How medical assistants can help in times of a virus outbreak


A viral crisis or any pandemic tends to overwhelm the capacity of emergency departments, outpatient facilities, and intensive care units, and this often results in severe implications on patient outcomes.

Medical assistants are an integral part of ensuring that virus outbreaks never affect the hospital’s reputation and they have detailed roles to reduce the impact of an epidemic. The assistants have a huge role to play in containing the virus along with taking care of patients. This article analyzes the role of a medical assistant in times of a viral outbreak.

Maintaining a Reputation

Any rational medical assistant must update their knowledge during a viral outbreak. They can achieve this by participating in career opportunities and reading some professional articles that concern the epidemic. Experts at will often advise medical assistants to register as nurses, thus broaden their scope of work. During this time of crisis, the medical assistant has limited responsibilities compared to a registered nurse considering that a nurse has extensive medical knowledge and can administer medication, treat patients, communicate observations to qualified practitioners, operate medical equipment and perform diagnostic tests.

In case you are a medical assistant, you are tasked with enhancing the reputation of the health sector; what better way to accomplish this than by advancing your studies. Medical assistants are mandated to maintain health care reputation by performing multiple requests and exploring different opportunities that will add value to their job description.

Data collection

Medical assistants must collect and record patient medical histories, collect test results and the vital signs, enquire the purpose of visiting the medical center, and collect other critical information during a virus outbreak.

While receiving the data, medical assistants are always under obligation to maintain confidentiality. They also must maintain the inventory and perform some preventive maintenance procedures on all medical equipment to ensure that they remain functional.

Contamination of medical equipment during a virus outbreak can lead to the discarding of the material, and that would have an economic impact on the hospital.


During an outbreak, it is the responsibility of a medical assistant to coordinate the administrative duties such as patient check-in and check out, scheduling of doctor appointments, among other coordinated patient care activities. Also, they must keep all the medical supplies ready by taking inventories, placing orders on depleted stock and verifying receipts of incoming and outgoing stock during a viral crisis.


The assistants are tasked with preparing treatment rooms to be used for examining affected patients, and they also assist medical practitioners with patient care and medical procedures.

They also make patients for examination by conducting some preliminary physical tests that include weight, body temperature, blood pressure and they also create a report summary that contains the patients’ medical history. Medical assistants are also tasked with making schedules for surgeries through making arrangements with the surgical center.

They must prepare charts, verify the time when the operation takes place and conduct pre-admission along with helping in filling consent forms.

Offering support

During these hard times, medical assistants are tasked with providing attention to victims, emotional support and help patients and their families come to terms with the epidemic. They also have to prepare and administer medication to the victims as directed by the medical practitioner.

They also must save on doctor’s time by assisting in-office procedures and offer counseling to patients by relaying the doctor’s questions and orders that concern surgery.


Medical assistants have to ensure that the entire medical fraternity complies with health care regulations that include OSHA and HIPAA. They must report to compliant behavior portrayed by either patients or medical staff to the relevant bodies.

Besides, medical assistants have to maintain a healthy work environment through establishing and adhering to set standards and procedures; thus, they must comply with the legal regulations.

Medical assistants’ skills

Taking care of victims during a virus outbreak requires intense qualifications and medical assistants are well equipped to handle such a crisis. They are equipped with various skills that include customer focus, confidentiality, medical teamwork, bedside etiquette, supply management, infection control, and professionalism.

Generally, medical assistants are well equipped in ensuring that the health care of the entire nation is safeguarded. The health workforce is an integral part of the national health preparedness plan during a health crisis.

All stakeholders, medical assistants, in particular, need to learn from previous viral outbreaks, improve the welfare of patients, embrace innovative strategies and increase their responsibilities when handling national crises. It is through a well-established workforce that any society can mitigate the effects of an outbreak.