What To Expect As A Medical Assistant

May 10th, 2011 by Dustin

As a nurse assistant, you will learn many new procedures in the healthcare industry. Here we learn how to obtain throat and wound swabs from patients. As a medical assistant performing a throat swab you will first need to gather all supplies such as sterile gloves, tongue depressors, sterile swabs in transport containers, separate specimen transport bags, and the required bio-hazard disposal bags. Each patient’s medical records and a standard lab requisition form should also be kept out for easy reference and to confirm that the necessary procedure was performed.

The Process and Work of a Medical Assistant

Before swabbing the throat, the medical assistant needs to wash his or her hands, put on exam gloves, and confirm what the procedure entails with the patient. When taking a throat swab, the medical assistant is reminded to take care not to touch any other part of the mouth such as the tongue or teeth with the sterile swab.

Taking swabs from a wound requires a few more supplies including sterile gauze pads. Any dressing should first be removed from the wound and discarded in the bio-hazard bag. The end of a swab should be carefully rotated over a wound’s surface to pick up any exudates. The medical assistant should also inspect the wound’s appearance for any noticeable signs of infection such as redness or swelling.

Just as with a throat swab, the wound swab should be carefully placed in its sterile container and then sealed in a transport bag for lab testing. Each swab container also has an outer label that should be clearly marked with the patient’s name and other needed information. If you are interested in performing duties like swabbing patient’s throats — a career as a nurse assistant might be perfect for you. To get started, go to USCollegeSearch.org and search by location or for Medical Assistant degree.

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