Medical Assistants are held to a higher standard of professionalism than employees in other industries. The way the Medical Assistant approaches their 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 there 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 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 and 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 and you 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, 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 wherever they are needed.
Credibility – trust is a vital component of the Medical Assistant and patient relationship, and their credibility 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 patient privacy is breached.
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 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 which is a form of triage that should be used by the Medical Assistant to sort tasks into the must, “should” and “could” categories. Of course, tending to emergencies comes first, but they also must anticipate what will do the best 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 tasks have been achieved. Setting goals can also help give 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 classes starting soon and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.