Did you know that Medical Assistants do a lot more than just help the doctor during checkups? They also manage the front office, schedule patient appointments, and process insurance paperwork. But one duty you may not have known about is the promotion of patient health and wellness. Here are a few ways Medical Assistants support their patients:
Medical Assistants Educate Patients about Health and Wellness
A Medical Assistant is also a teacher. As a Medical Assistant, you educate your patients on ways to stay healthy and prevent illness or disease. You teach them how to develop healthy habits, such as exercising regularly and limiting alcohol consumption. And you can advise patients on proper nutrition and ways to manage stress.
Changes in health can occur naturally as people age, but they can also be symptoms of a larger problem. Under the guidance of a doctor, you can help patients differentiate between the two by teaching them about the signs of major illnesses. You also advise them on preventative measures they can take to protect their health such as regular health checkups and screenings.
Medical Assistants as Health Coaches
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of a Medical Assistant expanded to frontline duties that included the administration of nasal swabs and vaccines. More recently, they have taken on health coaching to help patients manage their medical conditions. If you took on this expanded role, you would provide the necessary information and support the doctor tells you to. You educate patients on healthy lifestyle choices that can have a positive impact on health, and you help them set reasonable goals such as adding more steps into their day or cutting back on fatty foods. You also show compassion and empathy for medical issues, providing encouragement to your patients when they feel discouraged or unmotivated. Research studies have shown that health coaching from Medical Assistants can improve the quality of care for chronically ill patients and can help patients make better lifestyle choices.
Medical Assistants Screen for Symptoms
Because Medical Assistants are usually the first person a patient sees, they set the mood for what happens next. As a Medical Assistant, you can put patients at ease, answers their questions with compassion and knowledge, and explain what they can expect from the doctor. You also screen them before they see the doctor. You take their vital signs and measure their height and weight. You might need to collect a blood sample from them or administer a test for a common illness such as strep throat or mono. While you screen, you also look for changes in the patient or physical symptoms such as rashes or inflammation. When you make note of anything abnormal, you can communicate it to the physician who can use the clues that you provide to make a diagnosis.
If you want to play a role in the health and wellness of others, contact Charter College today. We offer a Certificate in Medical Assistant that can prepare you for entry-level work in healthcare. Our faculty have years of experience in the industry and are dedicated to helping you succeed. Call 888-200-8942 or fill out the form to learn more.