Medical assistants play a valuable role in the healthcare field, as they work alongside doctors utilizing a vast multitude of skills from performing minor medical procedures on patients to office administration duties.
While you aren’t expected to know everything right out of school, it may be helpful to keep a medical assistant skills checklist, as well as have a basic understanding of what types of procedures and skills a medical assistant typically performs throughout the day. This will help you better prepare for this exciting and fast paced career.
Here are 5 medical assistant skills you’ll want to focus on:
1. Basic Office Skills
A medical assistant should know their way around a front office and be able to handle basic clerical duties, such as greeting patients when they come in, typing, answering phones and routing calls or taking detailed notes or messages, filing or assembling patient charts, and sorting mail.
2. Medical Billing and Administrative Knowledge
Medical assistants should feel comfortable stepping in to handle administrative duties as well, such as monitoring medical inventories and placing orders when needed.
Medical assistants should also know how to schedule patient appointments, handle medical billing issues, deal with insurance companies, pharmacies, laboratories, and other doctor’s offices and hospitals when needed.
3. Technical Medical Skills
While a medical assistant isn’t a nurse or doctor, they still perform basic medical care under a doctor’s direction. Medical assistants should know how to check patients in, record vital signs, give injections, wound care and dressing applications, EKG’s, CPR, blood draws, taking urine and blood samples, and much more.
Medical assistants also prep rooms for patients, such as making sure exam rooms are adequately stocked with ample medical supplies, instrument sterilization, and making sure rooms are clean and ready for the next patient.
4. Patient Communication
Medical assistants should feel comfortable talking to people, as they are typically the first medical professionals to assist with patients. Having a polite, calm, and personable attitude will go a long way in making patients feel comfortable enough to trust you with their personal, private, and sometimes embarrassing medical issues.
5. Positive Personal Qualities
Being a medical assistant is a rewarding career, but it isn’t necessarily an easy one. A highly valuable medical assistant is one who is an expert at multi-tasking, highly organized and detail oriented, and a team player who can jump in and assist others wherever needed.
A good medical assistant is also one who can remain calm and collected under pressure, and can quickly and effectively handle their job duties with precision and confidence.
While confidence is a must, having a compassionate, kind, and gentle demeanor with patients and co-workers is equally important. A medical assisting career will require a lot of face-to-face and over the phone communication. Medical assistants must be comfortable and confident in their communication skills if they want to succeed in this industry.
Careers in medical assisting offer the unique opportunity to perform both administrative and direct patient care, which is perfect for those up for a challenge who enjoy a fast-paced work environment where you’re constantly learning and evolving. Are you thinking about a career in healthcare? Becoming a medical assistant is a great way to get your foot in the door. Here at Athena, we pride ourselves in the education our students receive and help people like you every day achieve their career goals. Find out more about becoming a medical assistant and schedule a tour of our campus today!