What Skills Do I Need to be a Medical Assistant?
Do you enjoy helping others? Are you seeking a new career path with a low barrier to entry? If so, becoming a medical assistant may be of interest to you.
As a medical assistant, you can work with doctors and nurses in healthcare settings, offering both clinical and administrative support to keep practices flowing smoothly. In this type of role, you take patient histories, administer medications, schedule appointments, and arrange for hospital admissions, among other duties. The great part about starting a career in this profession is you can obtain training and launch your career online in less than a year!
Medical assistants are also highly in demand, with job growth in the field outpacing the average across occupations and expected to grow well into the future. Along with ample opportunity, a career as a medical assistant offers good pay: the median wage for medical assistants was $35,850 in 2020.
See if you have some of the top skills needed to be a successful medical assistant. Read on for a rundown of what it takes.
Top Skills of a Medical Assistant
1. Customer Service
Medical assistants need to be helpful and cordial with a customer service attitude when scheduling appointments, assisting patients with paperwork, or collecting medical histories. Surveys conducted by Deloitte show that patients value experiences with healthcare workers who listen (44% named this as most important), show they care, and explain situations to their patients, and that quality of care carries over into patient satisfaction.
2. Communication Skills
Getting your point across through notes and while on the phone with patients or laboratory staff is a crucial part of the job as a medical assistant. A lack of clarity in the healthcare field can result in confusion and delay, and it can also be dangerous. Communications with patients are paramount, too: studies have shown that a healthcare worker’s strong communication skills can improve a patient’s ability to follow medical recommendations, better manage chronic medical conditions, and embark on preventative measures.
3. Organizational Prowess
Medical settings are often busy places, with clients and clinicians coming and going over the course of a day. Medical assistants may need to use good judgment to prioritize workloads and be able to shift quickly between tasks. Bookkeeping and billing may fall to a medical assistant in a clinical setting, so it’s important candidates be able to keep things straight.
Healthcare workers rely on medical assistants over the course of the day – in fact, statistics show that medical assistants work with more than four providers on an average day. Being a team player means understanding what needs to be done and stepping in to take it off others’ plates. A medical assistant job requires the ability to work well with others.
Healthcare workers loosely refer to a nurturing and compassionate skill set as bedside manner, and they know it can make a major difference in a patient’s medical experience. Medical assistants need to be sensitive to each of their average 16 different patient experiences each day and offer empathy and care appropriately.
6. Time Management
Because medical assistants are involved in both the administrative and the clinical aspects of a practice, there may be numerous demands on their time throughout the day. In fact, 46% of employers say medical assistants play more than one role in their organization. Time management is key to completing tasks in a reasonable amount of time.
7. Listening Skills
It’s all too easy to get details muddled during a busy day. Good listening skills allow medical assistants to understand important details and relay them accurately. This key communication skill is critical for maintaining accuracy in the healthcare field, whether on the phone or in person.
8. Stress Management
Being involved in so many varied aspects of a busy medical practice can create some tension throughout the day. A medical assistant needs to cope with and operate through sometimes stressful situations with grace.
Working in healthcare involves making tough decisions, and discretion is an absolute requirement. Healthcare workers, including medical assistants, need to have a sense of duty and integrity to guide their behaviors in each situation.
Do You Have What It Takes to be a Medical Assistant?
If you have these personal and professional skills or want to develop them further, then becoming a medical assistant or medical administrative assistant might be the right fit for your next career move. Find out what a training course looks like and how in less than a year, you could be in your dream job, complementing the work of physicians and nurses in a fast-paced healthcare environment.
Ready to learn more? Explore our Certified Clinical Medical Assistant course to get started today!
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