The future begins here! Medical Assistant skills & attributes

The future begins here! Medical Assistant skills & attributes

Medical Assistants are held to a higher standard of professionalism than employees in other industries. The way the medical assistant approaches the job and interacts with patients is critical to the success of the physician’s practice, hospitals, outpatient clinics and other healthcare facilities. Patients expect professional behavior and put trust and confidence in those who are professional in demeanor. There are a specific set of skills and attributes that shape a medical assistant into a professional.

Medical Assistant Professional Skills

There are many skills that contribute to the professionalism of medical assistants. Medical assistants should work on being loyal, dependable, courteous, initiative driven, flexible, credible, confidential, and optimistic.

Loyalty – Medical Assistants should be devoted to the success of the medical practice and hold the belief that being a medical assistant at the medical practice is in their best interest. Loyalty should be reciprocal and if a medical practice is offering equal pay for equal work, the medical assistant will feel like the medical practice is doing its best for them as well.  Medical assistants can go one step further and be committed to the medical practice if they support the employers’ strategy and objectives

Dependability – a dependable medical assistant not only shows up for work on time but also produces consistent work. A medical assistant must follow through when the physician gives an order. The dependable medical assistant will also be counted on and given more responsibility.

Courtesy – the medical assistant should be friendly and kind to patients at the medical practice. Attention should be given to the patient as they arrive at the medical facility. The medical assistant should offer a warm smile and friendly attitude to the arriving patient.

Initiative – the medical assistant should be self-motivated and ambitious. Medical assistants that show initiative have a take charge attitude. The medical assistant should observe a need and make themselves available, rather than wait for a supervisor to direct them to an area that needs attention.

Flexibility – the medical assistant should have the willingness and ability to respond to changing situations and expectations. Flexible medical assistants will modify their approach to tasks based on the unique demands of each situation, especially in an emergency. In a medical facility the patient comes first, and every medical assistant should lend a hand where ever they are needed

Credibility – trust is a vital component of the medical assistant and patient relationship, and the credibility of the medical assistant should be strong. The information that is given to patients must be accurate as the patient may see medical assistants as an agent of the physician.

Confidentiality – Patients are entitled to privacy under the HIPAA act. Confidentiality extends to the home and other environments outside of the medical office. The medical assistant is prohibited from discussing confidential patient information to family and friends. Consequences will be enacted if the medical assistant breaches patient privacy.

Medical Assistant Professional Attributes

The medical assistant will need specific attributes to be a professional while working with colleagues and dealing with patients. These attributes include teamwork, time management, prioritization and goal setting.

Teamwork – medical staff must work together for the benefit of the patient. The medical assistant should accept the tasks given to them by their supervisor unless they are illegal, unethical, or place patients in danger.

Time Management – the medical assistant should use their time efficiently and concentrate on the most important duties first. They should make a schedule, prioritizing tasks and allowing for emergencies along the way. The key to time management is prioritizing.

Prioritizing – a form of triage should be used by the medical assistant to sort tasks into the must, should and could categories. Of course, the medical assistant needs to attend to emergencies, but they also must anticipate what will do the most good and in what order those tasks should be completed to benefit the most.

Setting Goals – if the medical assistant doesn’t set goals, they will never know when the goals have been achieved. Setting goals can also help the medical assistant accomplish what they want or need to each day, giving them more motivation to achieve those goals.Learning never ends as a medical assistant and that is what makes this career so rewarding.Interested in learning more about developing the skills and attributes of a medical assistant? Don’t let your old career keep you down. Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our winter classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit to learn more. -Allen School

New Year resolutions for the Medical Assistant

New Year Resolutions for the Medical Assistant

The right resolutions can improve your mental and physical health, and maybe even your future career! These five resolutions can start your 2020 off right.

