What Are the Various Skills and Qualities Needed to Become a Medical Assistant?


Medical assistants usually work along with doctors performing a wide range of tasks including minor procedures, helping patients and various other administrative works.

Mainly medical assistants work in facilities which handle outpatient procedures as opposed to such hospitals having larger and more specialized staff.

There is few overlap between the duties of medical assistants and many other medical support staffs like nurses, MA have very distinct skill set and role.

Are you preparing for MA job?

In order to be a medical assistant, it is necessary to complete the training program, at any school for medical assistant. While training obtained will prepare you for doing your job, but to understand the skills of writing proper resume is also necessary.

Different employers may look for different skills while hiring staff, so try to read the job description very carefully.

Following are the top 5 medical assistant skills that you will need:

1. Basic office skills

All the office skills of an administrative assistant will be required. You must have telephone courtesy, good written/verbal communication, and also customer service skills. You may have to handle:

  • Billing and bookkeeping
  • Troubleshoot computer problems
  • Writing skills
  • Knowledge about computer system and software like Microsoft Excel or Word skills.
  • Also, must have experience of specific phone systems, computers, and handling of medical records and software

2. Medical administrative skills

Few medical administrative skills must include the following:

  • Proper monitoring of inventories of various medical supplies
  • Re-ordering as required
  • Selecting best suppliers with right price and quality
  • Scheduling patient appointments
  • Arranging hospital admission
  • Work along with laboratory services
  • Updating of patient records
  • Maintaining record medical histories
  • Handling of billing
  • Processing insurance forms
  • Resolving all insurance billing problem

You will also need to learn few medical practice software as well as able to screen sales representatives as well.

3. Medical skills

Under proper direction of doctors MA can provide little simple medical/nursing care. You may be asked to –

  • Administer medications
  • Apply dressing
  • Give injection
  • Draw blood
  • Obtain samples of blood and urine
  • Perform EKGs
  • Remove sutures
  • Convey information
  • Relay questions between doctors and patients

Also, MA will arrange prescription refills, make accurate assessments of few vital signs and also possess basic skills for life support like CPR.

4. Patient interaction

MA often directly work with patients hence you will need set of skills about customer service where you will have to explain various medical instructions, clear all information and procedures, sometimes interview patients.

You will also receive patients and make them ready for exams. You also have to remain absolutely calm and be supportive to distressed or any difficult patients. Fluency at least in 2 or 3 languages will be helpful.

5. Personal qualities

Few personal qualities can make you one of the best persons for this job. If you are applying for the job of MA, you must have following qualities:

  • Detail-oriented
  • Very committed to accuracy
  • Adaptable
  • Empathic
  • Good interpersonal skill
  • Should be able to do multitasking
  • Well organized
  • Problem solving attitude
  • Team man and ability to collaborate
  • Active listener
  • Proficiency in speaking few foreign languages

Also, you must be aware of your own limitations for taking care of yourself to remain healthy for all your patients and colleagues.

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