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8 Essential Life Skills to Become
a Successful Medical Assistant
“A Life without Life Skills is like a Body without Eyes.” You cannot see what’s lying in front. A successful medical assistant is one who keeps learning through the odds of their career. There is no hard and fast rule to develop a skillset. It comes with experience, knowledge, and sheer determination to stick to the path of righteousness. The question still stands, ‘How do you develop life skills?’ The answer has it’s worth standing on two pillars, learning and practice. Keep learning and keep practicing until it becomes a habit.
With this in mind, we have summarized eight basic life skills that are vital, essential, and a game-changer for your career. Possessing these is one way to become a successful medical assistant. If you are eager to get started in the medical industry, infuse these into your learning process and watch how the downward slope of your profession takes a U-turn.
The Skills You Require to Become a Successful Medical Assistant
1. Communicative Abilities
As per the research conducted during the 10 year period from 1995-2005, approximately 66% of the medical errors were a result of the ineffective team communication among health workers.
Communication is the ability to make odds turn in your favor.
A medical assistant is primarily the connection between a patient and physician. Your clients enter the clinic to attain the services of the physician but they are bound to stay and revisit if they are greeted and made to feel welcome from the start. A wrong word, and everything goes down the drain.
From scheduling appointments to ensuring the soundness of the client, everything is on your shoulders. As a sole representation of the entire team sitting at the back, you must ensure that your communication skills are on point. Anyone talking to you must think that this is the person with solutions. Knowledge is of no use if it is not imparted in the proper manner.
2. Stress Management
Managing stress is one of the basic abilities that one should aim to develop over time. Nobody is born with a mind trained to handle all the negativities that burn away in their head. And yet many learn to develop an ability to deal with extremely stressful situations. As a medical assistant, you may encounter some unfavorable remarks, an angry patient spilling the beans, or an appointment call taking too long to set.
But, after all this, you need to realize that the patients are at their most vulnerable, and it could be you who can set them at ease. You can manage your stress by alleviating it from someone else. A study on health professionals working during the Covid-19 pandemic denotes that stress and burnouts affect the quality of life medical assistants are having. It would be best if you tried to find a personalized way to manage it. Find that piece and stick to it to ensure you are in no way letting those bursting nerves set the tone for your words.
Know when you have done something wrong, and accept it. Being accountable is a primary skill that should be infused in every sphere of your life. Human errors are common in the medical profession, and it has become a horizon where trustworthiness is not wholly trusted anymore. As a medical assistant, you should and must ensure that trust, compassion, and righteousness prevail around you.
You being personally accountable for your actions sets a benchmark for the staff members around. It brings in responsibility. If you dare to take the responsibility of changing the wrong into right, you get one step closer to being successful. Every physician needs an assistant who is responsible and accountable for his deeds.
4. Awareness & Attentiveness
Your attention to minute details can prevent errors from happening. Growth lies in minute segments, and these, when paid attention to, reap fruits that are sweeter than most get. Your services have a say in determining the living quality of the patient. Any wrong entry, misspelled word, or faulty insurance can come between the care given and received.
Awareness is the ability to sense the rights and wrongs surrounding you. It is not every time that a patient enters with a happy face. As an individual sitting in front, you must be aware of what’s coming from the door. Subsequently, your nerves should detect the behavior when the patient takes a leave from the clinic.
5. Commitment to Learn
The medical industry is constantly evolving, and the one that fails to adapt to the change gets left behind. Embrace the discovery and technology to ensure you are always on the front foot whenever any complex term comes up. Top medical assistant programs emphasize learning abilities. t is your commitment to learning that brings out the hidden potential in you.
As they say, ‘Even if you are in the last stages of life, you must learn how to embrace the exit.” Learning is a never-ending process and is, without a doubt, an ever-beneficial tactic. For one’s career, if there is no learning, there is no growth. As you age, you learn a few things that make you wiser for the years to come. A medical assistant’s profession is no different.
6. Time Management
While ‘Time is Money’ still stands, we must learn the new definition that states, ‘Time is Freedom.’ While time bounds you to work for a particular set of hours, you must learn to do a little extra daily within the same specified limit. As a medical assistant, you may receive heaps of calls a day, and you may need to manage the crown bulging alongside your personal life. Learn how to manage it.
With so many tasks in hand, and the tenure remaining the same, it becomes of utmost importance to know which hour belongs to which work. To be a successful medical assistant, learn how to walk the extra mile within the same time frame. Only then there remains a possibility that you are about to change your life forever.
7. Working on Mistakes
There is no provision for mistakes that happen in the medical industry. Your error can hinder the comfort of a patient over a long time period. Mistakes are inevitable, and as much as they happen, you must ensure you never repeat them.
Be it your physician, your co-workers, or anybody that walks through the door, each one of these relies on you. If you repeatedly commit mistakes, you are bound to lose the trust people have in your word, work, and guts. A medical assistant being unaccountable for their mistakes counts for nothing, but an individual trying to rectify them is everything.
The quantitative analysis conducted by Katie M. Owens and Stephanie Keller on the workforce confidence and patient care have shown that confidence derives a positive patient perception towards a healthcare assistant.
Your confidence denotes how much you know about your profession. It empowers your relationship with clients or patients, allows you to put your word out there. A patient trusts your word, knowing you have thorough knowledge regarding the subject. You being doubtful about a particular thing makes them doubt it even more.
Research has shown that confidence is directly linked to patient care. As a medical assistant, you being at the front, need to calm those nerves down, and lift the patient’s morale. Confidence gives you power, not over anybody, but your own fears. You can set benchmarks for your staff member on how to tackle challenges.
What Being Successful Means in the Health Industry?
If money were the benchmark of success, we would be looking at the bank accounts and not brains for advice. A success medical assistant is one whose words matter to people. What you advise, tell, denote, or simply impart to the patients stepping inside must impact their lives. Once you witness that your knowledge is changing lives for the better, you automatically earn the value you call ‘success.’
About the Author
Casey Gardner is both a medical practitioner and a content generator. For the past two decades, she has worked as a trained healthcare provider with marketable abilities as a physician assistant. She has produced hundreds of content pieces for health, career, medicine, cardiology, neurology, ED, psychiatry, orthopedics, pulmonology, and Med/Surg.