7 Personal Qualities That Can Make You a Successful Medical Assistant
by Allen B. Ury
Being a good medical assistant is one part professional, one part personal. The professional part you can learn in school is the language, the concepts and the skills. The personal part you bring with you is your attitude, your habits and your values.
Here are seven personal qualities that can make you a successful medical assistant. If you already have most or even all these qualities, you're a prime candidate for medical assistant training.
1. Empathy. Empathy is the ability to feel what others feel, to identify with another person's emotions and situation. A good medical assistant will quickly bond with a patient, help the patient overcome fear, anxiety, doubt or any of the other negative feelings that often come with a trip to the doctor. Having empathy helps patients feel valued, respected and cared for.
2. Confidence. Projecting confidence assures patients they are working with a skilled professional. If you're nervous, confused or hesitant, a patient will immediately pick up on this and withdraw. On the other hand, if you seem calm, secure and aware, the patient will be more likely to cooperate and be truthful -- two things critical to delivering effective health care.
3. Exuberance. Are you naturally cheerful? Upbeat? Happy? These are qualities patients -- and doctors -- like to see in a medical assistant. A doctor's visit is usually unpleasant enough without having to deal with a medical assistant who is glum, snarky and irate. Medical assistants who are upbeat, energetic and clearly glad to be doing their jobs set a positive tone that can take the edge off what might otherwise be an uncomfortable experience.
4. Flexibility. Can you quickly change direction on a dime? Can you juggle several tasks as the same time? A physician's office is usually a dynamic environment in which needs, schedules and priorities are in a constant state of flux. Canceled appointments, unanticipated crises and medical emergencies often throw even the best of daily plans into disarray. If you're the kind of person who can easily "go with the flow" and thrives in an atmosphere of flexibility, this job could be a good fit for you.
5. Accountability. A medical assistant needs to know his/her responsibilities and be fully accountable for his/her actions. This means more than just accepting blame when you make a mistake. It means working to constantly improve your performance and developing systems to prevent similar errors from happening in the future.
6. Curiosity. Are you the kind of person who doesn't immediately accept things at face value? Are you someone who asks questions and who is constantly seeking new knowledge and insights? Curiosity is a valued quality in all medical professionals, including medical assistants. Noting when something looks unusual and speaking up can sometimes be the first step in saving a life.
7. Endurance. Although most private medical practices keep regular hours, endurance is still an important quality when delivering health care. For a medical practice to be effective, you need to be just as alert, energetic and committed to your last patient of the day as you were to your first. If you get sloppy as daylight wanes, the costs can be serious.
Choose Everest for Your Medical Assistant Training
If you'd like to train for a medical assistant career, consider the Everest family of colleges, institutes and universities. Medical assistant training is available at most Everest campuses throughout the United States. The program is accelerated and highly focused, allowing you to get through school and into the workplace in less than a year.
Everest is a leading school for medical assistant training. We train and graduate more medical assistants than any other school in the United States.
For complete information on medical assistant career education training, contact Everest today.
Financial aid is available for those who qualify. Programs and schedules vary by campus.