A Medical Assistant is an allied health professional that supports the work of physicians and other health professionals, usually in a clinic setting. Medical assistants also referred as "Clinical Assistant" can become certified through an accredited program usually offered through a junior or community college. They perform routine tasks and procedures such as measuring patients' vital signs, administering medications and injections, recording information in medical recordkeeping systems, preparing and handling medical instruments and supplies, and collecting and preparing specimens of bodily fluids and tissues for laboratory testing. The term "medical assistant" may have legal status in jurisdictions where they can be certified or registered, whereas elsewhere they may be a loosely defined group (covering related occupational titles such as ‘medical office assistant’, ‘clinical assistant’, 'assistant medical officer', or ‘ophthalmic assistant’). The occupation should not be confused with physician assistants, who are licensed professionals trained to practice medicine and perform surgical procedures in collaboration with a physician. In military settings, occupations that provide primary medical care may go under similar titles, while other occupations may have different titles with similar responsibilities, such as Medical Assistant in the U.K. Royal Navy or Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy.
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