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Hiring a Medical Assistant: Job Description Template

By Priya Jain

Published:

Are you searching for the ideal candidate to fill the role of a Medical Assistant

Whether you are part of a hospital, a private clinic, or a medical center, this guide is designed to arm you with the necessary tools to make the right hiring decision.

In this article, we take you through the process of hiring a Medical Assistant and help you create a job description that will lead you to a qualified candidate.


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Responsibilities & Role of a Medical Assistant

Medical Assistants support medical professionals and ensure smooth operations within clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Here are some key roles and responsibilities:

  • Patient Care: Medical Assistants greet and assist patients, ensuring a welcoming and comfortable experience. They are skilled in collecting patient medical histories, recording vital signs (such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and respiratory rate), and preparing patients for examinations and procedures.
  • Clinical Support: In clinical settings, Medical Assistants collect, label, and prepare laboratory specimens for testing, ensuring accuracy and adherence to protocols. They may perform basic laboratory tests like blood draws and urinalysis. 
  • Administrative Tasks: Medical Assistants accurately and securely manage patient records, including electronic health records (EHR). Appointment scheduling, answering phone calls, and addressing patient inquiries are essential aspects of their role.
  • Communication and Patient Education: They communicate medical information to patients clearly and empathetically, ensuring that patients understand procedures and treatments. Patient education, encompassing topics like medication instructions and preventive care, is vital to their role.
  • Compliance and Regulations: Medical Assistants adhere to healthcare laws, regulations, and compliance standards, particularly patient privacy regulations like The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). They stay updated on industry changes and best practices to ensure the healthcare facility operates within legal and ethical boundaries.
  • Emergency Response: In emergencies, Medical Assistants administer first aid and CPR as needed, showcasing their ability to remain calm and composed during critical moments. Their quick thinking and proficiency in emergency response can be life-saving.

How to Hire a Medical Assistant

Hiring a Medical Assistant requires a structured process to ensure you find a qualified and reliable candidate who can contribute to the success of your healthcare practice or facility. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to hire one:

1. Know Your Medical Assistant Requirements

By defining your needs clearly, you can identify candidates who best fit your healthcare facility. To evaluate your requirements effectively, consider the following aspects:

  • What specific clinical skills and competencies are required for this Medical Assistant position?
  • Are you seeking candidates with prior experience in a similar healthcare setting, or are entry-level candidates also considered?
  • Are there any specific specializations or areas of expertise required for this role?
  • Should candidates have experience with EHR or specific medical software?
  • What interpersonal skills and patient care qualities are essential for success in your healthcare environment?
  • What is the expected work schedule for this position, and is flexibility required?
  • Should candidates possess knowledge of healthcare regulations and compliance standards, including HIPAA?
  • Are language proficiency requirements or preferences in place, particularly if your patient population includes non-English speakers?
  • How important is the alignment of candidates with your healthcare team’s culture, values, and collaborative dynamics?

2. Search for the Top Talent

Searching for top talent when hiring Medical Assistants requires a strategic approach that includes various channels and methods. Here are some effective places and strategies to find the best candidates:

  • Healthcare Job Boards: Utilize specialized healthcare job boards like Health eCareers, MediJob, Nurse.com, PracticeLink, and Hospital Careers, attracting healthcare professionals seeking specific roles.
  • Hospital and Healthcare System Websites: Many hospitals and healthcare systems have career portals on their websites where they post job openings. Check the websites of local healthcare facilities and organizations. 
  • Medical Assistant Associations: Contact Medical Assistant associations like the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the American Medical Technologists (AMT). They often have job boards or can provide referrals to qualified candidates.
  • Local Medical Assisting Programs: Contact local vocational schools, community colleges, and technical institutes that offer medical assisting programs. These institutions often have job placement services or can recommend recent graduates.
  • Medical Staffing Agencies: Partner with medical staffing agencies or healthcare recruitment firms specializing in placing medical professionals. You can contact staffing agencies, such as Aya Healthcare, AMN Healthcare, Maxim Healthcare Services, or Alliance Health Staffing
  • Employee Referrals: Encourage your current healthcare team members to refer potential candidates. Employee referrals can be an effective way to find top talent who fit your practice’s culture well. 55% of companies believe that employee referral can significantly reduce hiring costs.

3. Look for Educational Qualifications

Educational qualifications play a significant role in assessing a candidate’s readiness and suitability for the position when hiring a medical assistant. Here are the educational qualifications you should look for in potential candidates:

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent: A candidate should typically have a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) equivalent.
  • Medical Assisting Program: Look for candidates who have completed a formal medical assisting program. Vocational schools, community colleges, and some universities offer these programs. They provide comprehensive training in both clinical and administrative aspects of medical assisting.
  • Certification: While not always mandatory, many employers prefer candidates who have earned professional certifications. The most recognized certifications for medical assistants include:
  • Associate’s Degree: Some Medical Assistants pursue an associate’s degree in medical assisting, which provides a more in-depth education and may enhance their qualifications. However, this is not always a strict requirement.
  • CPR Certification: While not an educational qualification per se, a valid Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification is often required or preferred, as it demonstrates readiness to handle medical emergencies.

