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The Importance of Medical Assistants to Healthcare

May 28, 2014 General 0 Comments

The Importance of Medical Assistants to HealthcareProperly trained medical assistants are a valuable resource to our healthcare system. But there is more to the importance of medical assistants than handing tools to surgeons. The root of their purpose is in patient care, and extends throughout the treatment process.

First Point of Contact

Doctors are often stretched very thin and have a limited amount of time to spend with each patient. They rely on warm, welcoming and efficient medical assistants to make a connection with patients. They are also needed to document all the vital information so the physician can make a diagnosis that is quick and accurate.

Not all situations are emergencies. There are many more casual scenarios in which a patient has a choice of where to go for treatment. Trained in a facility's unique information system, medical assistants have that vital "customer-facing" skill that patients need to feel comfortable, and that health centers depend on for long-term business.

A Variety of Responsibilities

Assistants usually earn multiple certifications in their respective medical assistant programs. Certification in first aid, CPR, phlebotomy and medical assisting will show employers that you're knowledgeable in many areas, and that you have hands-on experience that follows the critical time spent in a classroom.

On any given day, medical assistants may:

  • check patients in.
  • collect fluid samples.
  • organize charts and documentation.
  • assist physicians with routine medical procedures.

These versatile professionals streamline the logistics of a process so physicians can pay attention to each patient individually. Like any well-run business, it's crucial that these tasks are accounted for so that no one staff member is left distracted from his or her immediate duties, and no patient is left unattended to.

Coordinating the Healthcare Process

Medical assistants are the glue that holds the entire healthcare process together. As a medical assistant, you will frequently act as liaison between patients, insurance companies, providers, specialists and other points of contact. Patients know that they need medical care, but they are often fearful that doctors or hospitals will up-sell them on unnecessary tests and procedures. It's important that medical assistants can meet with each patient and explain the reasoning behind each procedure, along with their possible outcomes, to ensure that they're comfortable complying with treatments they may be skeptical to accept. In effect, you are the center of patient relations.

Providers at all levels of the healthcare system are increasingly recognizing the importance of medical assistants in the delivery of seamless quality patient care. In order to fulfill all of these roles efficiently, medical assistants should train in several key areas, accompanied by hands-on, supervised clinical experience, before going to work full-time. Explore a program now to get a feel for what medical assistants can expect entering this comprehensive industry.

Photo credit: Flickr

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