Medical assistants play a critical role in the daily operations of a medical practice. They work closely with doctors, nurses and other staff to provide patient care. Medical assistants working in cardiology perform specialized duties relating to heart health in addition to basic job responsibilities such as taking blood pressure and other vital signs, weighing patients and prepping them for medical procedures.
Basic, Daily Duties
Cardiologists diagnose and treat heart conditions, usually providing ongoing patient care. Medical assistants in this field must be knowledgeable about common heart conditions, treatments and the equipment used in patient care. On a typical day, the assistant will record heart test results, administer electrocardiograms and advise patients on medication, diet and exercise as directed by the cardiologist.
Cardiology medical assistants administer the EKG, or electrocardiogram, which measures the heart's electrical activity. This test allows the cardiologist to determine whether the patient has any heart irregularities or abnormalities. Medical assistants do not draw any conclusions or deliver results to patients based on the findings; this is done by the doctor.
Certification and Education
Graduation from an accredited medical assistant program is required for cardiology medical assistants. Cardiology practices typically require certification, which can be obtained from organizations, including the American Association of Medical Assistants and American Medical Technologists. Assistants can also get additional EKG certification, which could result in more job opportunities.