As a medical assistant, you’ll typically be expected to interact with patients on a daily basis. While the level and type of interaction can vary from workplace to workplace, there are some common interactions that most medical assistants should be prepared for. Below, Prism Career Institute outlines some of the most common ways you may be working with patients and the skills they demand.
- Telephone Communication
On any given day you may be asked to communicate with patients over the phone. This could involve scheduling appointments, answering questions or arranging for additional procedures. Patients may express worry or dissatisfaction during these interactions due to anxiety about their health or simply not feeling their best. A medical assistant should remain professional and supportive during all phone communication and prioritize clarity when relaying information.
- Taking Medical Histories
Obtaining a detailed, accurate medical history is extremely important and a common duty for medical assistants. During these interactions, the medical assistant should always listen to the patient and allow them to fully explain any existing conditions, medications and all of their concerns as related to their visit. It’s also important to ask clear, concise questions to fill in any gaps in the provided information.
- Explaining Procedures and Instructions
When patients undergo medical procedures, they often receive a high volume of complicated information, such as what will happen during the procedure, what to do before surgery, how to take medications, dietary restrictions and more. If asked to relay procedure or aftercare information to patients, medical assistants should always be clear and direct. You should also encourage questions and answer them thoroughly to ensure patients understand.
- Drawing Blood, Removing Sutures, Taking EKGs and More
Medical assistants may frequently provide hands-on care, and it’s not uncommon for patients to be anxious during these procedures – even quickly drawing blood can make some individuals extremely nervous. The medical assistant should always explain what he or she is about to do and check in with the patient while completing the procedure if possible. Being compassionate when a patient is in pain or upset is a critical component of the job that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Become a Medical Assistant
Interested in pursuing a career as a medical assistant? Apply online for the Medical Assistant program at Prism Career Institute. Our affordable program prepares students, like you, to enter the medical field with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to succeed.