Five Medical Assistant Skills Valued by Employers
April 28, 2014
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After you complete your training to become a medical assistant, you will be using your skills to land a great job. However, office managers and health care providers are selective about hiring the best employees for their practice and require certain medical assistant skills as a prerequisite. The following are attributes potential employers are looking for when hiring new medical assistants:
As a medical assistant, the range of your duties can go from filling out important documents to irrigating an ear. Afterward, you'll need to turn around and take vitals on a patient and get their medical history. Being able to easily transition from one task to another without missing a beat is a sign you are comfortable with your responsibilities. If you are strong in all areas of your job, you will be a valuable asset.
Attention to Detail
While you are effortlessly transitioning from one task to another, be sure that you are detail oriented. Whether you're selecting the right gauge needle for a procedure, documenting that a patient has hypotension rather than hypertension, or placing the leads correctly for an EKG, you need to do each of these tasks correctly or face unintended results. The health care field calls for meticulous attention to detail, so being cavalier about your tasks will only lead to mistakes.
Hardworking and Efficient
Health care facilities are busy places. Doctors are seeing more patients than ever before, so you should make this constant cycle as low-stress as possible by using every minute productively. Be efficient, be responsive and get things done promptly.
The difference between a good medical assistant and an amazing medical assistant is the ability to anticipate what you need to do next based on a patient's needs. For example, preparing the necessary materials for an ingrown toenail removal without being asked can save your superiors time and make you look like a superstar. This ability to anticipate needs will develop as you work with a certain provider and you get to know how he or she prefers to do things. In the meantime, try to think one step ahead and be proactive.
Odds are, there will always be some task that you could do to keep operations running smoothly. So, unless you have exhausted every possibility, don't plan on surfing the Web or texting your friends unless you are on your break.
A medical office simply cannot run without a medical assistant. You are a vital part of the whole practice, so you must be reliable and punctual. If you are sick or stuck in traffic, call in as early as you can so your employers can make other arrangements. If you can't be trusted to reliably be at your job, you will soon find yourself without one.
Of all the medical assistant skills, this one is more important than you would think. A warm, friendly medical assistant can make a patient feel comfortable and relieve tension if they are worried or frustrated. Try to make each visit as pleasant as possible for each patient. A grumpy or gossipy assistant can put off patients and create drama between co-workers, so be professional in all your interactions. Patients can leave practices because they don't like the staff, and if your attitude is causing constant problems, it may put your employment at risk.
Doctors and office managers have high expectations for their medical assistants and are looking for employees who will work hard for the practice's success. If you work hard, work smart and genuinely care for your patients' well-being, you can be that ideal medical assistant that all facilities hope to hire.
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