So, What Does A Medical Assistant Do In a Pediatric Office? Medical assistants can be employed at healthcare practitioner’s clinics or offices, hospitals, insurance companies, and other healthcare-related institutions. In general, clinical and administrative tasks are similar across all sites of work.
The Pediatric Medical Assistant Duties
The duties of medical assistants in a pediatrics office are no different. The usual clinical tasks required of medical assistants in the pediatric office include obtaining vital signs, including height and weight, obtaining a clinical history, preparing patients for the physician’s examination and possible procedures, obtaining blood for diagnostics, and preparing and administering medications.
- Administration of vaccinations – a clinical task that is more commonly performed in pediatric offices or clinics to administer vaccinations at regular intervals. Administrative duties may include answering the telephone, and establishing and maintaining the medical record, and accomplishing insurance forms.
However, there are several key differences in the duties a medical assistant performs in a pediatric office. First and foremost, simply obtaining the vital signs and extracting the medical history may be significantly more difficult when performed on children as compared to adults. Patients may be uncooperative or combative, depending on their mood and the circumstances. Thus, dealing with pediatric patients requires more patience and skill than usual. In addition, the equipment used for obtaining the blood pressure may have different sizes depending on the patient’s age and size.
The clinical history of patients who are unable to speak or relay their symptoms completely must be obtained from their legal guardian or adult companion itself. In this case, it is best to speak with the adult present during the onset of the complaint, usually the primary caregiver.
- Blood extraction – All clinical procedures, especially invasive ones such as venipuncture or blood extraction, must be performed only after their legal guardian/s is obtained. In fact, any medical intervention, both diagnostic and therapeutic, requires the informed consent of the guardians before it can be carried out. It is usually a medical assistant’s job to obtain and file the signed consent forms after the healthcare practitioner has thoroughly explained each intervention to the guardian. Lastly, medical assistants in pediatric offices are expected to be familiar with first aid and CPR for pediatric children.
Another key difference is that medications administered are usually calculated based on the patient’s weight. Therefore, in the case of any uncertainties, it is best to refer to the prescribing healthcare practitioner before administering the medication.
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