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What's it Like to Work as a Medical Assistant in the ER?

Posted On Sep 9, 2022

Emergency room (ER) medical assistants are behind-the-scenes stars of emergency rooms. They are responsible for performing a wide range of duties that help keep patients safe and healthy while they wait to be seen by a doctor. ER medical assistants may take vital signs, perform vital diagnostic tests, assist with procedures, and provide basic care such as administering oxygen or treating minor injuries.

Medical team including medical assistants working in an emergency room in a hospital. Moving patient.

ER Medical Assistant Job Duties 

Emergency room medical assistants have a diverse range of responsibilities, which may include: 

  • Triaging patient care to other members of the healthcare team like nurses or physicians. 
  • Taking blood pressure, pulse rate, and other vital signs at regular intervals to monitor patient health. 
  • Recording patient information including name, birth date, address, social security number, and insurance information in computer databases. 
  • Assisting registered nurses with procedures such as taking blood samples and administering injections. 
  • Preparing patients for X-rays or other diagnostic tests by measuring vital signs and explaining the procedure. 
  • Preparing patients for surgery by recording their medical history, administering medications, and preparing them for procedures like preoperative shaving or cleansing of the surgical site. 
  • Collecting samples for lab testing or administering medications as directed by a physician. 
  • Documenting treatment plans in patient records so the information is available to other members of the healthcare team. 
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ER Medical Assistant Job Outlook

The job outlook for medical assistants is excellent with the employment of ER medical assistants expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade. As the large baby-boom population ages, more people will require emergency room services. In addition, the increasing popularity of high-deductible health plans may cause some patients to seek treatment in ERs when their primary care physicians do not accept their insurance. Any way you look at it, working in the ER will be a stable career for the foreseeable future and beyond.

ER Medical Assistant Work Environment 

ER medical assistants work in hospital emergency rooms where they provide care to patients with a variety of urgent medical conditions. They work under the supervision of a licensed physician or nurse and are responsible for taking vital signs, performing basic medical tests, and assisting with procedures. ER medical assistants must be able to handle the stress of working in a fast-paced, busy environment. They must be able to think quickly and clearly, and make decisions in the best interest of the patient. ER medical assistants often work long, irregular hours including evenings, weekends, and holidays. They may also work on call which means they need to be ready to work at a moment’s notice on selected shifts.

How to Become an ER Medical Assistant 

There are certain qualifications needed to become an emergency room medical assistant. Emergency room medical assistants first need to enroll in a medical assisting training program. It is important to find an accredited program so you can sit for the exam to become certified after completion of the program. Only graduates from an accredited program are eligible to take the exam to become certified medical assistants. After becoming a medical assistant, ER medical assistants often receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other experienced medical professionals. 

Ready to Get Started?  

If you are ready to get started on the path to becoming a medical assistant, Athena Career Academy is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our comprehensive medical assistant program. You will be on your way to the career of your dreams sooner than you imagined, so don’t delay. We can help you get started quickly with classes starting all the time and no wait list to enroll. Let’s schedule a campus tour today!

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Athena Career Academy is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. The school is registered with the Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools; State of Ohio – School Registration Number – 10-09-1943T and operates under the authority of the Ohio Board of Nursing. Please contact the Student Operations Manager for more information.

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