1. Take better care of yourself Healthcare students from all fields — you know who you are — tend to go hard, a little more than most. At clinicals or your externship, you’re often on your feet, assisting patients or moving equipment, and then hurrying back to class or to study for the next exam. Add family and personal responsibilities to the mix, and you don’t have much time left for you. That’s why eating well, exercising, and getting quality sleep should take a larger precedent in the New Year. Make New Year’s resolutions that push your health in the right direction to create a better you. Devoting a little more focus and time to your essential needs can result in less stress, more productivity, better outcomes in school, and a more balanced life. 2. Eye on the prize As you go deeper into your studies, you may lose sight of why you wanted to go to school in the first place. The New Year means a clean slate in many ways, but it’s also a time to realign yourself with your big-picture goals. Resolve to talk regularly with the people who inspired you to go to school. At the Allen School of Health Sciences, we have been helping students for nearly 60 years. Encouraging, coaching and assisting students with their career and life goals. In addition, revisit other reasons you wanted to enter healthcare. Write them down, and stash them away in a safe place. Better yet, carry them with you on the go. This way, when the going gets tough in 2020 you’ll always be reminded of why you’re in school, close at hand. 3. Open up your ears and listen As healthcare students, we want to share what we’ve learned with the world. We go through grueling hours of study and hands on training, so when the time comes to show off a little, it’s easy and fun to spout our new knowledge at parties, to our instructors, or to anyone who will listen. But often, by keeping our mouth shut and our ears open, we actually learn more.

This doesn’t only apply to the classroom. Become an active participant in your friendships through active listening. Not only will you build stronger relationships, you’ll also build necessary skills to become a better caregiver in the future

4. Laugh a little more each day  Humor has its place in the day-to-day lives of healthcare practitioners for a reason. Even though we’re doing what we love, we see some things most people will never witness at any point in their lives. Our jobs take a physical and emotional toll on us, and without finding something to laugh about daily, it’s easy to succumb to all the pressure. By adding a few extra chuckles to your routine, you can reap the of lower blood pressure, less stress, and increased blood flow. And, let’s face it, laughing makes us feel better. 5. Stay positive  There will be days when all you want to do is stay in bed and watch your favorite movie instead of facing the challenging day ahead. It’s important that, even in the darkest of moments, you try and stay positive. We know hearing “hang in there” is the last thing you want to hear when you’re having a bad day, but the alternative can have a negative impact on your health, your performance, and your surroundings. When you graduate and become a Medical Assistant, you’ll continue to face many challenges. If you make a resolution to create a habit of positivity, those hard times will be a little easier. What are your resolutions for the New Year? Are you ready to put your new years resolutions into action? Having a new year’s resolution of starting a new career in healthcare? Contact the Allen School of Health Sciences today! We are now enrolling for our winter classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit to learn more. -Allen School

A new year, another Medical Assisting class graduates! YOU can be next!

A new year, another Medical Assisting class graduates! YOU can be next!

A new year can be the perfect time for a new start. For many people, it’s an opportunity to think about a new job. If you’ve been thinking about a new career as a certified Medical Assistant, this may be the push you need to begin making that idea a reality

 Would this field be a good fit for you?

When you’re considering a new career, it’s important to determine if the role would be a good fit. For Certified Medical Assistants, the following qualities and attributes are important to succeed: empathy, integrity, and dependability, ability to manage stress, strong communication skills and compassion.

Why are those particular skills so crucial for this role? Medical Assistants may have administrative or clinical duties, or both, depending on the work setting. Duties may include greeting patients, updating medical records, preparing patients for their exam, drawing blood, and assisting with medication. For all these duties, as well as any others that may be assigned, the qualities and attributes listed above would help the individual provide patients with the best possible care. 

 Education and Certification

If this field sounds like a good fit for you, it’s time to begin finding a program that will give you the educational foundation you need to pursue it. Do your homework and find the program that best meets your needs in terms of scheduling, flexibility, learning style, cost and any other issues that maybe part of the decision. For nearly 60 years the Allen School of Health Sciences has trained thousands of people for their careers in healthcare.

Looking ahead

There’s good news as far as job security in this field. Employment of Medical Assistants is projected to grow 23% from 2018-2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. This is largely due to the aging of the baby boomer population, which has increased the need for preventive medical services. This is good news for people who are considering this field. 


There are opportunities for personal growth as well. After you work in an entry-level Medical Assistant position, moving into a medical specialty may offer better opportunities. The longer you work in a specialty practice that you enjoy, the more valuable your skills and knowledge will become to your employer. 

Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be worth it? Absolutely. At the Allen School of Health Sciences, we specialize in helping students reach their education and career goals. Are you ready to start the new year with a new career? Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our winter classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit to learn more.

-Allen School

Are you afraid to go back to school in the New Year?

Are you afraid to go back to school in the New Year?

Create a ‘Why Statement’ to help fight the fear about going back to school. How do you feel about going back to school? Do you dream where it might take your career?  If you fear that because you are a working mom you won’t have the time or energy to go back to school. But fear has this funny way of holding us back from things that could be exceptional for us. You can think of many reasons not to take on this challenge like the additional workload, the time and energy it’ll take, and, the biggest one is the fear of failure.

How can you put these fearful thoughts aside and truly judge if it’s time for you to go back to school? School should give you something you’re missing. Why do you want to go back to school?  What is missing in your life right now that school could provide? What will furthering your education bring you? A promotion, growing your competency about the work you do, or perhaps changing your career track?  When you can articulate your reason or your “Why statement” you can use it to fight back your fear. When you begin to doubt yourself, remember your “why statement” to leave your fearful thoughts behind.

Get Your Support System to Back You Up

There will be times when you need help with your home life responsibilities. To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the extra workload think about who is your support system and how they can help you accomplish your goals? Identify what you need help with. Will you do homework at night, early mornings, or on the weekends at the library?

Next, get your support system on board. People in your support system are people like ​your spouse, partner, parents, neighbors, kids, and friends. Share with them why you’re going back to school. Then share any areas you need help with. You’ll feel less fear knowing that your support system has your back.

Find Extra Time Blocks in Your Day

Do you feel like you won’t have enough time or energy to do homework? Then try this.  Throughout your day tomorrow make it a priority to look for small blocks of free time. Did you spend too much time on social media during lunch? You could do work then.

Keep a lookout for these blocks of time where you could give up something to make room for school work. School won’t last forever and making some sacrifices will be worth it.

It’s hard to contain excitement and anxiety over what will happen once you get that degree or certificate. But all good things come to those who wait or work hard.

When fearful thoughts creep up when you think about going back to school, take a deep breath and put them aside. You have many options for making it work for you and you could reap some big benefits if you go for it. Following these tips is a way to “go the extra mile”. If you follow these guidelines, you can improve your approach to going back to school.

Are you ready to start working towards a new career? Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our winter classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit to learn more.

-Allen School

The New Year Brings a New Career in Medical Assisting

The New Year Brings a New Career in Medical Assisting

The New Year is traditionally a time for change, promises, goal setting and resolutions. Some of them personal, and some professional. Some realistic… and some made with the best of intentions.

Tired of doing the same old thing month after month at work? Looking to move into a role where you can thrive in doing something you love, or contribute back to society? If your New Year goal is to change careers, make the most of your New Year’s goal-setting by motivating yourself to put a plan in place.


If you really want to make this year count towards your career goals, you need to think carefully about what it is you want. Between all the social happenings of the festive season, take some time out just for you and think about your career calling.

If you need a little help getting the ball rolling, consider:

  • What did you want to be when you grew up? Maybe a doctor, lawyer, accountant, nurse, Medical Assistant or just working in the healthcare field.
  • What did you love to do as a child, or wished you had more time for now
  • What kind of job would you do if money wasn’t an issue?
  • What careers in healthcare do you always find yourself reading and thinking about

Dedicating time to really think about what you want to do is the crucial first step to a successful career change. For nearly 60 years the Allen School of Health Sciences has assisted and trained thousands of people in their new careers in healthcare.


Are you lucky enough to know what it is you want to do for the rest of your working life? Thinking and dreaming about it is important, but you’ve also got to be prepared to transfer that dream into a plan and make it a reality. It’s time to start researching how you’re going to get yourself into a position to land that much-coveted career.

Read everything you can about leaders in the healthcare industry and follow their example. What did they do to get to where they are? And what do you need to do to make your career change happen?


Why not make a New Year resolution to commit to upskilling your way into your new career in healthcare?

