When you go to your doctor’s and check in with the Medical Assistant, do you think: I wonder if I could do that job? Medical Assistants are important members of modern healthcare teams. But even before they learned clinical procedures and medical terminology, they had to decide if they had the right qualities to be a Medical Assistant.
Find out. Take a look at the 5 traits successful Medical Assistants possess to see if you measure up.
1. Medical Assistant Have Empathy and Compassion
You need to care about people and be able to understand what they might be going through. The doctor’s office isn’t everyone’s favorite place; a visit can cause anxiety and concern. That’s why empathy is an important quality to have. Put yourself in your patients’ shoes. How would you like to be treated? You often are the first point of contact for a patient when they step into a clinic, so you can help take stress away with a pleasant attitude and a friendly smile. Show patients compassion when they ask questions or seem concerned about their appointment. They may be worried about their health, so showing sympathy when you speak to them can help put them at ease.
2. Attention to Detail
All medical professionals need strong attention to detail skills, but as a Medical Assistant, this is a critical quality to possess. During patient intake, you gather important details about a patient’s health. You review their information, take their vitals, and ask questions about how they feel. And all of it needs to be accurately recorded into electronic health records. No mistakes allowed! Paying attention can also help you notice changes in a patient’s condition so you can notify the doctor. And when you take blood or run other lab tests, how you label and submit them must be accurate and exact. Errors can negatively affect how patients are diagnosed and treated.
3. Communication and Teamwork
As a Medical Assistant, you’re part of a team of healthcare professionals. And teams work best when everyone communicates well and works together. From speaking to doctors, nurses, and other team members to talking directly to the patients, you communicate and facilitate. You need to follow directions from the team and relay info to and from the patient. You may need to translate medical terminology into plain old English for your patients. Or you may need to let doctors in on conversations that a patient shared with you and not the physician. Remember, an important component to good communication skills is good listening.
4. Organizational Skills in Healthcare Setting
Some clinics and medical facilities will have many patients that come in daily. That means you will need to process a lot of information. You have medical records to maintain and deliver to doctors, inventory to track, and schedules to manage and update. You need to take your time to plan out your day, master the technology used to track patient details, and prioritize your tasks to make sure you have everything completed when it’s needed.
5. Doctor and Patient Confidentiality
Protecting patient information isn’t just good policy; it’s the law. It’s important that you understand the regulations under HIPAA and their policies toward patient confidentiality. As a Medical Assistant, you are responsible for the protection of that data. You have access to patient details like health insurance, social security, and medical history, and you must guard it all. You need to understand the policies and regulations at a federal, state, and local level to make sure your practice complies. And depending on where you work, your clinic may have additional compliance procedures you need to follow.
Do you have any of these 5 qualities? You may have what it takes for a rewarding career as a Medical Assistant! Charter College offers a Certificate in Medical Assistant that can prepare you for entry-level work in as few as 10 months. The program is blended which combines hands-on experience with the convenience of online learning. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.