Medical Assisting Must Haves

I talk a lot about my job. Why? Because I love my job. I get to go to work everyday and in some way, no matter how small, make a positive difference in someones day or even life. I have been lucky to work alongside some amazingly wonderful people. But let’s be honest, we have all experienced someone somewhere whose attitude proved they had no business working there, or anywhere where they are caring for other people. Some place where the staff was so rude, didn’t listen and just plain acted like they don’t care.

These attitudes drive me crazy and honestly, I feel this behavior doesn’t belong in the health care system. I always wonder why these people chose a career caring for people, when they clearly don’t care about people. Don’t we chose this field because we are passionate about helping people and making a difference?

I strongly believe there are a few traits that all medical assistants, or for that matter anyone in the medical field MUST have in order to be successful.

  • Patience

Patience is a must in this field. There will always be people who drive you crazy and seriously test your patience. Whether they are grumpy, or way to talkative, or just annoying, you have to be patient. When you have a waiting room full of other patients and are trying to get someones vitals real quick, and they want to talk to you about everything from the weather, and their grand kids to what they had for dinner last night, and you just want to do your job and get out of there. Be patient… You don’t know their story. This person is probably lonely. For all you know, they may not get out much and you could very well be the first person they’ve spoken to in days. You taking the time to listen to them could be the highlight of their day.

  • Compassion

This one should be obvious. To be in the medical field, you must have compassion. Quite frankly, if you don’t, get another job, this is not for you.

This industry revolves around helping other people. While a paycheck is always important, a paycheck should not be your only motivation in this career.

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  • A Good Brain/Mouth Filter

The reason I say this is maybe not as obvious as the other ones, but it is still important.

Basically, people can be assholes. You however can not tell them they are an asshole. No matter how much you want to. That is, unless you want to be fired.. But there will always be that one patient you just can’t stand, that makes you want to lash out and use every foul name you can think of. Use that filter, think it to yourself, smile, kill them with kindness, do what you need to do, and walk away.

  • Thick Skin

This kinda goes with the brain/mouth filter. Again, people can suck. Especially when they are being told they can’t get what they want. Those people can be mean. They will insult you, they will yell at you. They will try whatever they can to get under your skin and get what they want. Don’t let them. You keep doing you, you are not the problem, they are.

  • Knowledge Of Your Specific Field

Ok, anotherΒ  obvious one. Obviously you have to know what you are doing. But when your going to school to be a medical assistant, they don’t teach you everything. They teach you the skills you need to do your job, but they don’t teach specifics of all the different specialties. Someone who is going to work in family practice for instance doesn’t need to know everything that someone going to work for a nephrologist. So if you are planning on going into a specialty, it doesn’t hurt to do a little extra reading on that subject.

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These are what i believe the most important attributes are for a medical assistant or anyone else in healthcare. Are there any you would add? Comment and let me know!

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4 thoughts on “Medical Assisting Must Haves

  1. Hello Honey,
    This post really resonated with me. I’ve been attending our local hospital for over 20 years now, the rheumatology unit (arthritis, I have osteo in my lower spine & RA everywhere else) and as you can imagine I’ve met so, so many nurses, doctors, physios… Most have been really, really lovely. Genuinely, even when you can see at a glance that they’re tired and you know the waiting room outside is still crowded so they’ve no chance of going home any time soon, even then they’ve smiled and chatted.

    Then there have been a few, and it is only a very few, down through the years who so obviously didn’t care and really didn’t want to be there. It was so obvious that it wasn’t a case of being tired. There was a nurse who was so rough when taking my bloods (this was at my Drs office) that she left my arm bruised. She’d been a nurse for over 25 years (as she told me several times) so it wasn’t lack of experience of drawing bloods. The same nurse did this twice, the second time I decided she wasn’t to take my bloods again and made sure my appointments were with our other practice nurse. I live with pain and decided I didn’t have to go looking for it. I used to wonder sometimes what happened over the years to make her stop caring because I don’t believe for a minute that nurses start off not caring about their patients.

    You’re so right too honey about patients (like me) who chat non stop. I’ve been told at work that I smile too much (is that even possible?) but they don’t understand that those two shifts a week at work are the only time, other than Dr/hospital appointments that I’m outside. Mind you, I chat all the time at home too πŸ™‚ Hubby is at work all day but I have our furbaby to chat to and she listens bless her πŸ™‚ So, to all nurses who’ve had to listen to me waffling on, I apologise but I hope I’ve made you laugh a wee bit πŸ™‚

    Be proud of what you do honey because you rock! Sending heaps of hugs & happy birthday wishes for yesterday xx

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    • Thank you so much!
      I personally am also a very chatty person, so I don’t mind chatty patients at all, they are usually my favorite, but I’ve seen some nurses, or doctors who are just rude when their patients talk a lot. I take it as a compliment, its like, “Hey, this person must like me and feel comfortable here if they want to tell me all of this!” But not everyone feels that way I guess, sadly. And im sorry you had to deal with a mean nurse! I completely agree that there’s no way we can start off in this field so uncaring. And i honestly don’t know what happens to change that for some people. I’ve been a medical assistant for 10 years now and love it still just as much as I did then.
      And no… it’s impossible to smile too much! Keep smiling!πŸ’–πŸ’–

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      • Every day has smiles in it, sometimes they’re just a little harder to find but they’re always there πŸ™‚ Sending heaps of hugs honey xx

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