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Building a Career in Medical Assisting: The Skills You Need

Posted On 12/10/2021

Building a Career in Medical Assisting: The Skills You Need

Are you interested in pursuing a medical assisting career? Like other medical fields, it can be a very rewarding career path. In order to succeed medical assistants must learn a broad range of administrative and clinical tasks. Understanding the skills you need to succeed in this field can help you get started.

Patient Care Skills

One of the most important duties of a medical assistant is the clinical care they provide for patients. Trained medical assistants should know how to conduct procedures such as:

  • Taking and recording vital signs
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR
  • Phlebotomy
  • Electrocardiograms or EKGs

Medical assistants also need to understand patient care concepts such as privacy, sanitation, and safety.

Active Listening and Telephone Proficiency

As a medical assistant, you’ll need to be an active listener because you need to comprehend what a patient communicates to you without missing details. How you listen to and retain this critical information is vital to your success in the medical assisting field. It also ensures you get accurate information needed to convey to other staff members. Here are common administrative tasks a medical assistant can help with:

  • Answer patient questions
  • Scheduling
  • Setting patient appointments
  • Answer calls at the reception area
  • Receive calls from other healthcare professionals
  • Electronic medical records

Phone skills are critical in the medical assisting field. Being able to speak clearly and listen actively is important, as well as recording notes and information.

Commitment to Learning

Any medical professional will likely tell you learning doesn't end when you complete your course. The field is constantly advancing, and failure to adapt to the latest trends in the industry means you get left behind. You need to embrace medical technology early on to ensure you can solve problems when they occur. and you stand out from the crowd.

The most outstanding medical assistant programs focus on learning abilities. Learning is an unending process and is necessary for medical assistants. If you don't learn and grow in your career, it can be detrimental to your long-term career goals.

Proper Communication Skills

Medical assistants interact with many people, including healthcare professionals and patients. They need to understand medical terminology and how to translate that terminology to patients. Sometimes, communication can happen in high-anxiety and high-stress situations. A study conducted in a ten-year period found that around 66% of medical errors occurred due to inefficient communication among healthcare providers.

That's why medical assistants need to acquire proper communication skills. They need to be empathetic, clear, and calm in their communication. To learn these skills, ensure you:

  • Learn medical terminology
  • Speak carefully
  • Listen intently
  • Ask thoughtful questions
  • Take part in discussions

Identify and Correct Mistakes

The medical industry has no window for mistakes. A simple error can lead to life-threatening effects on a patient and lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. While some errors are inevitable, you need to learn and avoid repeating them in the future.

Whether it is a patient, co-worker, or doctor, anyone you encounter at work depends on you. If you commit frequent mistakes, people won't trust you, which will strain working relationships.

Organizational Skills

Regardless of the healthcare facility you work in, organizational skills are critical because you'll deal with sensitive data and information. Other medical professionals will rely on the data you gather, meaning solid organizational skills is something you need to develop. Even if you're working in a situation that isn't stressful, you need to have the tools and information ready when necessary.

The good news is that you don't need to have these skills naturally. You can acquire them and practice good organizational habits until you start working seamlessly. It's a soft skill that may help you become a valuable medical assistant and help you succeed in your career.

Problem Solving Skills

As a medical assistant, you'll need different skills to help you solve day-to-day challenges that may arise at work. Problem-solving skills are essential in the medical assisting field and many industries. Sometimes problems occur when least expected. That's why a medical assistant needs to be sharp, identify issues, and offer thoughtful solutions.

As a student in a medical assisting class, you need to put effort into your critical thinking assignments and class projects to grasp these essential skills. You need to fine-tune your problem-solving skills because this will help you overcome challenges you may encounter. You can also learn from other medical assistants by observing how they solve problems while in the field.

Start Honing Your Skills Today

If you’re interested in pursing a career as a medical assistant the 10-month program at Great Lakes Institute of Technology is a perfect way to get into the field. You’ll develop all the medical assistant skills listed here as well as receive lifetime job placement assistance. Contact an admissions representative by calling 814-864-6666 or click to learn more about our medical assistant program.