Patient care is the most important responsibility you’ll have as a healthcare professional, especially if you’re a Medical Assistant. In that role, you could have more patient interaction than anyone on your team. You see patients when they first walk through the door, and you’re also in touch during and after exams. You might schedule appointments, walk patients through what they can expect of their visit, take their vitals, serve as a liaison to the other team members, and educate patients on ways that they can improve their health. With all of these interactions, there are plenty of opportunities to make the patient’s experience pleasant—or not. Learn the right way to care for your patients with these 5 patient care tips:
Be Kind and Compassionate to Patients
Let’s face it—not everyone enjoys a visit to the doctor’s office. But you can make the experience more pleasant for your patients if you treat them with kindness and compassion. Your patients may be nervous or scared, or even agitated or upset. Always show empathy to your patients and try to put yourself in their shoes, relating to them from that point of view. And remember to smile and be pleasant. Sometimes those simple gestures go a long way.
Communicate to Patients Clearly
As a Medical Assistant, part of your job is to escort your patients to the exam room and let them know what they can expect. You may also have the opportunity to educate patients on topics like diet, exercise, and medication. It’s important to communicate all information clearly and to avoid technical jargon. You may be an expert on medical terminology, but your patients aren’t. It’s up to you to translate! And you also need to communicate what you learn about your patients to other members of the healthcare team.
Listen to Your Patients
When it comes to communication, listening is just as important as speaking. Practice active listening with your patients by giving them time to speak and ask questions. Then, paraphrase or repeat back to them what they said so there’s no room for error. This ensures that you understood them, and it also shows that you want your patients to feel heard.
Make the Physician’s Job as Easy as Possible
Doctors have a lot of work on their plates. They don’t have time to treat and diagnose patients and run the administrative side of the office. That’s why they need Medical Assistants like you. You make their jobs easier when you manage the patient files, work with vendors, keep the medical and office supplies stocked, prepare the exam rooms, and assist them during procedures. You can take it one step further by streamlining processes and working quickly and accurately. When you make the physician’s job easier, they can pour more of their energy into patient care.
Reach Out to Your Patients
Patient care doesn’t stop at the doctor’s doorstep. As a Medical Assistant, one of your most important duties is patient outreach. You’ll need to contact patients by phone and email and help them schedule appointments, treatments, and lab visits. You also need to send them any necessary information they’ll need before an appointment and then follow up with a reminder. This will ensure that fewer appointments are missed and that your patients are prepared for future visits.
If you’re ready to make a difference in the lives of others, contact Porter and Chester Institute in Connecticut and Massachusetts. We offer a Medical Assisting program taught by professionals that can prepare you for a career in as few as nine months. Fill out the form to learn more.