Medical assistants, as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor, "perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and other health practitioners running smoothly." The specific responsibilities of medical assistants depend on the size, location and specialty of the practitioner. But ethical standards are one consistent requirement all medical assistants must maintain.
Who Determines Ethical Standards?
The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is the recognized authority when it comes to ethical standards. It is the only association in the world devoted exclusively to medical assistants. In existence since 1955, the AAMA provides services including education, certification, continuing education and networking opportunities.
AAMA Code of Ethics
The code of ethics medical assistants should strive to maintain on a daily basis, as set forth by the AAMA, are: render service with full respect for the dignity of humanity; respect confidential information obtained through employment unless legally authorized or required by responsible performance of duty to divulge such information; uphold the honor and high principles of the profession and accept its disciplines; seek to continually improve the knowledge and skills of medical assistants for the benefit of patients and professional colleagues; participate in additional service activities aimed toward improving the health and well-being of the community.
Medical Assistant Creed
Along with the Code of Ethics, the AAMA, challenges medical assistants to commit to the following moral and ethical creed: I believe in the principles and purposes of the profession of medical assisting. I endeavor to be more effective. I aspire to render greater service. I protect the confidence entrusted to me. I am dedicated to the care and well-being of all people. I am loyal to my employer. I am true to the ethics of my profession. I am strengthened by compassion, courage and faith.