Here are tips for ways to excel in this healthcare role
Medical assistants are healthcare professionals who work in doctors’ offices and hospitals. Many of them perform administrative tasks such as greeting patients, answering phones, scheduling appointments, and maintaining and updating medical records. But medical assistants also train to perform clinical duties, such as checking and recording vital signs, sterilizing and preparing medical equipment, collecting lab samples, and drawing blood.
Doctors’ offices and hospitals are work environments that are busy and energized. Medical assistants work on the front lines of customer service and patient care, often interacting with many people on a daily basis and providing communication between patients and other members of the medical team. As you prepare for your career in this dynamic field, keep these traits in mind to be a great medical assistant:
Being polished and professional will set you apart. Here are a few suggestions for ways to stand out:
- Arrive to work on time, or better yet, early so that you have time to get settled and hit the ground running when patients begin to arrive.
- Dress appropriately by following your employer’s guidelines, whether you’re stationed at the front desk or work with the medical staff in exam rooms.
- Greet people with a smile and maintain eye contact when speaking with them.
- Throughout the day, treat everyone with whom you come into contact—coworkers, patients, vendors, and other healthcare professionals—with respect, politeness, and courtesy. You may be surprised how a small gesture can quickly diffuse a tense situation.
- Put away your cell phone unless you’re using it for a work-related task. Nothing looks more unprofessional than looking like you’re preoccupied with personal business on your phone.
Attention to detail
Supervisors, coworkers, employers, and patients always appreciate you going the extra mile to make sure you’ve attended to every detail. It may take more time to double-check a prescription or confirm an appointment before you leave for the day, but this attention will help keep the office running smoothly and lead others to recognize your dedication.
Willingness to learn
This is a profession in which new technologies, procedures, and approaches are often just around the corner. After you complete your medical assistant program, there will be lots more to learn. Look out for continuing education classes and training sessions, offered by your employer or professional organizations. Read newsletters and blogs related to your field. Ask your supervisor questions about your job performance and request suggestions on how to improve.
Given the fast-paced nature of health-care, you may frequently find yourself facing scenarios that can raise your own blood pressure. Try to remember to take these in stride and accept them as part of your job. Maintaining a positive attitude and focusing on customer service will not only help keep your stress level down but also support the patients in doing the same.
Medical assistants don’t work alone. They are part of a team that must work together to provide the best care to patients. Being willing to take care of whatever needs to be done will not only support your individual success but also that of the entire office, and in turn, the patients you’re all there to serve.
If you like your work days to zip by, filled with varied tasks and interacting with people, being a medical assistant might be just the right career path for you. For more information, read about the range of career paths available to medical assistants. We wish you the best of luck!
This post is part of the Salter College weekly blog. Contact us today to learn more about applying to our various career training programs, or to request more information. We look forward to hearing from you.