Medical assistants play a key role in the healthcare system. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this role to grow 19 percent over the next several years, much faster than the average growth for occupations. Medical assistants help ensure a medical team’s operations are running smoothly. They also serve as the extra set of hands needed by nurses and doctors. For this reasons, medical assistants act like the foundation for any medical practice. If you are considering a future in medical assisting, you may want to be prepared. You will want to have the necessary medical assistant skills and knowledge needed to thrive in this industry.
The best medical assistants today exhibit a number of hard and soft skills that are required in the healthcare field. They are compassionate, dedicated, and driven, as well as knowledgeable and detail-oriented. The role of a medical assistant is multi-dimensional, as they are involved in both the clinical and administrative sides of the medical office. This means they must have clinical and laboratory skills, as well as interpersonal skills that allow them to work with other staff and patients.
So, what do you need to become a great medical assistant? Which skills do you need to master? Read on as we explore outline the many skills and qualities that this dynamic role requires, as well as those that employers are seeking from job applicants today.
Customer service is an important element of the medical assistant’s role. Many of the medical assistant’s daily duties are patient-facing. This professional is often the first to interact with patients during a visit, so the impression of a facility could begin with you. The following interpersonal skills will help you as you work with patients and staff at your organization.
- Communication – It is important have strong communication skills when working with patients, doctors, and nurses. This means listening, paying attention to detailed concerns, instructions, and treatments. It is also important to relay medical information clearly, concisely, and clearly.
- Problem-solving – Whether a patient is struggling with an untreated ailment, or a nurse is struggling with medical equipment, problem-solving skills can literally mean the difference of life or death. Medical assistants who can think on their feet and act quickly will prove to be an important cog of their medical facility’s wheel.
- Teamwork – Just as important as problem-solving, it is important to work with your team of medical staff to finding these solutions for patient care. If you have no trouble working with others, you may find that this skill comes naturally to you.
- Empathy – A big part of being a healthcare worker is the ability to understand and show empathy for others. You may often need to listen to patients – and even colleagues – complaints. Working from a place of care, kindness, respect, and sensitivity will prove to be invaluable in your position as a medical assistant.
You’ll need to acquire the necessary technical skills, while drawing upon your existing transferable skills as a medical assistant. The most successful medical assistants have the following set of technical skills needed to offer quality patient care.
- Vital signs measurement
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Patient preparation
- Life support
- Medical terminology
As mentioned, there are two aspects of the medical assistant’s role. There is the patient care and clinical work, and there is also the administrative element. Many professionals in this job enjoy the balance of the two. In addition to your interpersonal and clinical skills, you will need the following practical skills to help you, your patients, and your medical team to run through appointments and patient care smoothly and efficiently.
- Appointment setting
- Electronic medical records
- Medical coding
- Computer literacy
- Telephone skills
While some qualities of a good medical assistant are inherent, other skills can be learned and perfected while earning a medical assistant degree. If you are already a “people person” who enjoys multi-tasking and helping others, you may find that all you are missing are the technical skills needed to carry out your daily duties as a medical assistant.
This is where an education in medical assisting becomes a priceless commodity. Pursuing a career-focused, medical assisting program, like the one at Goodwin University, will prepare you with the clinical skills, knowledge, and training needed for this role.
Are you ready to jumpstart your career as a medical assistant? Learn more about the associate degree and certificate program available at Goodwin University. Call us at 800-889-3282 or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.