How to Overcome Challenges Working in Healthcare

Posted On February 8,2023

Medical assisting can be a lucrative and rewarding career, but as with all professions, this career doesn’t come without challenges. Preparing for these scenarios and learning how to address them professionally can help you manage them better. If you’re considering becoming a medical assistant, here are some of the challenges you may experience and how to manage them.

Medical assistant talking to an elderly male patient.

Difficult Patients 

No matter what industry you work in, you will always come across difficult customers or, in this case, patients. As a medical assistant you will likely encounter patients experiencing great pain or who become anxious about their health. While it’s essential to be compassionate and understanding, you need to be able to handle these situations in a professional manner. 

One of the best ways to establish rapport with a challenging patient is to take time to get to know them. This means asking questions about their life, family, hobbies, etc. It also means being genuinely concerned about their well-being. Another way to establish rapport is building trust with patients by maintaining eye contact, using open body language, and keeping confidential information confidential. Finally, remaining patient and calm yourself will go a long way in building rapport with patients, even the difficult ones. 

Physical Demands 

During your shifts, you’ll often be required to perform physically demanding duties after becoming a medical assistant, including but not limited to: 

  • Helping to lift, reposition and transport patients.
  • Carrying heavy objects.
  • Standing for long periods of time with few breaks.

This type of strain on the body can lead to injury if you aren’t careful. To combat these risks, always follow safe lifting procedures and ask for help when needed. Try to exercise regularly to maintain strength, stamina, and flexibility to make it easier for your body to manage physical tasks. Also, invest in supportive footwear that covers your entire foot, are comfortable, and also slip-resistant.

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Emotional Involvement 

The work that medical assistants do is personal and meaningful. Unlike many other professionals, medical assistants may become emotionally invested in their patients’ lives and outcomes which can be a difficult burden for some to carry. 

After becoming a medical assistant, start building a strong, support system that you can talk to about your feelings and emotions. 

Potential Hazards 

Since medical assistants care for sick patients, they experience a higher level of exposure to viruses and bacteria than the average person. This can increase your likelihood of contracting an illness. Medical assistants also work with hazardous chemicals used for cleaning and sanitizing, which may also pose a risk. 

You can reduce your exposure by following safety protocols when working with patients and hazardous materials, including: 

  • Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as goggles, gowns, gloves, and masks.
  • Reading and following the manuals and instructions for all chemicals, equipment, and machinery.
  • Disposing of sharp objects correctly.
  • Appropriately labeling all containers and specimens.

Changing Technology 

Technological advances in healthcare require medical assistants to learn new software and programs frequently. Learning new systems can be especially challenging for professionals who aren’t familiar with technology. 

To help you feel comfortable adapting to new technology, be sure to attend training or request additional training if needed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you understand and can use the programs on your own. 

Are You Up for the Challenge? 

The benefits of working in a rewarding, highly in demand career greatly outweigh any challenges. If you’re ready to get started, contact Athena Career Academy. Quality training will ensure you’re prepared to thrive in your new profession, and we can help set you up for success.

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