Medical Assistants are held to a higher standard of professionalism than employees in other industries. The way a 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 into those who are professional in demeanor. There are a specific set of skills and attributes that shape a Medical Assistant into a professional. As an MA you should strive to be loyal, dependable, courteous, initiative driven, flexible, credible, confidential, and optimistic.
Loyalty – Medical Assistants should be devoted to the success of the medical practice they work for. 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.
Dependability – A dependable Medical Assistant not only shows up for work on time but also produces consistent work. An MA must follow through when the physician gives an order, showing their dependability. As a dependable Medical Assistant, you will be counted on and given more responsibility and trust.
Courtesy – A Medical Assistant should be friendly and kind to all patients. Attention should be given to each patient as they arrive and should be offered a warm smile and friendly attitude as well.
Initiative – A Medical Assistant should be self-motivated and ambitious. An MA that shows initiative has a “take charge” attitude, observing a need and making themselves available, rather than waiting for a supervisor to direct them to an area that needs attention.
Flexibility – A Medical Assistant should have the willingness and ability to respond to changing situations and expectations. Flexible MAs 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 MA should lend a hand wherever necessary.
Credibility – Trust is a vital component of a Medical Assistant and patient relationship. The information that is given to patients must be accurate as the patient may see an MA 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. An MA is prohibited from discussing confidential patient information to family and friends. Consequences will be enacted if they breach a patient’s privacy.
Medical Assistant Professional Attributes
A 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. A Medical Assistant should accept the tasks given to them by their supervisor unless they are illegal, unethical, or place the patient in danger.
Time Management – A Medical Assistant should use their time efficiently and concentrate on the most important duties first. They should make a schedule which prioritizes tasks and allows for emergencies along the way. The key to time management is prioritizing.
Prioritizing – A form of triage should be used by a Medical Assistant to sort tasks into the must, should and could categories. Of course, an MA needs to attend to emergencies, 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 a Medical Assistant doesn’t set goals, they will never know when the goals have been achieved. Setting goals can also help accomplish much more each day, giving motivation to continue achieving daily tasks/goals.
Learning never ends as a Medical Assistant and that is what makes this career so rewarding.
As graduation approaches, the Allen School is enrolling now for early acceptance in our summer classes. If you are a high school senior in the Phoenix area and interested in learning more about developing the skills and attributes of a Medical Assistant, contact the Allen School today! We cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.