Enroll in a relevant program that will teach you the tools of the trade. Ensure you will receive hands on learning that will give you real world experience and insight. Look for a program that has an externship component. It’s a great way to develop relevant transferable skills, such as anatomy, phlebotomy or learning how to administer an EKG.

Perpetual motion

One of the greatest stumbling blocks for people making any kind of New Year resolution is the loss of momentum and motivation as the year wears on. There is never a good time to change careers or go back to school. Life happens!! Make regular dates with yourself to assess your career changing progress and adjust your goals to stay on track. The one thing in life you can’t replace is time.

Sign up here and learn about our accelerated certificates get the skills and resources healthcare professionals are seeking!

Unwrap Our Holiday Tips to Become a Better Medical Assistant

Unwrap Our Holiday Tips to Become a Better Medical Assistant

For students in a medical assistant program you may be busy learning about the clinical aspects of the job, such as how to draw blood, administer injections, or take a patient’s vital signs. These are clearly a very important part of your training. But in addition, there are also “soft skills” that are important to your training. Learning to be a reliable employee is a skill that can be used throughout your entire career. Try these tips for getting a strong start in your new career.

1. Be an early bird

Plan to arrive at work 10 to 15 minutes early every shift. You will need this time to put your belongings away and get ready for your work day. This gives you time to review the list of patients who are scheduled and to check on the day’s supplies. It helps you avoid the feeling of having to “hit the ground running” the minute you step in the door. By arriving early, you can start off your work day feeling calm and organized.

2. Stay positive

Work is called “work” for a reason — it’s hard work! Every day there may be tasks that you don’t enjoy, changes that you weren’t expecting, or problems that arise. But rather than griping or complaining, take a positive approach. Remember that handling problems is simply part of the job. Try to focus on the parts of the job that you do enjoy rather than the negative aspects. With a positive attitude, you will find that you inspire others around you.

3. Carry your own weight

As a Medical Assistant, you will be part of a healthcare team in a medical office or a hospital setting. Others on your team might include nurses, office staff, physicians, and other Medical Assistants. They are all counting on you to do your job. If you shirk your responsibilities, someone else will have to pick up your slack. Make sure you take your responsibilities seriously and put forth your best effort to fulfill your duties. As a team member, you should also be proactive. If you see a need that isn’t being fulfilled, see where you can help. This kind of approach helps make you a valuable member of your team.

4. Be respectful to anyone and everyone

Medical offices and hospitals are busy places. In the course of serving patients throughout the day, healthcare professionals can get stressed and overwhelmed. Despite this, try to stay polite and respectful to everyone throughout the day. Showing respect to others will result in receiving their respect in return. This includes everyone you work with, from the newest employees to the head honchos. And most of all, it includes patients—even those who may test your patience. It’s important to remember that they may be acting out of fear. Being a respectful person is a career skill that should stay with you for the entire duration of your career.

5. Keep up your education

In a field like Medical Assisting, you need to be sure that you keep up with your learning. New technologies and medications are being created, and you want to be sure to stay on the cutting edge. Be sure to attend continuing education classes, join a professional association and read their newsletters and blog articles regularly. Having up-to-date knowledge of your career field is something that you can be proud of and something that others will respect.

Following these tips is a way to “go the extra mile” as a Medical Assistant. If you follow these guidelines, you can improve your approach to your work. What’s more, the better you perform on the job, the better you will feel about your career. Ready to walk into the new year with a new career? Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our winter classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School of Health Sciences family. Visit to learn more.

-Allen School

Medical Assistant’s guide to working on the holidays

Medical Assistant’s guide to working on the holidays

If you’re a Medical Assistant, Certified Nursing Assistant, Nurse, or other healthcare professional, there’s a good chance you’ll have to work on a holiday at some point. If you do, it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out on a major family or social event. It can be hard, but it’s essential. When you have to work on a holiday, this is how you can get through it.

Remember that you’re invaluable

If you work in healthcare, you work in an industry that people need every day, every hour, no matter what. The fact is, people need healthcare regardless of what the calendar says. Sickness doesn’t take a holiday. Heart attacks don’t care whether it’s Thanksgiving or a random Thursday. Cancer needs treating even on Christmas. Babies are born on New Year’s Eve, Halloween, and the Fourth of July.

