Have you always wanted to work in the medical field? A career as a medical assistant may be right for you. Before you start medical assistant training, ask yourself if you have the soft skills needed to work as a medical assistant.
Soft Skills for Medical Assistants
The Medical Assistant instructors at Virginia College have years of experience in the medical field. They have learned to recognize and help develop the skills that contribute to the success of future medical assistants. Successful medical assistants are often:
- Natural-born caretakers
- Passionate about helping others
- Good communicators
Medical Assistant Duties
Medical assistants work with doctors, nurses, office staff and other medical professionals to enhance patient care, keep accurate records and perform other necessary clinical and administrative tasks. Medical assistant roles are critical to keeping doctor’s offices, hospitals, labs and testing facilities running smoothly.
In most practices, medical assistants are involved in many aspects of the operation, from the front desk to the exam room to following up with patients. Medical assistant duties vary but often include:
- Greeting patients
- Preparing patients for exams
- Taking vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, weight and pulse.
- Performing routine lab duties such as drawing blood
- Supporting the physicians during exams
- Administering injections
- Following up with patients
- Assessing and inputting data into electronic health records
- Filing paperwork and maintaining patient records
- Sterilizing and maintaining equipment
In some states, medical assistants may help the physician by giving injections or assisting the doctor with procedures like wound care, suturing and biopsies.
A key part of medical assisting is the ability to carry out administrative functions and procedures. Medical assistants support others through task-oriented work such as answering phones and scheduling appointments. Plus, medical assistants are often the first people patients encounter upon arrival at a healthcare facility, so they can set the tone for a patient’s entire visit.
How to Know if Medical Assisting is Right for You
Medical assistants must be able to think on their feet, make quick decisions, maintain a top-notch work ethic, demonstrate good communication skills and be warm and welcoming to patients. Instructors also emphasize the importance of punctuality in the medical assisting field.
In addition to these fundamentals, instructors encourage upstanding character, strong ethics and the ability to empathize with patients.
Do you recognize some of these traits in yourself? Learn more about the Medical Assistant program at Virginia College.
Virginia College does not guarantee employment or advancement.