Schools Training

Selling the Supplies of Life

11 SEP 2012
Career Path : Medical Office Assistant

The healthcare industry revolves around professionally-trained and dedicated individuals, from doctors to nurses to medical assistants. But it isn’t just those with specific educations in healthcare that are important. Because of the expansive need of healthcare facilities and the diverse sectors of the industry, many non-healthcare trained individuals are required to keep the system running efficiently so that everyone has effective and timely access to healthcare. This includes medical office assistants: administrators and office workers who can be found anywhere from hospitals to veterinarian clinics to dentist’s offices.

Aside from these specific institutions that work directly in healthcare treating patients, medical office assistants can provide valuable services to other companies that work with healthcare facilities. A medical supply business one such kind of company. While on one hand it is a business like any other, procuring goods from wholesalers and selling them, the specifics of buying and selling medicine and other healthcare products makes this a special kind of business, with specific regulations and protocols. Here, the medical office assistant has many different kinds of tasks that bridge the world of business, office administration and the healthcare industry.


Be Familiar, Maintain Relationships


One such task is becoming familiar with the specifics of whichever sector of the healthcare industry you are supplying. While some suppliers have large-scale operations, many companies focus on niche areas of healthcare. Maintaining relationships with such institutions to understand their supply needs is important for providing such specific supplies. Whether working with a hospital, an optometrist, or an X-Ray lab, the medical office assistant needs to know the specifics.


Shop Around, Establish Contracts


Small medical suppliers who cater to specific areas of the healthcare industry are often themselves buying from larger wholesalers. The advantage to this is that it allows the smaller supplier to maintain the relationships mentioned above. But in order to provide the best and most cost-efficient supplies, medical office assistants should be able to shop around for the best prices and set regular purchase order protocols with such wholesalers.


Licenses and Permits


There are many products supplied in the healthcare industry that may require special licenses to carry and sell. The medical office assistant may be required to contact local and federal health departments and medical boards to find out such information and how to become licensed. This paperwork often needs to be maintained and renewed as well.


Advertise and Promote


This task might be the one least often taught in a medical office assistant program but is still useful working in a medical supply business. Gaining new clients and being able to inform about new products is not only good for business, but can also get better supplies into the right facilities.

If you are interested in a career that combines business and healthcare, and if you are interested in administrative office work as well as working with medical professionals, consider a medical office assistant diploma to get you started in a medical supply company.


Visit the Academy of Learning for more information on medical office assistant courses and other healthcare programs.