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Daily Responsibilities as a Healthcare Assistant

11 APR 2014
Career Path : Health and Technology

Interest in medical professions is growing. More people than ever are considering careers as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other necessary jobs, but one profession stays in high demand: the healthcare assistant.

While many people hear about the benefits and unique tasks that health assistants face, there is still a large degree of mystery surrounding their daily responsibilities are. Let’s take a look at what responsibilities they are given to better understand why healthcare assistants are in demand by doctors and other healthcare professionals.

What a Healthcare Assistant is Not

It is a common misconception that healthcare assistants need to be certified in the same manner that physician assistants are. They do not require the supervision of a practicing doctor to be allowed to perform their duties.

That means healthcare assistants usually do not perform tasks like splinting, casting or suturing. It is up to local, provincial and country law to regulate what a healthcare assistant may not perform without being certified as a physician assistant.

What Responsibilities Do Healthcare Assistants Have?

Healthcare assistants generally perform administrative tasks, clinical tasks, specialized tasks or a combination of any of the aforementioned tasks. The duties they are placed in charge of performing tend to require varying degrees of training.

Administrative Responsibilities

Healthcare assistants left in charge of administrative tasks will generally be the first to talk to a patient as they walk through a practice’s doors. They may be seated behind the front desk, waiting to take names, process financial information and to do any number of duties that help to acquire information.

They may need to answer general questions about medications, prescriptions and routine procedures that they have been trained to answer beforehand. If a patient needs specific answers to questions about their procedure or medication, then the healthcare assistant will arrange for the doctor to answer the patient’s questions directly.

When in charge of administrative duties, healthcare assistant may also find themselves in charge of duties that do not necessarily directly deal with healthcare. These duties might include:

  • Collecting information
  • Performing bookkeeping
  • Budgeting
  • Recording financial information

Clinical Responsibilities

When left in charge of clinical duties, healthcare assistants will need to undergo a certain degree of training for their profession. They will need to check a patient’s vital signs, record the results and make other updates to a patient’s chart. Assistants may also need to clean instruments, collect and prepare laboratory specimens, and run other diagnostic tests.

Specialized Responsibilities

There are certain tasks that come with working alongside podiatrists, optometrists and other specialized professions. For example, ophthalmic or optometric assistants may be left in charge of instructing the proper usage, cleaning and storage of contact lenses for a patient.

Healthcare Assistants Have a Wide Array of Duties

Healthcare assistants are responsible for aiding in ensuring that a practice operates as smoothly as possible. While it may seem as if their tasks are unskilled things anyone can do, they require a certain number of completed health care assistant courses to ensure that they will be able to aid both doctor and patient.


Visit Thompson Career College for more information about health care assistant courses.