When reviewing resumes and conducting interviews, pay close attention to a candidate’s educational background, including completing a medical assisting program and any relevant certifications.

Additionally, consider the candidate’s knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, and healthcare regulations, as these are essential aspects of the educational foundation for a medical assistant.

4. Analyze Their Work Experience

Analyzing previous work experience helps you understand their professional background and ensures you can gain valuable insights into their clinical capabilities, adaptability, and suitability for the role. 

Assessing factors such as the scope of their previous responsibilities, the healthcare settings they have worked in, and the variety of medical procedures they’ve been involved with can provide a comprehensive picture of their clinical competence. 

Examining their tenure and achievements in previous positions reveals their work ethic, reliability, and commitment to patient care. 

Overall, a thorough analysis of their work experience aids in selecting a Medical Assistant who possesses the necessary skills and brings a valuable depth of expertise to enhance the healthcare team’s performance.

5. Conduct a Comprehensive Interview Process

A comprehensive interview process typically involves several stages to assess the candidate’s qualifications, clinical skills, and fit for the role. Here are the steps you can follow:

  • Behavioral Interview: Use behavioral interview questions to assess the candidate’s interpersonal skills, professionalism, and ability to handle patient interactions. Ask for specific examples of how they’ve handled challenging situations or worked effectively within a healthcare team.
  • Clinical Skills Assessment: Depending on the position’s requirements, conduct a practical assessment of the candidate’s clinical skills. This may involve scenarios where they demonstrate procedures such as taking vital signs, administering injections, or managing medical equipment.
  • Cultural Fit: Assess the candidate’s alignment with the organization’s values and culture. Inquire about their commitment to patient-centered care, empathy, and ability to contribute positively to the healthcare team.
  • Patient Privacy and Ethics: Inquire about their understanding of patient privacy regulations, such as HIPAA, and ethical considerations in healthcare. Emphasize the importance of maintaining confidentiality.
  • Questions from the Candidate: Allow the candidate to ask questions about the organization, the role, and the team. Their questions can provide insights into their genuine interest in the position.

6. Conduct a Background Check and Cross-Verify Their References

Conducting a comprehensive background check and cross-verifying references ensures that the candidate’s qualifications, credentials, and work history align with the position’s requirements.

The background check encompasses verifying educational degrees, certifications, and any relevant licenses, ensuring compliance with industry standards. 

Simultaneously, reaching out to references, typically previous supervisors and colleagues, offers valuable insights into the candidate’s clinical skills, professionalism, and ability to collaborate effectively within a healthcare team. 

We recommend asking the following questions: 

  • Can you provide insights into the candidate’s clinical skills and ability to perform essential medical tasks effectively and safely?
  • Were there any specific clinical procedures or tasks where the candidate excelled or required improvement during their time in your organization?
  • Can you share examples of instances where the candidate demonstrated empathy, professionalism, and the ability to handle sensitive patient interactions?

Tips for Avoiding Red Flags During the Hiring Process

To avoid red flags during the hiring process for a Medical Assistant, follow these tips to ensure you select a qualified and trustworthy candidate:

  • Patient-Centered Approach: Emphasize the importance of a patient-centered approach. Ask candidates how they handle patient concerns, maintain confidentiality, and provide a compassionate and empathetic experience.
  • Clinical Competency: Assess the candidate’s clinical competency through situational questions and practical scenarios. This helps you gauge their ability to handle real-world patient care situations.
  • Clinical Documentation: Inquire about their experience with clinical documentation, including accurate recording of patient information, procedures, and treatment plans.
  • Medical Terminology: Gauge their knowledge of medical terminology, as proficiency in this area is essential for clear communication within the healthcare team and with patients.
  • EHR Familiarity: Assess the candidate’s familiarity with EHR systems commonly used in healthcare settings. Proficiency in EHR navigation and data entry can improve efficiency and accuracy in patient care.
  • HIPAA Compliance: Emphasize the importance of patient privacy and HIPAA compliance. Ask candidates about their understanding of HIPAA regulations and experience maintaining patient confidentiality.
  • Emergency Response: Discuss the candidate’s ability to respond to medical emergencies or urgent situations. Inquire about their basic life support (BLS) or advanced life support (ALS) training and how they handle emergencies.

A new hire's first day checklist

Medical Assistant Job Description

Did you know that the ideal length of a job title is 50-60 characters, and the length is less than 600 words? Keeping these statistics in mind, we’ve created a stellar Medical Assistant job description:

Download Template

Job Title: Medical Assistant

Location: [Specify the location of the healthcare facility]

Job Type: [Full Time / Part Time]

Salary: [Salary / Competitive / DOE]

About Us:

[Provide a brief overview of your healthcare facility, its mission, commitment to patient care, and its role in the community.]

