The Top 5 Skills Every Medical Assistant Needs

Posted On January 10,2024

Becoming a medical assistant is an excellent way to begin a career in the always in-demand healthcare field. Medical assistants perform many different tasks that help medical facilities run smoothly and make for a better patient experience. Medical assistants are often able to complete their training and enter the field relatively quickly, and with the right training program, can develop the skills necessary to become very successful as a medical assistant.

Medical assistant standing in front of a medical team.

1. Excellent Attention to Detail

As a medical assistant, you will be responsible for many different tasks. Medical assistants have both an administrative role where you will schedule appointments, greet patients, and help maintain medical records, as well as a clinical role where you will take vital signs, collect specimens, and assist the nurses and physicians with other tasks. Being detail-oriented means that you are always paying attention to the exact particulars of that task. The medical field does not have room for error in patient care or record keeping. Everything needs to be accurate for patients to receive the best possible care. A successful medical assistant will always make attention to detail a priority.

2. Strong Organization and Time Management Skills

With so many different and varied duties, medical assistants need to have strong organizational skills, the ability to prioritize, and excellent time management skills. Getting behind on a single patient or task can throw off your schedule for an entire day, so it’s important to stay on top of your responsibilities. Staying organized can help you from getting off schedule. When you begin your career as a medical assistant, find a method that can help you keep track of your daily tasks and how much time you will need. There are always going to be situations that can throw off your day, but medical assistants who know how to organize and prioritize every task to keep the day running smoothly.

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3. Great Communication Skills

A good medical assistant will always have excellent communication skills in all forms. Medical assistants will need to be able to speak with patients and other healthcare workers, passing essential information to each party in a way that ensures there is no confusion. Medical assistants will need to be able to communicate clearly on the phone, in person, and in writing. Clear communication is paramount to patient safety and healthcare success, and the ability to communicate with patients with empathy will make medical assistants more successful, as it will help build the trust that is necessary to develop a relationship with your patients. Patients are more likely to open up when they feel that their medical staff understands their perspective. In addition, successful medical assistants understand that they are part of a larger team of healthcare providers and, for the best results, all members of the team need to understand their role and duties. Working well in your role while communicating with your teammates is essential. 

4. Muti-tasking and Problem-Solving Skills

Medical assistants have many different tasks throughout the day, and will often need to multi-task. A strong working memory as well as comfort with each task is necessary to be able to multitask well, and a top medical assistant will be able to juggle several tasks at once. While some medical assistants may have this ability naturally, others may need to adjust as they begin their medical assistant career. As you gain more experience and master all the necessary skills, you will find multitasking easier. In addition, medical assistants will likely encounter new experiences often in their roles, and being able to think on your feet, assess a new situation quickly, and act intelligently is an important skill. Knowing when to trust your training and knowing when to ask for help are both good problem-solving skills to have.

5. Solid Training in Medical Skills

Medical assistants have many responsibilities, both administrative and clinical, and most medical assistant training programs will address both. Strong clinical skills are obviously crucial to be a successful medical assistant. Medical assistants are usually required to do many clinical tasks, such as collecting lab specimens, administer medication, take vital signs, draw blood, give vaccinations, change wound dressings, assist with exams and procedures, CPR and basic life support, and even more depending on the role, such as administering an EKG. Both patients and your colleagues will need to feel confident that you are capable of performing any clinical skills that may be required of you. Going through a comprehensive training program can help ensure that you have the solid training you will need for any medical assistant role. In a quality program, you will have both classroom instruction and clinical hours to make sure that you are prepared for your role as a medical assistant. 

Start your Journey

When you first start your career as a medical assistant, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Your clinical skills are new, you are adjusting to the pace of the medical office and facility, and you are learning new ways to communicate. To be a successful medical assistant, trust in your training and learn from every experience you have as a new medical assistant. The more time you spend honing your skills as a medical assistant, the more confident you will become. If you are ready to become a top medical assistant, make sure you find a strong training program that will set you up for success.

Athena Career Academy offers a comprehensive, accredited medical assistant training program that can propel you into a fulfilling, successful career. If you’ve been thinking about a career in healthcare, now is a great time to become a medical assistant. Contact us to schedule a campus tour today!