An urgent care facility is a health care office that handles walk-in patients suffering from an acute illness or injury. Unlike hospital emergency rooms, urgent care facilities only provide treatment on an outpatient basis. Medical assistants are a part of the team of professionals who work at an urgent care medical facility.
Medical assistants support nurses and doctors in urgent care facilities so patients receive care more quickly.
Duties of a medical assistant in an urgent care facility include preparing examination areas, escorting patients to the examination area and checking patient vital signs. Because urgent care facilities often conduct routine medical tests, medical assistants may also run equipment for analyzing blood work or they may develop x-rays.
Unlike assistants who work in physicians' offices, medical assistants at urgent care facilities are likely to work evenings and weekends as well as holidays.
The duties of a medical assistant in an urgent care facility require the ability to function in a fast-paced, stressful environment. Teamwork, patience and a caring demeanor are also important to success.
In order to complete their duties, medical assistants in an urgent care facility typically obtain a certificate from a one-year training program or a two-year associate degree in medical assisting.
In December 2009, the average annual salary for medical assistants was $19,184 to $37,891 according to Payscale.com.