As a Medical Assistant, you will be responsible for greeting the patients and taking them to the examination room, preparing them for any necessary tests, assisting doctors during examinations and surgeries, recording patients’ medical history, and performing administrative duties.
Medical Assistants perform many different types of patient care tasks – depending on where they work – but they also have several skills in common. And to ensure that we provided you with all the correct details, we took the help of team MedAssistantEdu in creating this article.
Following are the skills required to become a successful Medical Assistant.
You will interact with patients more often than not, so you need excellent communication skills to make the patient feel comfortable. You should be able to speak clearly and knowledgeably about medical issues and procedures. This helps in demonstrating your awareness of what is happening during appointments. It can also help ensure that patients understand their health concerns, thereby empowering them to become more active participants in their care. The ability to convey information effectively goes beyond just explaining things well; it means being an active listener who can hear when the patient needs clarification or simply wants to express his thoughts, fears, or desires to manage his emotional responses.
In every profession, good listening skills are essential to success. Listening is often when you understand what a patient needs and provide assistance beyond just explaining the process or procedure. To listen well means that you can pay attention to both verbal and nonverbal messages from patients and other members of your health care team; it also implies an openness to requests for clarification, changed procedures, and recommendations for services not usually provided by the facility.
You should be aware of your tone of voice and expressions when speaking with patients. It would help if you also tried to be open-minded about patients’ requests (within reason) because it will help build their trust in you as a professional who cares about their wellbeing.
Health Science Background
Although education requirements for Medical Assistants vary depending on the state in which you work, employers generally look for a high school diploma or equivalent when hiring their staff. However, having a background in health care is helpful because it helps you understand how all the pieces of the medical profession fit together and improves your ability to communicate with other team members.
In addition to standard office equipment such as computers, printers, copy machines, and fax machines, today’s Medical Assistants also have access to specialized software programs that assist them in taking notes during patient consultations and radiology exams. You need to be comfortable using computers; if you are not already computer literate, get some training through tutorials or free online courses.
Handling Stressful Situations
Even though you are not a doctor, patients will still expect you to make them feel at ease during appointments. Meeting their expectations requires good time management skills and handling stressful situations by remaining calm and reassuring under pressure.
As you can see, Medical Assistants perform many different types of tasks, depending on where they work. However, there are some skills that every Medical Assistant has in common. These include customer service; communications; maths; typing; primary computer navigation; problem-solving; active listening; critical thinking; basic research techniques, attention to detail/accuracy; following instructions/protocols/standard operating procedures (SOP); organization & time management skills. Using these basic skills – combined with specific training in clinical work – Medical Assistants provide vital support to the doctors and patients they work with.
Different aspects of your education might require you to develop other specific skills. For example, if you are training to be a Medical Assistant in an administrative role (rather than one that involves clinical work), you will need strong skills in office administration; knowledge of office equipment; and effective communication with patients, doctors, and other staff members within the office.
Medical Assistants typically begin their careers as Patient Care Technicians (PCTs), which means they will receive the appropriate training right after graduating from high school. After gaining experience as PCTs – through paid or volunteer work – most decide to continue their education at vocational school or community college, specializing in one of two possible roles: Administrative Medical Assisting or Clinical Medical Assisting. With an additional study on top of what is required to complete an associate’s degree, individuals can qualify to take the exam for certification as either Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) or Registered Medical Assistants (RMAs).
By furthering your education to become a CMA or RMA, you can also find work in different settings. For example, if you are specialized in clinical work – like many RMAs are – then you might find yourself working in hospital laboratories or doctor offices. In contrast, employees who have received training that focuses on administrative roles might end up performing tasks such as making appointments and managing patient records.
Job opportunities will also depend on your geographical location – which is something you should consider when choosing whether to train to be an Administrative or Clinical Medical Assistant. If you want to work in smaller settings like doctor’s offices, you could experience more job opportunities in major cities; whereas if you prefer working with larger teams (in more prominent hospitals), you might want to search for employment opportunities within medium-sized towns and cities.
One thing is sure – becoming a Medical Assistant requires dedication and commitment. While plenty of benefits come with the job (such as flexible hours, decent wages, and no requirement for previous experience), it is also hard work, which means you should only apply if you feel ready to take on the responsibility.