5 Tips for Being a Better Medical Assistant

Go the extra mile with this advice

If you are going to medical assistant school right now, it won’t be long before you are ready for the workforce. It’s exciting to think about where your first job may be. Will you work in a pediatrics office? A family medicine office? Or maybe you will find a hospital-based position. Wherever it is, you want to put your medical assistant training to best use, and you want to make a good impression on your employer. Follow these tips to start out strong in your new career.

Tip #1: Arrive 10 minutes early
Arriving late to work is one of the biggest mistake you can make. It tells your employer that you are not serious about the job. And furthermore, it can affect your co-workers and your patients who are relying on you to do your job. Instead, come to work 10 minutes early. This way you have time to take off your coat, put away your lunch, and wash up. Getting to work early also allows you get to prepared for the tasks that are scheduled for your day, whether it’s setting up an exam room, re-stocking patient robes, or getting patient charts in order.

Tip #2: Be a team player
Medical offices are unpredictable places because patients’ health is unpredictable. As a result, there may be some days when you are super busy with no time to spare, and other days where you have some extra time on your hands. On slower days, reach out to others to see if you can help with anything. Your co-worker may be having a busy day while you are having a slow day, and having your help could really be a boost. Your willingness to help others will show that you are a team player who cares about the success of the medical practice and the welfare of the patients.

Tip #3: Stay positive, even on tough days
As a medical assistant, you will have some good days and some bad days on the job. That’s true with any job. You may feel as though a lot of people are putting demands on you, from the doctors and the nurses to the office manager and even the patients themselves. Resist the temptation to complain or be negative. Negativity doesn’t help the day get any better, and it only brings people down. On the other hand, staying positive is a trait that can improve the spirit of the people around you. This is the type of attitude can get you noticed!

Tips #4: Show respect to everyone
Within a medical practice, you will see all different types of people. Patients may have diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and may come from a culture you know little about. It’s important to show sensitivity and respect to all of your patients. In addition, you will work alongside highly trained doctors and nurses, as well as fellow medical assistants and medical office administrators. No matter where someone falls in the hierarchy, you should show respect. Respect means making eye contact, being polite, listening carefully, valuing what people say, avoiding gossip, and helping out when you can.

Tip #5: Never stop learning
The medical field is a field that is constantly changing. With new medical technologies, new pharmaceuticals, and new treatments, practitioners constantly have to keep up with the latest developments. This is true of medical assistants too. Stay up to date with continuing education requirements. Read online medical assistant blogs to find out what’s going on in your field. Subscribe to a journal, such as CMA Today. The more you know about your field, the more valuable you will be, and the better you will feel about your career.

With the skills you learned in your medical assistant training program and these helpful hints, you are on the way to being a valued medical assistant. Best of luck as you begin your new career!

This article is part of the American College of Medical Careers’ weekly blog. Located in Orlando, FL, ACMC supports its students as they develop their careers in fields such as Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Medical Assisting, and more.