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Do You Have the Personality to Be a Medical Assistant? Take This Quiz.

by Allen B. Ury

Medical assistants remain in high demand throughout most of the United States. Job openings for medical assistants are projected to rise 29 percent nationwide during the current decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.* If you would like to work in the health care field and have at least a high school diploma, then training to be a medical assistant could open up many career opportunities.

But medical assisting isn’t for everyone. It takes a special kind of person to work directly with anxious patients, draw blood and handle sensitive medical records, all the while maintaining a sunny and reassuring disposition. Like all jobs, being a medical assistant can sometimes be stressful, demanding and repetitive. It can also be extremely exciting and rewarding.

Do you have the kind of personality it takes to be a successful medical assistant? To find out, take this quick 10-part quiz.

1. When meeting new people, I am usually:

            A. Nervous and self-conscious.

            B. Polite and friendly.

            C. Excited and eager to learn all I can about them.

2. When I make an appointment to be somewhere, I usually:

            A. Arrive precisely on time.

            B. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes late.

            C. Arrive early.

3. I believe rules are:

            A. Made to be broken.

            B. Made to be followed.

            C. Really just “suggestions.”

4. I find that touching other people, or having people touch me:

            A. Is perfectly comfortable.

            B. Makes me uncomfortable.

            C. Is unclean.

5. When someone tells me a secret:

            A. I can’t wait to tell someone else.

            B. I want to tell, but fight to resist the urge.

            C. Hold it in strictest confidence.

6. Before sending a text or email, I:

            A. Check it carefully for proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.

            B. Give it a quick scan, then punch “Send.”

            C. Send it as soon as I finishing writing it.

7. The sight of blood:

            A. Makes me faint.

            B. Makes me queasy.

            C. Has no effect on me.

8. When confronting an angry or upset person, I usually:

            A. Try to get away from that person as quickly as possible.

            B. Mirror the person’s mood by becoming angry or upset myself.

            C. Try to defuse the situation by being calm and supportive.

9. High-stress situations make me:

            1. Eager to show I can handle whatever is thrown at me.

            2. Pull myself together and struggle to solve the problem.

            3. Panic.

10. When it comes to taking instruction and learning new things, I:

            1. Have a hard time paying attention.

            2. Listen, then go back to my usual way of doing things.

            3. Have no problem asking questions if unclear or confused.

How to Rate Your Answers:

1. If you answered “B” or “C”, give yourself one point. As a medical assistant, it helps to be a naturally social person, but even if you’re not, you can still succeed if you can remain polite and friendly when dealing with new patients.

2. If you answered “A” or “C”, give yourself one point. When working in a physician’s office, you need to be reliable, punctual and respectful of others and their time.

3. If you answered “B”, give yourself one point. Health care is a highly regulated industry, and you must be willing and able to follow rules to the letter. If you answered “A” or “C”, consider yourself a lawsuit waiting to happen.

4. If you answered “A”, give yourself one point. As a health care professional, making physical contact with other people – including strangers – is an essential part of the job. If you have a germ phobia, this is not the career for you.

5. If you answered “B” or “C”, give yourself one point. Patient confidentiality is not only part of all health care ethics, but it’s also required by law. What happens in the examination room stays in the examination room.

6. If you answered “A”, give yourself one point. One of a medical assistant’s responsibilities is to take patient histories and keep records of examinations. As medical records can literally be matters of life or death, you must be precise and mindful of even the slightest errors.

7. If you answered “A”, give yourself one point. Working for a doctor, chances are you’ll be drawing blood, giving injections and handling samples of other bodily fluids. You need to be comfortable with this. It’s your job.

8. If you answered “C”, give yourself one point. In many cases, you will have to deal with patients who are anxious, depressed, grumpy or just downright mean. You need to be able to ignore the natural “fight or flight” response and remain calm and supportive.

9. If you answered “A” or “B”, give yourself one point. It helps to actively welcome high-stress challenges, but even if you’re not a natural adrenalin junkie, you need to be able to deal with stress and work your way through it.

10. If you answered “C”, give yourself one point. The health care industry is always changing and growing. You need to be able to change and grow with it. This means knowing how to take instruction, ask good questions and then implement what you’ve just learned.

Rating Your Score: If you scored eight or above, you have the right personality to be a medical assistant. You’re responsible, good with people, a stickler for detail and eager to learn. And you don’t faint at the sight of blood.

If you’d like to explore medical assisting as a career, you can get the training you need at Everest. Everest trains and graduates more medical assistants than any other school in the United States. In less than a year, you can get the training you need and have a diploma that is recognized by health care employers nationwide.*

For more information on the Medical Assistant career training program, just fill out and submit the Request More Information form on this page. A friendly Everest representative will get back to you immediately to answer all your questions.

Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

*Some programs are longer than one year. Programs and schedules vary by campus.

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