The job of a Medical Assistant is dynamic, fast-paced, and extremely important to an effective and efficient healthcare system. But do you have what it takes to be a Medical Assistant? You’ll need to take care of patients, communicate well, stay organized, and be very compassionate. These are the skills you’ll need:
- Patient Care Techniques: The most important focus of your Medical Assistant career will be your patient. That’s why clinical skills are invaluable to the profession. You’ll need to know how to take patient histories and perform medical procedures like vitals, blood draws, injections, lab procedures, and EKGs. In addition, there are a lot of rules about proper patient care, safety, sanitation, and a patient’s right to privacy. You’ll need to know the rules of the profession, how to follow them, and how to provide your patients with the best care you can.
- Communication Skills: Good communication often ranks at the top of the list for what employers look for when hiring, but it’s even more essential when you are a Medical Assistant. You often serve as a patient-physician liaison, telling the doctor what the patient has told you and making sure the patient understands the physician’s instructions. And from the time a patient makes an appointment, you’ll need to let them know what they can expect and how you are there to serve them. Then, there are all the other people that you need to talk with, write to, or email. Whether you’re speaking with insurance providers, other members of the healthcare team, or the vendor that supplies the office, you need to be clear, concise, and accurate—always.
- Customer Service: Patients are like your medical customers so if you’ve ever worked in food service or retail, you might have a head start on how to provide great care. You need to be a people person. After all, you will work with a variety of people, including diverse patients and all kinds of medical professionals. But when it comes to patients, your people skills will be needed the most. For many people, a trip to the doctor’s office can be scary, even when it’s a simple checkup. You’ll need to have empathy for your patients and a professional but friendly demeanor. Your job is to ease patient fears and make their experience as pleasant as possible.
- Medical Terminology Knowledge: The medical profession has a language all its own. You need a basic knowledge of human anatomy, as well as an understanding of medical and pharmacological vocabulary. There are acronyms like HIPAA and COBRA that you might not know now, but you’ll learn. And terms like “hypo” and “hyper” that start lots of medical words and you probably didn’t even realize that they’re opposites. There are also codes for diagnoses, treatments, and procedures. All of it will become second-nature to you.
- Organizational Skills of a Medical Assistant: Staying organized is critical to patient care because when you’re disorganized you can make mistakes. You’ll need to be able to manage files, compose memos, and keep track of patient and physician schedules. Your duties could also include the management of office and medical supplies, so you’ll need to keep track of the inventory that runs low and order more when needed.
Do you have the skills to be a Medical Assistant? At Porter and Chester Institute in Massachusetts and Connecticut, we can teach you all you need to know to succeed from day one on the job. Our Medical Assisting program can train you in as few as nine months. Fill out the form to request more information today.