There are specific qualities that identify a true professional medical assistant. Medical assistants should always continue to hone their personal qualities. Having these successful qualities will allow patients and colleagues to trust the medical assistant.
The five qualities that make highly successful medical assistants include appearance, communication, competency, initiative, and integrity.
When entering the medical assistant profession, it is important to learn more about these qualities while using and refining them. A professional attitude and positive qualities and values are important for all medical assistants to practice, as they are held to the highest of standards.
Quality #1: Appearance
The medical assistant is expected to stay professional under all circumstances, even when there are no procedures occurring. The medical assistant should always be well groomed and wear appropriate attire to present a professional appearance.
A professional appearance is one that reflects good personal health habits and proper hygiene. The medical assistant will want to take regular showers, use deodorant as necessary, and keep healthy-looking skin, teeth, hair, and nails.
A good personal appearance also involves regular exercise, good nutrition, and adequate sleep in order to keep a positive attitude. Proper appearance can have a positive effect on patients who may be experiencing anxiety.
Showing a professional appearance involves an attitude that is friendly, sincerely affectionate, and offers genuine interest. A good sense of humor can also be used to diffuse any stressful situations a patient may be experiencing. All contact with patients should be positive and professional.
An important aspect of a good attitude is showing respect to your patients and colleagues. The medical assistant who shows the qualities of appreciation and consideration will facilitate a positive experience for all patients.
Quality #2: Communication
Medical assistants should continue to improve their abilities to communicate both verbally and in written format. Written communication should be clear and concise to offer the best care for the patient and not overcomplicate the information for colleagues. Written communication must also use correct grammar, punctuation, and medical terminology.
Medical assistants will want to be empathetic when communicating with the patient.
They will want to consider the patient’s welfare and be kind. A visit to the hospital or physician’s office can be an anxious time for patients, and they may feel vulnerable. When the medical assistant displays empathy, it can help alleviate the apprehension patients are feeling, making them feel more comfortable in the medical environment.
A medical assistant should strive to keep patients informed and up-to-date about treatment. The patient will develop a sense of trust in medical assistants if they continue to keep patients informed.
Patients should be treated equally, with no reservation about their condition, race, religion, economic status, or sexual orientation. The medical assistant needs the right qualities to be cooperative and supportive of all patients while respecting the patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality.
Quality #3: Competency
To be competent, the medical assistant should be able to offer the same level of service for every patient, in every situation. Competency is more than just doing a good job. It involves a medical assistant’s always aiming to be better, improving skills with a professional presentation.
Medical assistants should be dependable by keeping well organized, performing accurately, and being responsive to patients’ needs. A dependable medical assistant will be supportive to colleagues, be punctual, and not be excessively absent from work.
A good medical assistant is flexible, adapts to any situation, and responds precisely with alternatives available. He/she is able to improvise to solve problems in any situation encountered.
Quality #4: Initiative
The medical assistant should have a willingness and ability to work independently. A medical assistant with initiative is observant, proactive in identifying needs, and takes action to complete tasks without being told to do so. Successful medical assistants pitch in when noticing a need, whether it is their own or a colleague’s. Showing initiative includes being a team player and having a positive work ethic.
Medical assistants must also be willing to learn and grow. They will hold themselves to a high standard of performance by continuously improving knowledge and skills. Active involvement in professional organizations and continuing education allow the medical assistant to continue to hone their qualities, learn and grow.
Quality #5: Integrity
Medical assistants should not only be honest but also adhere to moral and ethical principles. They are responsible for many aspects of communication, information gathering, patient education, and confidentiality. Medical assistants must take responsibility for their actions and have a willingness to be accountable for those actions.
Medical assistants must adhere to ethics and exhibit ethical behavior. They should have a system of values that determines right from wrong. Medical ethics governs the medical assistant’s conduct or behavior practiced as a health care provider. By being ethical, medical assistants are elevating the medical profession to offer the most dignity and respect to patients under their care. Integrity is an important quality for any medical assistant to embody.
Did learning about the five qualities of highly successful medical assistants interest you? Ready for an exciting new career in the medical assisting field?
The Medical Assistant program at Hunter Business School prepares competent, entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains required for professional practice.
The Medical Assistant program provides hands-on experience in a medical facility where you can foster professional relationships with real patients. Medical Assistant students spend 160 hours in an externship in a real-world medical work environment where they are supervised and taught in order to gain valuable on-the-job training.