A medical assistant is a multi-skilled professional who works to support the day-to-day operations of various medical facilities. Medical assistants are a vital part of the healthcare team, and they play a crucial role in providing high-quality patient care. In order to pursue this career, you will want to receive comprehensive training and pass a certification exam, but you should also possess certain qualities in order to be successful. (Note: while certification may not always be required, it can help you stand out from other medical assistants.) Some medical assistant qualities include empathy and good communication. Below we’ve captured a list of the 10 qualities one should possess in order to complete their medical assistant skill set.
Medical Assistant Qualities
There is more to being successful than meeting the basic medical assistant job description. If you are aiming to become a medical assistant it is important to consider what qualities and strengths will be needed for success. Consider the following 10 qualities that an individual should have to help complete their medical assistant skill set:
1. Being a good communicator
Medical assistants work on the front lines in doctors’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. So what are the duties of a medical assistant? Certified medical assistant duties can vary depending on where you work. Generally, they are often one of the first points of contact for a patient, so it’s very important that they have strong communication skills. As these professionals prepare patients in most cases, they will also need to have strong communication skills in order to obtain an accurate patient medical history, schedule appointments, and help relay treatment plans prescribed by the doctor to the patient.
2. Compassionate and caring
Let’s face it, when any of us are sick it not only takes a toll on us physically, but it can also take a toll on us mentally and emotionally as well. One of the most important qualities that a medical assistant must possess is compassion. Patients may be in pain, anxious, or scared, and it is the medical assistant’s job to make them feel comfortable and at ease. In addition, patients often rely on medical staff for emotional support. Medical assistants must be able to handle difficult situations with compassion and sensitivity.
3. Patient and Friendly
Along with empathy, it’s important for these medical professionals to be courteous with their patients. Healthcare facilities (and providers) are placing a greater emphasis on service and patient satisfaction. It is important that all healthcare workers interact with their patients in a courteous, professional manner!
4. Able to stay calm under pressure
When it comes to working in the medical field, one of the most important qualities that medical assistants must possess is the ability to stay calm under pressure. A medical office can be a busy place! This is because medical assistants are often the first point of contact for patients and their families, and they need to be able to handle potentially difficult situations in a professional and compassionate manner. As a result, it’s not uncommon for a certified medical assistant to have to multi-task or work at a fast pace to keep up with the needs of their work environment.
5. Technical Skills
A medical assistant is often tasked with not only knowing basic anatomy and physiology but also performing procedures throughout the medical office, which may include (but are not limited to) taking and recording vital signs, recording a patient’s health history, administering injections, and more. As a result, it’s very important that the medical assistant skill set also includes technical skills on these procedures. This is part of the reason why a hands-on training program is so important when pursuing this career.
6. Attention to Detail
To work as a medical assistant it will often mean obtaining health information from patients and logging it in their charts/health records. As a result, it’s important that they have good attention to detail in asking the right questions, logging the information correctly (including using appropriate medical terminology), and ensuring the information they log is complete and accurate.
Hand-in-hand with attention to detail, it’s also helpful when a medical assistant has good analytical skills. Working in a healthcare setting often requires professionals to “think on their feet” and medical assistants are no different!
In some instances, a certified medical assistant may be required to be on the feet for extended periods of time. As a result, they should have good stamina and be able to stand for extended periods of time.
Healthcare professionals (including a certified medical assistant) work with patients’ personal information and health information on a daily basis. In addition, these professionals are bound by HIPAA to protect the privacy of patients. As a result, it’s imperative that they not only have sound judgment but also operate with the highest levels of integrity.
A certified medical assistant also plays an important role in the operation of a healthcare facility. It’s not uncommon for them to wear multiple hats and because of that, doctors can rely heavily on the great medical assistant(s) they have on staff.
What qualifications are needed may vary state to state but the above qualities are a great starting point for what can help you excel in your medical assistant career. If you’re lacking in any of the qualities above, it does not mean that you won’t be a good professional! Instead, you may want to focus on those specific skills as part of your career training program prior to obtaining a position as a medical assistant in the healthcare field.
Medical Assistant program curriculum at Dorsey College
The Medical Assistant program at Dorsey College offers students training in both clinical and administrative areas in preparation for a national certification examination. Training in this program includes first aid, CPR, taking vital signs, administration of injections, infection control, electronic health records, medical insurance processing, and more!
The Medical Assistant program curriculum also offers an externship during the final module of training, which will allow students to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned throughout their training in an actual occupational setting. In as little as one year you can be on your way to a new career as a medical assistant.
Contact Dorsey Schools today to learn how you can begin your Medical Assistant training.