Medical Assisting: A Gateway to Diverse Healthcare Roles You Might Not Have Considered

Medical Assisting: A Gateway to Diverse Healthcare Roles You Might Not Have Considered

Are you considering attending Ohio Business College’s Medical Assistant program but want to know if there are alternative jobs for graduates? The short answer is yes. This article will focus on nine alternative jobs available to graduates of a Medical Assistant program.

What Jobs Are Available for Medical Assistant Graduates?

Medical assistants perform clinical and administrative tasks, from answering the telephone to drawing blood. They are the liaison between patients and physicians, allowing physicians to focus on patient care and good health outcomes. However, other options exist for those who graduate from OBC’s Medical Assistant program. These alternative jobs to medical assisting include:

Job #1: Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

A medical billing and coding specialist performs the administrative tasks that secure payment for medical services. Medical cases must be translated into a universal coding language that records diagnoses and treatments. Medical billing and coding specialists read and interpret patient notes to assign relevant codes for patient care reimbursement. They then submit their bills and complete necessary follow-up tasks to resolve discrepancies, appeal denials, and secure payment.

They complete various tasks during each phase of the billing cycle by collaborating with practitioners, patients, and insurance representatives. Their primary duties include:

Auditing Medical Records – ensure records are complete and adhere to regulatory standards.

Reviewing Clinical Documentation – translate patient care into an alphanumeric coding system and generating bills for insurance companies.

Verifying Bill Submission – follow up on outstanding bills and resolve discrepancies with insurers.

Reviewing Denied Claims – compile supplemental documentation and submit appeals.

Collecting Payments – collect payments from insurance companies and patients, partnering with accounts receivable to ensure payments are processed and posted.

Job #2: Medical Office Assistant

It’s a medical office assistant’s job to coordinate with patients, prepare them for a visit, and follow up after for billing. They manage administrative tasks so doctors and nurses don’t spend their day answering the telephone and filling out paperwork. Medical office assistants keep the office running smoothly. Their many responsibilities include:

Triaging Phone Calls – answer general questions about the practice, like office hours, available services, and billing. The goal is to keep patients informed and help them with their needs.

Scheduling Appointments – find appointment times when both patients and physicians are available. They maintain a tight schedule that meets patients’ needs and makes the most of the physician’s time while being prepared for the inevitable emergency call.

Managing Patient Flow – manage the patient flow from check-in to check-out. As the first person to see patients, their most important responsibilities are to make clients feel welcomed and guide them through the pre-visit process.

Medical Records Management – by keeping a running record, the patient, doctor, and consulting physicians stay on the same page, and they can track changes in condition.

Billing and Coding – manage medical bills paid for by insurance companies. Medical office assistants code claims using alphanumeric shorthand to streamline the process, while insurers use codes to make coverage decisions. Accuracy is essential to avoid denied claims.

Filing Insurance Claims – submit claims electronically and be responsible for entering data on forms for different insurers. Practice management software helps keep them on track.

Job #3: Medical Records Specialist

Medical records specialists compile, process, and maintain patient records. Using a numerical coding system, they will enter patient records into electronic health records. Medical records specialists may gather medical histories, symptoms, test results, treatments, and other information to complete records for physician use. They also do the following duties:

Review Patient Records – ensure that records are updated promptly, completely, and accurately.

Assign Clinical Codes – use classification systems to assign clinical codes for diagnosis and procedures to attain reimbursement for medical services.

Maintain and Retrieve Records – present patient records for insurance reimbursement and data analysis.

Electronically Record Data – collect, store, analyze, retrieve, and report data to physicians and governmental agencies.

Abide by HIPAA – ensure that patients’ records are kept confidential.

Job #4: Patient Services Representative

A patient services representative is the first point of contact for most patients entering a medical facility. They provide customer service at the front desk of many hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other medical facilities. Patient services representatives greet and check in patients, collect payment, assist with consent forms and other paperwork, and act as ambassadors for a patient’s healthcare needs. Their duties include:

Managing Medical Records – entering data into a patient’s electronic medical records

Answer Questions – answer patients’ questions about billing and payment.

Appointment Scheduling – register and schedule patients for appointments and follow-ups.

Update Medical Records – contact patients to collect information about past treatments and historical medical data to update a patient’s medical records.

Answer Phone Calls – perform call triage to route incoming calls to proper medical professionals while escalating emergencies.

Job #5: Medical Claims Examiner

A medical claims examiner manages insurance claims and ensures that standard guidelines are met, claims are processed promptly, and the information is accurate and confidential. They review medical claims and decide to approve or deny them based on the support information provided by the medical billing and coding specialist. Medical claims examiners also take steps to detect and defend against fraud. Their additional duties include:

Evaluating Insurance Claims – determine whether to approve the claim and decide how much compensation will be paid to the medical facility.

Ensure Legal Compliance – the government regulates insurance, and the medical claims examiner must make sure that the claims process follows laws and regulations.

Review Claims – resolve discrepancies such as missing information or errors in coding. After denying a claim, they will review any appeal made by the medical billing and coding specialist.

Review Reports – ensure no errors have been made in the claims process.

Job #6: Surgical Technician

Surgical technicians assist surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists before, during, and after surgical procedures. They perform many functions, but their primary responsibility is to sterilize the operating room. Their duties include:

Preparing the Operating Room – prepare operating suites, ensuring the equipment, tools, and instruments are sterilized and functioning correctly.

