What does a medical assistant do? A certified medical assistant works directly under a physician in a healthcare facility like a hospital, medical center, or doctor’s office. Depending on what you were hired in for, you’ll be working with patients and their families, taking vitals and using the electronic medical records, preparing exam rooms between each patient, and setting up exam rooms for patients and physicians.
If you’ve had phlebotomy and other advanced training, you may also take blood specimens for lab tests, give shots, and do EKGs and EEGs. Some desk work may also be expected from you. But, your training will prepare you for what the job brings your way.
Good Qualities for a CMA to Posses
People Person: A medical assistant deals, on a variety of levels, with a lot of people on a daily basis. A medical assistant needs to be friendly enough to confidently go from patient to patient to get done what’s necessary, all with a smile and an outgoing demeanor. A more introverted or shy person may feel uncomfortable in this position. However, even an introvert can become a work extrovert with a bit of practice!
Compassionate: Compassion is an essential ingredient when the medical assistant is working with patients who aren’t feeling well. They need to be supportive and give some emotional comfort to the patient while they are waiting to be seen by the physician.
Strong Communicator: Not only do medical assistants need to be excellent at effectively conveying information, but they also need to be active listeners to fully understand what is being told to or asked of them.
Organized: On any given work day, a medical assistant will see multiple patients. This entails, an awful lot of paperwork, patient files, and names to be kept straight. Because one little mistake can go a long way in the wrong direction, a medical assistant must maintain strong organizational skills.
Team Player: Medical Assistants work in medical facilities. They are part of a team that included the physician, nurses, medical staff, and the patients and their families. There is no room for a rogue player. If the medical assistant isn’t able to help their team, there are other medical assistants out there looking for jobs that will. If you can’t play on a team, then you should probably consider careers for soloists.
Detail Oriented: To be an effective asset to the medical team, a medical assistant needs to pay attention to even the most minute details when it comes to the patient. Something you notice that someone else missed can help the team better assess the situation.
Adaptable: Each day brings different experiences in the healthcare industry. Technology, procedures, and daily office life are in a constant state of movement, so a good medical assistant needs to keep up with the daily changes. They need to be flexible and easily roll with the punches.
Ethical: HIPAA laws protect patients confidentiality rights and medical assistants are bound to these rules, the same as the rest of the medical staff. Gossiping and discussing patients is strictly prohibited. Everything a medical assistant experiences with the patients is protected, and an excellent medical assistant will play by the rules and keep their eyes and ears open while their mouths are closed!
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