Healthcare deals with life, death, birth, healing, and things that are often bigger than us. Nurses and Medical Assistants deal with all of it. The families who need to be in the hospital on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve will remember it for the rest of their lives. They’ll talk about the Halloween when they had a broken arm or the Easter when their child was born. You’ll be there not just on a holiday, but on a holiday that was impactful on them. One they’ll always remember.

There are benefits to working holidays

There are some very good things about working in healthcare on a holiday. It’s very possible things will be a little quieter than they normally would be. Patients who can will probably elect to stay at home with their families. What’s more, if your workplace first asks staff to volunteer to work on holidays before assigning days, then saying yes to a holiday shift could be a good way to increase your standing with your co-workers. Other healthcare professionals on staff will be glad you’re working and allowing them to stay home, and supervisors will be glad just to have that time covered. Your boss will also recognize you as a team player which will go a long way. Working on a holiday can also provide a chance for staff to bond. You’ll feel a sense of togetherness with other employees who are putting in time. 

Lastly, there’s also the chance to make some overtime, and when you do clock out, there’s always the chance to celebrate later. You might have missed the calendar day, but the holidays are what we make them. If you have to celebrate with loved ones a day later, that’s just as real as doing it the day of.

Are you ready to start your medical assisting career no matter what the calendar says? Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our winter classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School of Health Sciences family. Visit to learn more.

Reasons why Medical Assistant training is a great profession for ALL ages

Attending the Allen School for Medical Assisting is a good strategy for young people who wish to embark on a lifelong career in the healthcare industry.  However, individuals fifty years and older, taking a Medical Assistant program is a great option. A recent USA Today article ( reporting on an AARP survey illustrates why folks in the middle of a lifetime can benefit from a significant career change, leaving behind work in unrelated fields, in favor of Medical Assistant training and other healthcare related jobs. 

It is not a secret that the employment market has lately favored the younger worker for his/her willingness to work for less, leaving many middle aged workers unemployed for long stretches of time thanks to the economic downturn.  The AARP survey of 2,492 people, ages 45 to 70, which had been unemployed at some time during the past five years, showed that people who were unemployed for a longer period were more likely to take a job in a different occupation than those who were unemployed for a shorter time.  Careers in Medical Assisting are a good choice for more seasoned workers looking to transition into a new field and here are three reasons – based on the AARP survey data – why this makes sense.

 1) Better Pay – 51% of respondents to the AARP survey said they earn more in their new jobs than their old.

2) Better Work Environment – About half (49%) of re-employed workers say their working conditions at their new jobs are better than the jobs that left them behind

3) High Job Availability – 71% of the respondents said the biggest barrier to landing a new job is that there are none available; 60% reported the need to stay in the area where they currently live; 57% said that employers think they’re too old.  The medical field is one of the most robust sectors of the economy and will remain so for at least a decade according to US Dept. of Labor statistics and there is a need for healthcare in all 50 states.  Older workers beginning new careers in this exciting field can easily find work wherever they live and there are always positions in solid supply.

If you’re an older worker considering a new career path to get back into the workforce, Medical Assistant training could be the option for you. Call us today! 

What to wear to a Medical Assistant interview

You don’t get a second chance at a first impression, and at job interviews, first impressions are vitally important. In just an hour, employers will get an idea of who you are, what your work ethic is, and whether you’ll fit their team, and it all comes down to how you carry yourself, and how you look.

One of the most important aspects of job interviews is looking the part, and dressing in a manner that makes you look like the competent, professional person you are, and someone your potential employer would be proud to have in their workforce. Remember to dress for the job you want.

Here are some tips on how:


First off, it’s important to be clean and fresh overall. Make sure there are no visible stains or tears on your clothing, and that you’ve showered before the interview. Make sure your hair is well-brushed and in place. For an interview at a health facility, one of the best strategies is to go for business or business casual. For men, this can mean a full three-piece suit, or at the very least, a crisp button-up and tie. For women, this can mean a pant or skirt suit, or a dress with a conservative neck and hemline. Your hem should be no shorter than knee-length. Go for neutral colors like black, grey or navy. Avoid flashy colors or patterns. For jewelry, go for studs or small hoops with a small, non-distracting gem, or a tasteful chain and small pendant.

