When you make the choice to begin a new career and become a medical assistant, it is important to find a training program that will help you develop the right skills for a successful career. Medical assistants need clinical skills, administrative skills, and communication skills to be able to do their jobs well, but they also need certain “soft skills” to truly shine in their position. When you are on the hunt for a medical assistant training program, or even if you are just wondering if it’s the right move for you, consider the skills you’ll need.
Clinical Skills Required for Medical Assistants
First and foremost, medical assistants are there to support the other medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses and technicians. Assisting with patient medical procedures requires competence in certain skills. Medical assistants can be responsible for measuring vital signs, performing basic lab procedures, administering medications, assisting with medical procedures, and maintaining infection control and safety. Not only will they need to have the skills to perform these tasks, but they will need to be able to communicate effectively with both patients and other medical professionals about these tasks.
Administrative Skills Required for Medical Assistants
Medical assistants not only play a role in patient care, but will often have many administrative tasks required of them as well, and administrative skills are just as valued. Medical assistants are often the first person a patient will encounter at their visit, and this first impression is important. A well-organized, well-spoken, and competent medical assistant will help put patients at ease in the office. Medical assistants can be responsible for scheduling appointments, managing patient records, assisting with billing and coding, insurance claim processing, managing office inventory and supplies, and maintaining confidentiality and patient privacy. Excellent organizational, phone, and communication skills are a must for medical assistants to have a successful career.
Communication Skills Required for Medical Assistants
As a medical assistant, you are often the liaison between the medical staff and patients. You will need to relay symptoms, medical history, and concerns to the other medical professionals on your team. You’ll be the one to explain medical instructions, medication management, and distill other information to the patients. Verbal communication with patients and coworkers involves excellent interpersonal and phone skills and active listening skills. Written communication skills are just as important when documenting patients’ information and providing instruction. Finally, interpersonal communication skills will help build patient rapport.
Other Skills Required for Medical Assistants
Not every skill can be taught in the classroom or medical facility. Some skills you’ll need to bring to the table yourself. Some of these will come more naturally, while others you will need to hone. These include critical thinking and problem solving, organization and time management, technical skills for using electronic medical record systems, and perhaps most importantly, interpersonal skills such as compassion, empathy, and teamwork.
Your medical assistant training program will help you develop the clinical and administrative skills you need for your first job as a medical assistant, but if you want to be successful, don’t forget about developing and honing your soft skills as well. Throughout your career you’ll have the opportunity for developing and honing these skills. The more you work as a medical assistant and further your education, the better you will be. Athena Career Academy is invested in your success, and we can help you train for a better career. With flexible class schedules and caring faculty and staff, you’ll fit right in. Contact us to schedule a campus tour or learn more about how to enroll.