Hiring Medical Assistants: What Healthcare Facilities Want

Posted On September 15,2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, medical assistants play an essential role in supporting the efficient functioning of medical practices and hospitals. These versatile professionals are often the first point of contact for patients, responsible for both clinical and administrative tasks. As a result, healthcare facilities are highly selective when it comes to hiring medical assistants, seeking candidates who possess a unique blend of skills, qualifications, and training. Let’s explore what healthcare facilities look for when hiring medical assistants and how aspiring candidates like you can meet these expectations and enjoy a successful career.

Medical assistant preparing to assist with a patient procedure.

Key Qualities and Skills

Strong Interpersonal and Communication Skills

One of the primary qualities healthcare facilities seek in new medical assistants is strong interpersonal and communication skills. Medical assistants interact with a diverse range of people daily, including patients, physicians, nurses, and administrative staff. Effective communication and a friendly, empathetic demeanor are vital for creating a positive patient experience and ensuring smooth teamwork within the healthcare facility.

Attention to Detail  

Precision and organization are at the core of a medical assistant’s responsibilities. Whether it’s maintaining accurate patient records, scheduling appointments, or preparing treatment rooms, attention to detail and organizational abilities are essential for delivering high quality patient care and maintaining efficiency behind the scenes.

Proficiency in Medical Terminology

Medical assistants need to have a solid grasp of medical terminology to effectively communicate with healthcare professionals, understand medical orders, and accurately document patient information. This knowledge ensures seamless communication within the healthcare team and helps prevent misunderstandings that could compromise patient safety.

Ability to Multitask

Healthcare settings are fast-paced and dynamic. Medical assistants must be adept at multitasking to handle a variety of responsibilities efficiently. This includes managing patient appointments, assisting with procedures, and addressing administrative tasks—all while maintaining a high level of patient care and professionalism.

Certifications and Education

Relevant Certification

Healthcare facilities highly value medical assistants who hold relevant certifications. These certifications demonstrate a commitment to professional excellence and can significantly enhance your chances of getting a job.

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Completion of a Reputable Training Program

Graduating from an accredited medical assistant training program is often a prerequisite for many employers. These programs provide a comprehensive education that covers both clinical and administrative aspects of the role, equipping candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in their careers right from the start.

Commitment to Ongoing Education

The healthcare field is constantly evolving, with new technologies and treatment methods emerging regularly. Medical assistants who commit to ongoing education and professional development stay ahead of these changes, ensuring they remain valuable assets to healthcare facilities throughout their careers.

Clinical Competence

Competency in Clinical Tasks

Clinical competence will be a cornerstone of your role as a medical assistant. Medical assistants are responsible for a wide range of clinical tasks, including measuring vital signs, administering injections, performing electrocardiograms (EKGs), and assisting with minor treatments and procedures. Healthcare facilities seek candidates who not only have the theoretical knowledge but also the practical skills to perform these tasks with precision and confidence.

Infection Control and Safety Knowledge

Maintaining a safe and sterile environment for both patients and healthcare staff is paramount. Medical assistants must possess a deep understanding of infection control protocols and safety measures to minimize the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and ensure a safe healthcare environment.

Familiarity with Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

In today’s digital age, healthcare facilities rely on Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to manage patient information efficiently. Proficiency in using EHR systems is essential for medical assistants to accurately document patient data, retrieve medical histories, and ensure compliance with data privacy regulations.

Administrative Proficiency

Administrative Skills

In addition to clinical responsibilities, medical assistants often handle various administrative tasks such as appointment scheduling, billing, insurance processing, and maintaining patient records. Proficiency in these administrative functions contributes to the smooth operation of the healthcare facility and enhances the overall patient experience.

Effective Record-Keeping

Accurate and organized documentation is crucial in healthcare. Medical assistants must maintain detailed records of patient interactions, treatments, and medical histories. Clear and concise documentation not only supports patient care but also plays a vital role in legal and compliance matters.

Patient Data Management and Confidentiality

Maintaining patient data privacy and confidentiality is a legal and ethical responsibility. Healthcare facilities expect medical assistants to handle patient information with the utmost care, ensuring that sensitive data is protected from unauthorized access and breaches.

Professionalism and Empathy

Professional Demeanor

Medical assistants are often the face of a healthcare facility, interacting directly with patients right away. Maintaining a professional demeanor in terms of attire, conduct, and attitude is not only expected but also contributes to the trust and confidence patients have in the healthcare team as a whole.

Empathy and Compassion

Empathy and compassion are vital qualities that facilitate positive patient interactions, especially during challenging or distressing situations. Patients often seek comfort and reassurance in their healthcare encounters, and medical assistants who exhibit empathy can make a significant difference in the patient experience.

Conflict Resolution Skills

In healthcare, conflicts and challenging situations may arise. Medical assistants with strong conflict resolution skills can navigate these situations with grace, ensuring that patient care is not compromised and that relationships within the healthcare team remain harmonious.

Team Player

Contributing to a Positive Work Environment

Fostering a positive work environment benefits both staff and patients. Medical assistants who contribute positively to the workplace atmosphere enhance morale, job satisfaction, and overall team effectiveness.


Healthcare settings can vary widely, from primary care clinics to specialty practices. Medical assistants who are adaptable and can thrive in different healthcare environments are highly sought after. This adaptability allows healthcare facilities to deploy their teams effectively, regardless of the specific patient population or specialty.

Healthcare facilities place a premium on medical assistants who possess a unique combination of clinical competence, strong communication and interpersonal skills, administrative proficiency, professionalism, and empathy. Meeting these expectations can significantly enhance your place in the job market and contribute to a successful and rewarding career in the healthcare field. If you’ve always wanted to work in healthcare, becoming a medical assistant can provide a stable, rewarding career. To learn more about our comprehensive, accredited medical assistant training program, contact Athena Career Academy today!

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