What to Avoid

Stay away from heavy colognes or perfumes. You want to smell clean, but avoid smelling like a department store! For ladies, a bit of makeup will make you appear fresh and well-groomed, however, stay away from the outrageous lip and eye colors that are more suited for a night out. Neutral shades like peach and tan will give you the perk you need. If you have removable facial jewelry, it might be best to take it out for the interview process. Make sure to cover any outlandish tattoos, if possible. Avoid jeans, sneakers, flip-flops, overly high heels and t-shirts at all costs, for these are all overly casual and will not give your interviewer a good impression.

Interviewing properly is the first step to a promising career in the healthcare field, and the first step to a successful interview is looking the part. When you look your best, you’ll feel your best, and be able to answer all questions with confidence and ease, and prove that you’ll be a valuable member of any facility you interview with!

Expectations during a Medical Assistant Externship

Expectations during a Medical Assistant Externship

You can learn a lot in the classroom, but you can’t learn everything, especially if you are studying to be a medical assistant. It’s a job that requires extensive medical knowledge as well as skills and professional attributes that can only be gained through hands-on experience. At the Allen School of Health Sciences, as in most medical assistant programs, that comes in the form of an externship that is made up of 275 hours in a health care facility. We want to prepare our students for all aspects of the work.  As such, we have developed an outline of what to expect from your Medical Assistant externship.

Working under Supervision

Probably the greatest benefit of a medical assistant externship is the opportunity it provides to practice skills and duties while being supervised. In your classes, you’ll learn what and why medical assistants do what they do.  However, the moment you apply that knowledge in the real world with real patients, even the simplest tasks like taking blood pressure can be daunting. The good news is that you are not alone.

Your supervisor will work with you closely, especially at the beginning, to ensure you remember everything you’ve learned in class.  This will enable you to feel comfortable administering your duties. In addition to acting as a guide, of sorts, your supervisor may also serve as your safety net to ensure you don’t miss anything. This aspect of supervision can and should relieve a lot of pressure. It is common to feel nervous before you’ve gained your skill, practice, and habits, but a supervisor’s presence should assuage your fears.

You will also be able to observe her as well as others perform procedures that you will eventually do yourself. It’s one thing to read about medical assisting in a textbook and quite another to witness it in a working environment. The example your supervisor and others set will give you more opportunities to learn before you perform a task yourself.

Asking a Thousand Questions

Your medical assistant externship should be a time to unleash your curiosity. These 275 hours may be training hours, but they are also an opportunity to learn all aspects of a job from the professionals who are doing the job. In class, you will learn about best practices and may have already asked why different medical procedures are done a certain way. In your externship, you can ask the less technical questions such as “How do you help nervous patients calm down?” and “Why do we put away the files like this?”

Asking questions that interest you will make all aspects of the work more personalized and will help the answers stick.

Learning the Role

A major part of the job is all about communication. The authority with which you carry yourself and the empathy you bring to patient interactions can’t be taught in a lecture. They are skills, critical to the position, that you can only learn in your medical assistant externship and you will learn them. As you practice and watch the professionals around you, you’ll understand the interpersonal aspects of the work and you will excel at them. When you begin your externship, you may feel like a student. Ideally, by the time you leave, you can expect to feel like you fit the role of medical assistant.

Gaining Confidence

At the end of your externship you can expect to feel confident in your abilities to be a medical assistant. Self-confidence is a huge part of any healthcare job.  This can be challenging for educators as it cannot be learned in a textbook or seminar. Gaining confidence in your ability to perform administrative and clinical duties requires practice, real life experience, and supportive supervision. It requires, in other words, an externship.  You won’t just learn how to be a medical assistant: You will become one.

At the Allen School of Health Sciences, we are committed to preparing our medical assistant students for employment as soon as they graduate.  This is the reason why externships are such a critical component of our curriculum. If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, you can earn your certificate in less than a year. We are enrolling now for our summer classes.  As always, we would love to hear from you! Visit to learn more about an exciting career as a medical assistant.

-Allen School