Assisting with Scrub-In – help the surgical team scrub their hands and forearms before wearing sterile attire. It prevents the transfer of harmful microorganisms into the operating room. Surgical technicians prepare gowns, gloves, soaps, scrubbing solutions, and other supplies required to maintain an aseptic environment while monitoring for breaks in sterility.

Patient Preparation – prepare patients for procedures by shaving and disinfecting incision sites, positioning them on the operating table, and draping affected areas to create a sterile field.

Instrument Handling – serves as an extra pair of hands during operations, passing the doctor’s instruments while counting sponges, instruments, clips, and other supplies to ensure nothing is left inside a patient.

Patient Transport – transport patients from pre-op units to the operating room, providing emotional support while implementing thermoregulation measures. Surgical technicians also apply and manage warming devices to safeguard patients from hypothermia.

Job #7: Phlebotomist

Phlebotomists draw blood samples for diagnostic testing. Taken from veins, it’s a low-risk but highly technical task requiring people skills and clinical expertise. Phlebotomists manage the sampling process from start to finish, including:

Reviewing Orders – orders for blood draws come with paperwork specifying which tests the doctor has ordered. Medical codes justify each request and are used for billing purposes. The phlebotomist’s role is to review orders for accuracy and screen patients for compliance with pre-procedure restrictions.

Obtaining Consent – attain clients’ informed consent. Patients have the right to know the process, so education is a crucial preparation component.

Choosing Equipment and Supplies – phlebotomy is designed for different patients, from children to seniors. Sample tubes are color-coded to reflect the additives they contain. Phlebotomists use their clinical know-how to evaluate patients and make the most appropriate selections.

Positioning Patients – positioning depends on where the patient is and their history of side effects. Most adults sit in a chair, but patients who are fearful or have a history of fainting should lie down.

Drawing Blood – cleansing the skin where blood will be drawn, placing a tourniquet above the draw site to identify a suitable vein, inserting the needle and holding it in position until the collection tube is full, withdrawing the needle and applying pressure to the site to stop the bleeding, and applying an adhesive bandage to protect the site and the client’s clothes.

Processing Samples – includes labeling tubes with the client’s name, date of birth, and the date and time blood was collected. Some samples must be spun in a centrifuge, and the serum extracted. Others must be refrigerated or frozen immediately.

Job #8: EKG Technician

EKG technicians work in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and clinics, performing electrocardiograms with minimal supervision. The role includes patient preparation, testing, aftercare, and recordkeeping. Additional duties include:

Pretest Preparation – prevents delays by stocking necessary supplies in advance and performing quality control checks on equipment to ensure they function correctly. Rooms are sanitized and comfortable for patients. Electronic devices are turned off because they may interfere with readings.

Patient Education – prepare patients for testing by explaining how EKGs are performed. Obtaining the best results requires patients to stay still and follow simple instructions, so answering questions and clarifying expectations in advance alleviates stress and improves cooperation.

Pre-screening – Some patients have physical limitations that impact the EKG process. Making accommodations enhances patient’s comfort, improves efficiency, and ensures optimal results.

Patient Preparation – remind patients to remove metal jewelry, watches, and body piercings that can interfere with electrical signals and cause artifacts. EKG technicians provide loose-fitting garments for electrode placement. They can assist patients with limited mobility into comfortable positions, shave hair, and cleanse the skin where electrode pads will be applied so they’ll stick firmly.

Testing – place the electrodes on the patient’s body and attach the color-coded leads, turn on the electrocardiograph, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for running a pretest control strip, cue the patient to take a deep breath and stay still until they’re signaled the test is complete.and examine the strip for quality. If excessive artifacts are present, take a second reading.

Aftercare – remove the leads and electrode pads, assist patients with mobility issues to redress and collect their belongings, explain when results can be expected, where to direct questions and who to contact if they have concerning symptoms, discard used linens and supplies to prevent the spread of infections, and sanitize the room for the next patient.

Job #9: Home Health Aide

Home health aides monitor the condition of people with disabilities and chronic illness, helping them with daily living tasks. Medical practitioners, like nurses, supervise them and may work with therapists and other medical professionals. Their duties include:

Taking Vital Signs – check a patient’s pulse, temperature, and respiration rate to monitor the patient’s health and symptoms.

Assisting with Daily Living – help patients with bathing, dressing, and tasks of daily living.

Performing Housekeeping Tasks – assist patients with laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming, and preparing meals.

Organize Patient’s Day – help organize a patient’s schedule and plan appointments.

Arrange Transportation – help patients safely get to the doctor’s office and other outings.

Shop for Groceries – help patients shop for groceries and prepare meals that meet the patient’s dietary needs.

Keep Patients Engaged – ensure patients are engaged with their family and friends and participate in community events.

Final Thoughts

Did learning about alternative jobs for Medical Assistant program graduates interest you? If so, take the time to learn about OBC and the opportunities we offer you for a lifelong career. With career services for graduates, we help you find the right job that fits your passion.

Want to Learn More?

OBC’s Medical Assistant diploma program will prepare you for a career working in any medical office or facility. Our school’s caring instructors with real-world experience will teach you the necessary skills to succeed in the medical assisting profession throughout our comprehensive training program. We have smaller class sizes than other schools, which gives you more access to personalized attention from our knowledgeable school instructors.

Contact us today to learn more about our Medical Assistant program today.