One of the most important tasks you encounter as a practicing medical assistant is the preparation of the exam room and treatment area. In this chapter you will learn about the common layouts of exam rooms; keeping the rooms clean and stocked with instruments and disposable and consumable supplies; maintaining the comfort of the room; and making the room safe for patients and coworkers. You will also be introduced to the requirements for accessibility established by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The Medical Assistant's Role in Preparing the Exam Room
The Exam Room
Cleanliness in the Exam Room
Room Temperature, Lighting, and Ventilation
Medical Instruments and Supplies
Physical Safety in the Exam Room
After completing Chapter 22, you will be able to:
22.1 Explain the medical assistant's role in preparing the exam room.
22.2 Describe the layout and features of a typical exam room.
22.3 Describe steps to prevent the spread of infection in the exam room.
22.4 Explain how and when to disinfect exam room surfaces.
22.5 Describe the importance of such factors as temperature, lighting, and ventilation in the exam room.
22.6 Identify instruments and supplies used in a general physical exam, and tell how to arrange and prepare them.
22.7 Explain how to eliminate hazards to physical safety in the exam room.
Preparing the exam and treatment area for doctors and patients is part of your responsibility as a medical assistant. Room readiness involves making sure the room is clean, neat, and orderly and has adequate lighting, heat, and ventilation. You must select the instruments each doctor requires and make sure they are sanitized, disinfected, or sterilized (as appropriate) and ready for use. Room preparation also includes removing obstacles to physical safety, taking safety precautions, and following fire safety guidelines. Your role in preparing the area is an important one for several reasons. First, you reduce the chance that infections will spread. Second, you help make the exam proceed efficiently. Third, you contribute to the comfort and safety of patients, doctors, and coworkers. Perform these tasks well, and you will inspire patients' confidence in the quality of the medical care provided at the facility.