Can Medical Assistants Work in Hospitals?


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With training in both clerical and clinical tasks, medical assistants play a unique role in the medical field. What’s even more exciting is because of the training medical assistants receive, they can become a valuable part of the team in just about any type of healthcare facility. If you are interested in joining the medical field in some capacity, training to become a medical assistant is an excellent stepping stone to learning medical skills and terms and seeing how various healthcare professionals function within their offices.


Whether your dream is to work in a stable and steady healthcare clinic or provide assistance in a fast-paced hospital setting, the opportunities are endless when you train to become a medical assistant.


Interested in becoming a Medical Assistant? Consider enrolling in UEI College's Medical Assistant Program.


Now, let's answer the question that you've come to this page for: Do Medical Assistants work in hospitals, and what is their role in hospitals?

Do Medical Assistants Work in Hospitals?

Yes, Medical Assistants work in hospitals, assisting doctors and nurses who provide care for patients. Because of their unique training and skills, there may be at least one medical assistant working in every department within a hospital.

What Do Medical Assistants Do in Hospitals?

Hospitals are set up to serve a large number of patients who are suffering from a wide variety of illnesses. This work requires a solid team of physicians, nurses, and medical assistants working together to provide the best care possible.


In a hospital setting, medical assistants may spend their time helping patients check in, collecting their medical history, recording their vitals, and assisting doctors with patient examinations. This helps doctors and nurses to triage patients, so it is also an essential role of medical assistants to keep nurses and doctors informed of a patient’s condition. This also applies to patients who are staying in the hospital for a longer period of time. A medical assistant may be the one to check up on a patient, record vitals, and observe the patient’s progress.


With so many people working in a fast-paced environment, medical assistants help ensure records are kept up to date. They may also help collect blood or urine for testing and give vaccines as needed.

Who Do Medical Assistants Work With in Hospitals?

Medical assistants are generally trained to work alongside doctors but in a hospital setting, they may also assist nurses or physician’s assistants (PA). They may take direction from any licensed medical professional or from the supervising medical assistant.


Because of medical assistants’ unique and comprehensive training, they have the opportunity to work alongside just about anyone working in the hospital. Not only does this give them an excellent perspective if they decide to move further into the medical field, but it also may allow for chances to learn new skills beyond a medical assistant’s basic training and work with the most talented doctors and surgeons in the area.

Medical Assistants Work in Hospitals vs Clinics

Medical assistants do not only work in hospitals, however. They also commonly work in clinics. These clinics may be general practice clinics with one or more doctors, or they are specialized offices focused on chiropractic care, podiatry, pediatrics, or ear, nose, and throat. The work environment is very different for a medical assistant working in a hospital versus working in a clinic.


Medical Assistants in Clinics:

Stable work hours. Clinics are usually open during business hours and provide employees with a set schedule. This may allow for a good work-life balance.


Clerical and clinical. The responsibilities of a medical assistant will vary greatly from one clinic to the next. In slower clinics, a medical assistant may spend more time working on clerical tasks like filing, updating records, sending referrals, and performing some basic billing tasks.


Strong relationships. Medical assistants in a clinic may see the same patients each time they come in for a visit which could be weekly, monthly, or annually depending on their treatment plan. Seeing the same patients over and over again provides the opportunity to build relationships with those patients and get to know them.


Medical Assistants in Hospitals:

Fast-paced. Hospitals are very fast-paced, usually with a large staff. This requires excellent note-taking and attention to detail, and the ability to move from one task to the next very quickly.


Odd hours. Hospitals are operating 24/7, so medical assistants may be required to work nights, weekends, or holidays. Some people prefer to work these odd hours as it provides much flexibility.


More clinical. Medical assistants in a hospital may spend more time providing direct care to patients to free up the time of doctors and nurses.


Constant learning. Hospitals care for patients with many different ailments, and this may provide the opportunity to learn new treatments every day, allowing medical assistants to learn new skills.

Is Work as a Medical Assistant in a Hospital Right For You?

Whether or not a hospital setting is the right environment for you as an entry-level medical assistant is completely up to your preference. If you are interested in training to become a medical assistant so that you can work in a hospital, there are some pros and cons you should know:


PROs (Advantages)


Advanced skills training

The scope of practice for an entry-level medical assistant is limited, but working in a hospital setting may give you a chance to experience different procedures in a helping role. With additional training and certification, medical assistants may be able to perform these tasks with more limited supervision, which can lead to great career opportunities in the future.


Unique perspective

Medical assistants already have a unique perspective within a clinic, as they get to interact with all the different roles in the office and play a part in all areas of the office. In a hospital, medical assistants may be exposed to an even greater variety of ailments and treatments and see the latest and greatest in medical technology being put to use.



Hospitals work quickly to get patients the treatment they need. This can be an exciting environment for anyone who can juggle several tasks at one time.


CONs (Disadvantages)


Unpredictable schedule

Hospitals are operating 24/7, and this may lead to an unpredictable schedule at times. Medical assistants may be asked to work overnight, on the weekends, or even on holidays. If the facility gets busy, all the staff may need to chip in to ensure patients are cared for, even if it means staying overtime.



The fast pace of a hospital can make a long shift fly by, but it can also feel stressful at times. Working in this environment calls for excellent coping skills and stress management.


Possible to feel overlooked

Medical Assistants have a much lower level of training than the nurses and doctors that work in a hospital setting. It may be easy in this environment to feel like you're at the bottom of the totem pole. Highly motivated medical assistants play an important role, and if you are confident in the role you play, you’ll be an asset to the team.


If you are eager to get started in the medical field quickly and hope to grow within the field for many years to come, being a medical assistant in a hospital is an ideal position to aim for. You will have the opportunity to work alongside talented doctors and nurses and help patients dealing with some of the most extreme cases. This position gives medical assistants a unique perspective that will help them see quickly which area of the healthcare field is most interesting to them. With the right training and support from UEI College, you can confidently apply for an entry-level position in as few as ten months.

Consider Enrolling in UEI College's Medical Assistant Program

If becoming a Medical Assistant Technician sounds like something you might be interested in, you should consider enrolling in UEI College's Medical Assisting Program. The program is short-term, allowing you to earn a Medical Assistant Diploma in as few as 10 Months. This will you to begin a career in the healthcare field in less than a year.