Debunking 5 Common Misconceptions about Medical Assistants

It’s no secret that the medical industry is always needing staffing. After all, people constantly need medical care, which healthcare professionals can only give. From doctors to nurses, they all aim to ensure that patients get the care they deserve from whatever’s ailing them. However, a healthcare worker that’s often overlooked is the medical assistant.

A medical assistant is precisely what it sounds like: an assistant for doctors and nurses who must also perform administrative duties in a hospital. Being assistants, they’re often seen in a lesser light than their superiors, and it doesn’t help that various misconceptions often plague them.

For this reason, we’ll debunk some of the most common misconceptions surrounding medical assistants. These include:

#1 – The Demand for Medical Assistants Is Declining

Contrary to what the name implies, medical assistants can’t replace the duties of doctors and nurses. Despite this, many people often make the mistake of thinking that medical assistants can replace medical professionals.

However, the truth is that the demand for medical assistants is very much alive and well. Even though you can’t exactly replace a physician, a medical assistant does bring a lot to the table. After all, there are simply not enough medical professionals to take care of the number of patients that need medical attention.

#2 – Medical Assistants Are No Different from Nurses

Nurses are medical assistants, but medical assistants aren’t nurses. Even though they have many similar tasks, the responsibilities of each role are different. Nurses are in charge of taking care of patients by checking their vital signs, administering medications, and monitoring their conditions. At the same time, medical assistants perform the administrative duties of a medical team.

This includes checking insurance information, taking blood samples, updating patient files, and filling out medical reports. This means that medical assistants can work in a wider variety of settings than nurses, who often work in only one place.

#3 – They Only Work in Doctor’s Offices

There’s a widespread misconception that medical assistants only work in doctor’s offices. Much like nurses, however, medical assistants aren’t limited to working in doctor’s offices. They can also work in other medical settings such as emergency rooms, hospitals, and outpatient clinics.

Furthermore, there isn’t a hard and fast rule that medical assistants only work under doctors and nurses. Some medical assistants also become independent workers to work on their own. They can be found in clinics, private offices, and other healthcare facilities such as addiction treatment centers and retirement homes.

#4 – Being a Medical Assistant Is an Easy Job

Many people think that being a medical assistant is an easy job. While working with the public is always a part of their job description, there is much more to being a medical assistant. For example, medical assistants have to take note of the patient’s medical history, record their vital signs, make notes about their medications, and update their files.

They also have to know how to use various medical tools and tools to take a patient’s blood sample and administer medication properly. Since they’re also often faced with patients who aren’t in the best of shape, they need to know how to set up an IV, use a defibrillator, and handle an emergency such as anaphylactic shock.

#5 – It’s Only a Gateway to Another Career Path

There’s a misguided notion that the job of a medical assistant is simply a gateway to another career path. While there’s always the option for a medical assistant to change career paths, there are many reasons why it’s a good occupation. For example, medical assistants can make more money in the workforce than people with a high school diploma. Furthermore, they can gain on-the-job training and save money for further education. This allows them to become physicians, nurses, or dental hygienists eventually.


These misconceptions about medical assistants may have been prevalent for a long time, but it’s time to finally put them to rest. Medical assistants have a lot of work to do, but they can always do it better and faster as long as they’re commended. With this in mind, don’t forget to say “thank you” to a medical assistant who will help you the next time you go to a healthcare facility!

Being a medical assistant is undoubtedly a fulfilling career, and Northwest Suburban College has what you need if you’re a certified medical assistant program. Our comprehensive courses are taught by professional instructors who can help you be on the right career path, so reach out today to learn more!

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