Find out the essential skills that a medical assistant needs for effective performance of duties

Medical assistants interact a lot with patients, and they are usually the first contact in a health care facility. This makes interpersonal skills one of the vital skills a medical assistant should have so that they can deal comfortably with different types of people. Other tasks include assisting doctors, handling administrative work and performing minor procedures. To perform these roles, there are various essential skills that medical assistant needs. They include:


Interpersonal skills

As they carry out their duties, medical assistants interact with all sorts of people, may it be patients, doctors, other medical staff and nurses. Excellent interpersonal skills are beneficial, especially when dealing with patients who may be worried about a diagnosis or procedure.

Administrative skills

A medical assistant may be needed to perform administrative duties such as identifying suppliers, processing insurance forms, ordering supplies and entering test results data. The MA should know how to perform these administrative duties.

Office skills

Knowing how to answer phones, bill clients, perform basic bookkeeping and customer service are some of the office skills necessary of a medical assistant. Sometimes an MA may be required to perform office duties.

Communication skills

Informing a patient about the required procedure or translating information with medical terminology to what a patient can understand needs a medical assistant to have strong communication skills. Effective communication can help in relieving patients the stress associated with their medical condition and improve professionalism at the health centre.

Medical skills

Medical skills are the core competencies that a medical assistant should have. This involves performing medical procedures such as administering injections, drawing blood, administering medication, maintenance of medical equipment, dressing woods, preparing physician’s exam rooms, assessing vital signs, refilling prescription and other associated duties.  

Multitasking skills

As a medical assistant, one minute you may be attending to a patient, the next one processing insurance forms as you take a call. An MA should be able to seamlessly move from one task to another while remaining professional.

Confidentiality and integrity

Medical assistants are exposed to sensitive information about patients concerning their personal lives and medical information that need to be kept confidential. They also need to practice honesty with patients and other medical staff due to the sensitive nature of the services they provide.

Attention to detail

Most of the tasks performed by medical assistants require keenness. May it be in measuring medicine for patients, in lab procedures or when billing patients. A minor error can have adverse effects on patients which can go as far as causing death. Therefore, medical assistants need to hone their attention to details skills if they are to perform effectively.

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