Medical Assistants in Specialty
Medical Assistants in Ophthalmology
In early 2009 the ophthalmic medical health care profession received official recognition from the U.S. Bureau
of Labor as a separate occupation. Medical assistants who up to then were working with an ophthalmologist (eye
doctor) in an assistive role are now recognized as specialized professionals in the ophthalmic
discipline. With additional training, they can earn their credentials as an ophthalmic medical technician.
Ophthalmic medical assistants, optometric assistants, and podiatric medical assistants are examples of
specialized assistants who have additional duties. Under the direction of the ophthalmologist, ophthalmic medical
assistants help provide eye care. They conduct and record simple vision screening tests and test eye muscle
function. They apply eye dressings and show patients how to insert, remove and care for contact lenses and may
administer eye medications if so ordered. They also maintain optical and surgical instruments and may assist the
ophthalmologist in surgery. Optometric assistants can also work with optometrists, where they provide chair-side
assistance, instruct patients about contact lens use and care.
Medical Assistants in Podiatry
Podiatric medical assistants make castings of feet, expose and develop x rays and assist podiatrists in
Medical Assistants in Cardiology/Telemetry/ECG
ECG/EKG certification is ideal for medical assistants with special interest in the cardiovascular system.
Earning a certification in telemetry and ECG/EKG will allow them to get jobs as telemetry technicians with a
cardiology specialty medical practice, ambulatory emergency clinic, or hospital Intensive care ICU, CCU, emergency
and medical surgical floors and even home-care.
Typically, specializing in ECG/EKG telemetry requires setting up ECG monitoring devices, leads and recognizing
abnormal heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, premature ventricular and atrial
contractions, and type I, II and III heart blocks. Furthermore, medical assistants under the employ of a
cardiologist are expected to understand the mechanism and actions of the heart and circulatory system and the
biometabolism of heart medications such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, Calcium channel blockers as well as
cardiac glycosides so that they can correlate the different heart medications to specific cardiac rhythms.