You’re a medical assistant working for a specialist, let’s say an optometrist. That makes you an optometric assistant. Sounds “official”? You bet. Optometrists, like many other medical doctors, do important, specialized work to improve and change people’s lives every day. Most of the time, their patients come in for routine eye exams and checkups to make sure their eyes are healthy and their eyeglass/contact lens prescriptions are still appropriate for their vision.
Medical Assistant at a Desk
First things first: as a medical assistant, you’ll probably spend the morning doing administrative duties that help the optometrist organize her day. Today, you’ll tell her what her schedule looks like and which appointments you’ve blocked in over the last few weeks. If she needs a few hours free during the day, you won’t schedule any last-minute appointments during that time. You’ll access and prepare patient files so that she can refer quickly and easily to their medical history, and you might make calls and send emails and faxes to patients or other businesses on her behalf.
Medical Assistant in the Examination Room
Sometimes, you’ll be asked to help out with routine tasks before, during and after patient examinations. Before she sees patients, your optometrist may ask you to speak with them about their medical histories, questions and concerns. She’ll depend on you, her medical assistant, for the paperwork and notes to which she will refer later. You may help your optometrist evaluate patients for their near/far vision acuity, color and depth perception, peripheral vision, and other aspects of their vision. You’ll help your optometrist create and modify eyeglasses, and she’ll probably ask you to clean her equipment and workspace between patients.
After meeting with the doctor, each patient needs a medical assistant for help with a variety of post-appointment needs. As an optometric assistant, you might help them select frames for their glasses and teach them how to use their contact lenses or clean their glasses. You may also help them understand their doctor’s instructions and teach them how to do the therapeutic exercises that she recommends.
Medical Assistant Around the Office
Around the office, you might be asked to perform light cleaning, organize supplies, and do other necessary tasks to keep the facility running. Sometimes, people might come in with glasses whose frames have been bent or damaged. If it’s possible to fix them, it might be the job of the medical assistant to do a quick repair. Your optometrist might not even see these people – you’ll handle the whole interaction.
Depending on your facility, you might have all sorts of other interesting responsibilities as well. Of course, optometric assistant is only one option for you if you choose to become a medical assistant. Drop us an email for information about “a day in the life” of any other kind of medical assistant!