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Medical Assisting: Home

An introduction to the services and resources for Medical Assistant students at Bristol Community College.


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Medical Assisting

This guide provides an introduction to the resources available in the BCC Libraries. For additional information or to schedule an individual research consultation, use our Book-A-Librarian form.

What is a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as medical offices and clinics.

medical assisting students

In Demand
Medical assisting is one of the nation's fastest growing careers, 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
  • Growing number of elderly Americans who need medical treatment

Job Responsibilities | Medical assistants are cross-trained to perform administrative and clinical duties.

Here is a quick overview (duties vary from office to office depending on location, size, specialty, and state law):

Administrative Duties (may include, but not limited to):

  • Using computer applications
  • Answering telephones
  • Greeting 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

Clinical Duties (may include, but not limited to):

  • Taking medical histories
  • Explaining treatment procedures to patients
  • Preparing patients for examination
  • Assisting the physician during exams
  • Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
  • Performing basic laboratory tests
  • Instructing patients about medication and special diets
  • Preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician
  • Authorizing prescription refills as directed
  • Drawing blood
  • Taking electrocardiograms
  • Removing sutures and changing dressings

Patient Liaison | Medical assistants are instrumental in helping patients feel at ease in the physician’s office and often explain the physician's instructions.

PCMH Team Member | Medical assistants are essential members of the Patient-Centered Medical Home team. According to a survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network, medical assistants ranked as one of the top five professionals necessary to the PCMH team.

CMA (AAMA) Certification | Many employers of allied health personnel prefer, or even insist, that their medical assistants are CMA (AAMA) certified.

- from AAMA Website

Library Hours

Fall River Campus

Monday - Thursday
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 
11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

New Bedford Campus

Monday - Thursday 
7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Attleboro Center

Monday - Thursday
8:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.