“Do medical assistants draw blood?” In addition, we’ll highlight other medical tasks these practitioners can perform.
A medical assistant (MA) is a frontline support specialist. They are trained to assist physicians and nurses with clinical and administrative tasks.
MAs are responsible for patient care in various healthcare facilities, including vital signs, appointment scheduling, and medical record maintenance.
Are you thinking about a career in medical assistance? You might be curious whether these experts are permitted or required to draw blood.
Don’t worry; this article is here to answer the question.
Can Medical Assistants Draw Blood?
Several medical fields involve being around people who are directly taking blood. This is true for hospital positions, clinics, and other health-related practices.
Most prospective MAs look forward to learning how to draw blood, among other services. But many people often wonder if these experts can take blood samples.
The answer is yes. An MA can take blood under the supervision of a licensed physician. Once you start your career in a healthcare center, drawing blood is a skill you must possess.
Besides, most MA studies include this procedure in their study syllabus.
However, your eligibility to take blood specimens depends on certain state conditions. Medical assistants in Nevada, Louisiana, California, and Washington must hold a phlebotomy certificate to draw blood.
Besides these regions, others allow MA to perform such procedures.
Medical Assistants Blood Drawing – Reasons
The mere thought of blood makes many people queasy or causes some anxiety. In contrast, some individuals find donating or drawing someone’s blood minor.
However, blood samples are crucial for assessing health as they transport nutrients, oxygen, and hormones throughout the body.
MA typically draws blood to help health experts monitor patient’s health and diagnose certain diseases. When blood is taken, they’ll forward it to a clinical lab for analysis via several advanced medical tools.
Other reasons for taking blood include getting a complete cell count, testing glucose levels, and looking for infectious organisms.
Another reason is to try to see how well the blood clots are, determine blood type, test for minerals, and monitor levels of enzymes.
Medical Assistant Jobs Likely to Draw Blood
Some MA specialties are more or less likely to take blood samples than others.
Career paths where you will likely be involved with this procedure include endocrinology, primary care, and pathology. These areas involved diagnosing diseases using various tools, such as microscopes and assays.
Most of these tests involve examining blood samples for signs of disease.
Moreover, blood tests are performed as part of their routine workup. As for the endocrinology specialty, they treat, diagnose, and manage conditions related to hormonal dysfunction.
Meanwhile, some MA specialties that don’t involve taking blood samples include ophthalmology, dentistry, and psychiatry. Such areas involve treating problems with the teeth, mouth, eyes, and mental disorders.
Taking blood is outside their job description.
Other Duties of Medical Assistants
Besides taking blood samples, there are other tasks these experts perform. They include diagnostic testing, reviewing the patient’s health history, taking vital signs, and assisting with procedures.
They also venture into billing and coding, greeting and rooming patients, stocking shelves, ordering supplies, and managing referrals.
Additional responsibilities include patient education, office correspondence, helping with clerical work, and taking phone calls. Let’s briefly review a few of these tasks separately.
Taking Vital Signs
When checking a patient’s health, critical signs are crucial. Changes in body temperature, peripheral oxygen saturation, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration can indicate illness.
It’s the job of MAs to take such readings before each visit to save the doctor’s time.
The physicians will use these vital signs to supplement what they see and hear. That way, they can properly diagnose and treat an ill patient.
Assist with Surgery
Most physicians who perform surgical procedures need medical assistants around. They’ll help with aftercare duties such as dressing and removing stitches.
They also hand over instruments to physicians during surgery and prepare the surgery kits before the operation. MAs are excellent helpers to physicians and nurses as they assist patients with significant health outcomes.
While taking a medical assistant program, you’ll learn a few diagnostic tests.
The EKG exam is one of the tests you’ll learn about during your studies. The area doesn’t involve the drawing of blood. Other areas include heart testing, phlebotomy, and disease cultures.
So, while you serve as a medical assistant, you’ll learn how to prepare samples for delivery to outside labs.
When a patient enters a healthcare facility, an MA is among the first people they meet. These experts escort these patients to the exam room, update their health records, and prepare them to see the doctor.
They can also perform standardized screening for symptoms of depression or personal care needs since the first impression matters.
An MA will greet the patient before walking them to the exam room.
Reviewing Patient’s Medical History
Reviewing medical history is very critical when treating a patient. This is one of the essential duties of MAs. They often check whether their patients have any symptoms that physicians should know about.
There’s a checklist of pertinent questions to understand the patient’s health. This is why excellent communication skills are critical for these experts.
Things You Can Do and Avoid When Drawing Blood as a Medical Assistant
If you want to avoid taking blood samples as an MA, you can do a few things. Some of the tasks you can perform don’t involve drawing blood.
So, when inquiring about open positions, carefully read the job description to see if you would be expected to take blood samples.
Secondly, you can focus on administrative duties rather than clinical roles. That means you’ll be serving as a medical administrative assistant.
Your work will generally be at the front desk of the healthcare office. So get ready to answer phone calls, work on medical billing and coding, maintain equipment and supplies, etc.
Have we answered your question? Yes. As you can see, medical assistants can draw blood in their clinical roles in the healthcare industry.
However, some MA specialties don’t require taking blood samples. This article provides valuable information on the benefits of specific fields for those who prefer not to draw blood from patients.