injections, vaccinations, and immunizations as directed by a physician or other licensed provider.

The administrative duties of an MA may include: Using computer applications, answering phones, welcoming patients, updating and filing patient medical records, coding and filling out insurance forms, scheduling appointments, arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services, handling correspondence, billing, and bookkeeping.

The MA’s are patient liaisons. They are instrumental in helping patients feel at ease in the medical setting and often explain the physician's instructions. They are essential members of the patient-centered medical team. According to a survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network, MAs ranked as one of the top five professionals necessary on this team. Many employers of allied health personnel prefer, or require, their MAs are CMA certified. The American Association of Medical Assistants offers certification to graduates of medical assisting programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

October 20th is their national day of recognition. Please take a moment to thank your MA or those you may come in contact with at your medical offices. Thank you for all you do for Shore Medical Center and Shore Physicians Group, we appreciate the work you do every day.