The goal of every healthcare professional is to provide great care for patients and improve outcomes. But unlike healthcare administrators and billing and coding specialists, if you’re a Medical Assistant, you work closely with patients and can have a very direct impact. You check them in, care for their needs, assist other healthcare staff, and offer patients tips to weather an illness or injury, or maintain health and wellness. You can do a lot to improve patient care!
Medical Assistants Conduct Patient Intake
It may seem like a small part of your job, but patient intake—properly performed—is critical to patient care. You help verify important information, so patients get the right care and receive the right treatment and medications. The medical records you complete also help reduce medical errors. And when you check vital signs, including heart rate and blood pressure, you help the doctor assess patient health. You may also get a sense of their overall wellbeing or concerns they have so you can relay that info to the physician.
Medical Assistants Offer Compassion and Sympathy
Doctors’ offices are rarely where patients want to be, but you can make the experience much more pleasant with a friendly smile and a strong dose of compassion. You’re often the first person a patient encounters, and you can put patients at ease—maybe even lower their blood pressure—by taking the unknown out of their appointment. Explain what they can expect in the exam room and answer any questions the patient may have. A little bit of kindness can go a long way. In fact, research shows that compassionate care leads to better patient outcomes and adherence.
Medical Assistants Keep Offices Organized
A doctor’s office is a busy, bustling place. You answer phones and emails, set appointments, order supplies, and handle a range of day-to-day administrative tasks as well as your clinical duties. Keeping the front office organized and efficient helps to avoid mistakes and provide quality service to as many patients as possible. Your efforts in the front office also make sure that doctors stay where they are needed the most: taking care of their patients.
Medical Assistants Educate Patients
As a Medical Assistant, you know a whole lot about the human body and the best ways to keep it healthy. Share that with your patients! Knowledge is power, and when patients know better, they can take better steps to improve their health. At the end of every appointment, you can help educate your patient on proper nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. You can relay questions and concerns to and from the doctor. In some facilities, Medical Assistants are even encouraged to be health coaches, setting patient goals and providing encouragement and motivation to help them achieve those goals. And studies show that medical assistants who act as health coaches for chronically ill patients can significantly improve quality of care.
Medical Assistants Conduct Patient Outreach
Patients lead busy lives and health care may not always be their top priority. They may forget to follow up or neglect to find time to call and schedule an appointment. Patient outreach is another important responsibility you have as a Medical Assistant. It may include calling patients to schedule appointments, sending reminders via email or text, and following up after a visit to set up another exam, test, or checkup. This essential duty ensures that patients don’t fall through the cracks and that they receive the care they need.
Do you have an interest in health care and a strong set of people skills? A career as a Medical Assistant may be the right fit for you. At Charter College, we offer a Certificate in Medical Assistant that can prepare you for work in this rewarding field. Our program can be completed in as few as 10 months and is offered in a blended learning format that combines hands-on experience with the convenience of online learning. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.