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Excel as a Medical Assistant by Strengthening Your Communication Skills

Posted On Apr 26, 2021

Working in healthcare is rewarding, but it can also be challenging at times. You need to know how to be present for patients in need, so having the right aptitude and a positive outlook are great skills to possess in any industry but are especially useful in the healthcare field.

If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant (MA), then learning how to effectively communicate with your patients and coworkers will be the key to your success. 

Excel as a Medical Assistant by Strengthening Your Communication Skills

Use Simple Language New Call-to-action

Patients tend to trust and respond best to healthcare professionals who use simple words that everyone can understand and are comfortable with. Using complicated medical terminology will not impress your patients, but rather may confuse or even frighten them, so save the difficult medical terminology for when you’re speaking with a physician or fellow MAs.  

Communicate Clearly 

When communicating with a patient, it’s extremely important to speak as clearly and concisely as possible. When it comes to the medical field, accuracy is vital, so this goes for written communication as well. It’s important to double check your written work for errors, such as spelling, punctuation, etc. No matter what form of communication you’re using, always try and be as clear and precise as possible. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification. 

Ask Open-Ended Questions 

When speaking to a patient, try and ask open-ended questions so you get as much information as possible to help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis, versus asking questions in a way that will simply get a yes or no response. This method may take some practice, but once you figure it out, you’ll know how to ask open-ended questions with ease. 

Understand Nonverbal Signs 

Another important communication skill you need to know if you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant is how to read and understand nonverbal signs. Nonverbal signs include things like facial or body expressions, eye contact, body position, physical reactions such as blushing, breathing rapidly, or perspiring. 

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Understanding nonverbal communication signs is essential because it can supplement spoken communication, reinforce or substitute a spoken message, or undermine communication, such as when a person’s nonverbal cues contradict with their spoken words.  

Using a Polite and Professional Tone 

When speaking with patients, medical assistants should strive to use a subtle, non-intimidating tone of voice that makes them appear cool, calm, and collected. This is the time to practice patience by allowing ample time for people to respond to your questions without interrupting them. 

Listen and Empathize 

Listening to patients and being able to empathize with them is of the utmost importance. This involves giving them your full, undivided attention, acknowledging any emotional cues in their history without making judgment, and offering support. When you show patients that you care by listening and empathizing with their situation, you earn their trust and make them more receptive to treatment by helping to alleviate their anxiety and fears.  

Interested in Becoming a Medical Assistant? 

Effective communication skills will help you excel as a medical assistant with better outcomes, more cooperation, less errors, and higher job satisfaction. The good news is, you can begin working on developing and strengthening these essential communication skills anytime, even while beginning your medical assisting training program. Attending a quality, accredited training program, such as the one at Athena Career Academy, can help you optimize the abilities you already have and develop the necessary skills you’ll need in order to be successful in your new career as a medical assistant. Contact our admissions team today!

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Athena Career Academy is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. The school is registered with the Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools; State of Ohio – School Registration Number – 10-09-1943T and operates under the authority of the Ohio Board of Nursing. Please contact the Student Operations Manager for more information.

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