The Opportunity: 

We seek dedicated Medical Assistants to join our healthcare team and play an integral role in providing exceptional patient care. As a Medical Assistant, you will assist healthcare providers, ensure the smooth flow of clinical operations, and deliver compassionate care to our patients. Your role is essential in creating a positive and supportive healthcare environment.

What You’ll Do:

  • Prepare patients for examinations and procedures, ensuring they are comfortable and informed about the process.
  • Assist healthcare providers in gathering essential patient information, including medical histories, allergies, and current medications.
  • Measure and record vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and respiratory rate.
  • Administer medications, vaccines, and injections as healthcare professionals prescribe, adhering to strict protocols.
  • Ensure that medication dosages and routes are precise and follow all safety guidelines.
  • Sterilize and maintain medical equipment to guarantee safety and infection control.
  • Interact with patients in a friendly and empathetic manner, answering their questions and addressing concerns.
  • Provide patient education on various topics, such as medication instructions, post-care guidelines, and preventive healthcare measures.
  • Manage patient records, including updating demographic information and ensuring compliance with patient privacy regulations.

What You’ll Bring:

  • Completion of a recognized Medical Assistant program or equivalent education.
  • Current CPR and First Aid certifications.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities.
  • Ability to multitask and work effectively in a fast-paced clinical setting.

Our Ideal Candidate is Someone Who Has:

  • Associate degree in relevant field.
  • Previous experience as a Medical Assistant is preferred.
  • Commitment to patient well-being and safety.
  • Familiarity with medical instruments and equipment.
  • Knowledge of infection control procedures and safety protocols.
  • Compassionate and empathetic approach to patient care.

Benefits and Perks:

  • Competitive compensation based on experience and qualifications.
  • Opportunities for professional development and advancement within our healthcare team.
  • Supportive and collaborative work environment.
  • Ongoing training and skill development to enhance your medical assisting abilities.
  • Exposure to a diverse range of medical specialties and patient cases.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates are invited to submit their resume along with a cover letter highlighting their relevant skills and experiences to [email address] with the subject line “Application for Medical Assistant Position – [Your Name].”

[Your Healthcare Facility Name] is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all individuals regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or other protected status. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

Closing Date: [Insert closing date for applications]

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Thank you for considering a career as a Medical Assistant with [Your Healthcare Facility Name].

Note: Customize this template to align with your healthcare facility’s specific needs and the Medical Assistant role you intend to fill.


How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Medical Assistant?

The cost of hiring a Medical Assistant can vary widely depending on several factors, including location, experience, qualifications, and the specific terms of employment. Here are some key cost considerations:

Recruitment Cost

Expenses related to recruiting Medical Assistants can include job posting fees, background checks, drug tests, and any agency fees if you use a staffing agency for recruitment. These costs can vary based on the methods used for recruitment. Here’s a breakdown of the cost:

  • Healthcare Job Boards: When using these job boards for posting your listing and accessing their platform, you pay a fixed amount. For instance, Health eCareers charges a fixed fee of $649 for a 30-day single job posting, whereas you may need to contact PracticeLink to know their pricing. Nurse.com charges a fee of $350 per job posting, while Hospital Careers charges a fee of $315 for a 30-day single job posting.
  • Medical Assistant Associations: These associations charge a membership fee for accessing their platform. For instance, the membership fee of AAMA varies by state and starts from $77 per year. Alternatively, though AMT has no membership fee for employers, they charge $250 for a basic 30-day single job post. 

Salary and Benefits

The most significant cost is the salary or hourly rate paid to the Medical Assistant. Salaries can vary by location, with higher costs of living generally leading to higher wages. The level of experience and qualifications of the Medical Assistant also influences their compensation. 

The average salary of a Medical Assistant is $44,265 per year, which includes $1,733 per year of additional pay. This additional pay includes bonuses and incentives earned. 

You may benefit their employees, which can add to the overall cost. Benefits may include health insurance, dental and vision coverage, retirement contributions, paid time off, and more. The specific benefits package offered can significantly impact the cost of hiring.

License and Certification Fees

If the Medical Assistant is required to maintain specific licenses or certifications, you may need to cover the cost of obtaining and renewing these credentials. 

For instance, a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certificate costs $250 for non-members and $125 for AAMA members, whereas a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification costs $135. 

On the other hand, the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification has a renewal cost of $179 every two years.

Uniforms and Supplies

The cost of uniforms and supplies for a Medical Assistant can vary depending on several factors, including the employer’s policies and the specific needs of the healthcare facility. Medical Assistants are typically required to wear scrubs or uniforms that meet the practice’s dress code and hygiene standards. 

It’s important to budget for these uniform and supply costs when calculating the overall expenses associated with hiring a Medical Assistant.


Priya Jain

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