Time Management: An Essential Skill in Medical Assisting

Posted On June 14,2022

Time management is an essential skill set for medical assistants (MAs). The importance of time management is not routinely emphasized, and can sometimes result in the development of poor time management practices. Therefore, attending a quality MA program is important in ensuring that you learn not just the technical skills required to do the job, but also learn which soft skills are needed to become a competent, well-rounded, and successful medical assistant.

Medical assistant wearing blue scrubs standing in the hallway of a hospital.

Why is Time Management Important in Medical Assisting? 

When you first become a certified clinical medical assistant, time management may sound like a simple task, like answering a phone call, filling out forms, and dealing with a few patients. However, the reality is far from this simple example. Few workplaces compare to the chaos of a busy healthcare practice or facility filled with distractions like: 

  • Noisy hustle and bustle 
  • Demanding patients 
  • Frightened patients 
  • Impatient patients
  • Frustrated physicians 
  • Unhappy coworkers 
  • Never ending to-do list 

Managing your time appropriately won’t give you extra hours, but it will provide you the ability to utilize your time more efficiently. Good time management is essential in reducing stress, staying on schedule, improving patient satisfaction, and positively affecting the entire practice

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What are the Daily Responsibilities of an MA? 

Medical assistants perform a mixture of administrative and clinical duties, so in addition to time management, the ability to multi-task is a skill you must develop if you want to be successful in this field.  

Listed below are just a few of the many tasks you might be asked to perform daily and simultaneously: 

  • Schedule patient appointments 
  • Maintain and update medical records
  • Prepare rooms and patients for examinations 
  • Assist physicians with patient examinations 
  • Take and record patient vital signs 
  • Draw blood and administer injections or vaccinations 
  • Prepare blood samples for laboratory testing 

MAs work in a busy, fast-paced work setting, so developing efficiency when performing daily tasks is crucial. For example, keeping the examination rooms organized and stocked allows MAs to quickly prepare for the next patient, and it helps keep the practice running smoothly and on schedule. 

Anticipating the physicians’ needs is another way to improve workplace efficiency. This doesn’t mean that you must know everything ahead of time but familiarizing yourself with your provider’s daily routine will make it easier to predict what they need or expect to be done and when. 

Another way to make the most of your time is to group related activities together in clusters. Say you need to prepare blood samples for lab tests. Instead of preparing one blood sample, try to get through as many samples as you can during that time. 

Setting daily goals and deadlines for yourself, providing time allowances for unexpected events, and tracking your progress by reviewing your goals and action plans at the end of the day will help you master the art of time management.  

It may take some trial and error at first, but you’ll quickly learn how to best manage your time effectively so you’re maximizing your workday to the fullest. 

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Ready to Make an Impact as an MA? 

Medical assistants are in high demand because they add an element of efficiency to a value-based practice. Without MAs it would be difficult to meet the needs of patients. Physicians are aware of this and in return heavily rely on their MAs as their jack-of-all trades. If you’re interested in becoming a certified clinical medical assistant, contact Athena Career Academy for more information about this exciting career!