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Why Medical Assistants Are So Important to Good Patient Care
Posted: March 6, 2018
When it comes to the livelihood of others, healthcare professionals are there to provide assessments and treatments. This job wouldn’t be nearly as easy without medical assistants, seeing as they are so important to good patient care. Why are they?
Medical assistants are a valuable resource to the healthcare system. There’s much more to their job than handing tools to doctors. They live to provide excellent patient care.
At Career Quest Learning Centers, we work every day to train new Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio medical assistants in our online program. Let’s see what makes these healthcare experts such an integral role in a medical setting!
What Is A Medical Assistant?
Medical assistants are the jacks of all trades in a medical setting. They routinely perform a mix of both clinical and administrative work, making them diverse and essential team members.
Role of a Medical Assistant
As a medical assistant, your main role is to ensure things run as smoothly as possible each day in the office. For instance, you may spend time helping the administrative or billing & coding staff catch up on paperwork, prepping exam rooms, or helping the physician perform exams and administer treatment.
With a wide range of daily tasks, you’ll require a well-rounded education that covers the essentials of this role. Some courses you likely will take as a medical assistant student include:
- Allied healthcare procedures
- Anatomy & physiology
- Administrative compliance
- Medical assisting procedures
Enhancing Your Career with Certifications
With so many possible daily tasks, earning additional certifications is never a bad idea. Potential certifications may include:
- EKG technician
- Electronic health records specialist
- Phlebotomy technician
Why Are Medical Assistants So Important to Good Patient Care?
With their various roles and responsibilities, it’s no surprise that medical assistants are important to good patient care. Let’s take a look at several of the reasons why medical assistants are deemed essential.
1. First Point of Contact
When you get to a doctor’s office, you’re always first seen by someone other than the doctor. This person is often a medical assistant. Doctors rely on their assistants to be warm, welcoming, and efficient so that they can set the tone for the entire practice.
Medical assistants also document the vital information the doctor needs to make a quick and accurate diagnosis—like blood pressure, temperature, pulse oximetry, and more. They may also be the person to update the patient’s chart with medical history and add information on that day’s visit.
All of this is done before the physician enters the room to perform the exam.
2. Scheduling Guru
When it comes to medical issues, procedures or immediate exam visits are the necessary course of action.
Medical assistants are here to help schedule routine procedures, follow-ups, appointments, and additional tests, if needed.
Trained in a facility’s information system, medical assistants have the key customer-facing skill that patients need to feel comfortable. Healthcare providers depend on them for long-term, quality patient care.
3. Varied Responsibilities
As mentioned, medical assistants usually earn multiple certifications in their educational programs. These can include first aid, CPR, phlebotomy, and so much more. These skills and certifications are important to any practice.
In a given day, medical assistants might check patients in, collect fluid samples, organize charts and documentation, and assist doctors with medical procedures. They help with the flow of the practice so that doctors can pay attention to individual patients.
Like any well-run business, it’s crucial that these tasks are taken care of so that no one member of the staff is distracted from their duties and no patient is left unattended.
With their various responsibilities, think of medical assistants like the stage crew for a live production. You may not always see them while you’re busy watching the show, but without them standing in the wings, the show would have several hiccups from start to finish.
4. Coordinating the Healthcare Process
Medical assistants hold the entire healthcare process together. They serve as a liaison between patients, insurance companies, providers, and specialists.
Patients are aware that they need medical care but may be concerned about the costs of tests and procedures. Medical assistants can explain the reasoning behind each test. This helps to ease a patient’s mind and help them do what they need to do to get well.
In a way, medical assistants are the heart of patient relations.
Essential Skills for Medical Assistants
With such a large responsibility on your shoulders, medical assistants need to properly manage their time and handle well under pressure. This way, you can appear cool, calm, and collected in front of patients—especially those who may be nervous—while keeping appointments flowing.
Some of the essential skills needed as a medical assistant include:
- Verbal & written communication: Most of your day is spent communicating with patients, physicians, or as a liaison between the two. You must properly communicate needs, directions, and more. You must also be a strong written communicator by providing directions to patients and updating patient charts for physicians.
- Detail-oriented: Nothing can slip past you as a medical assistant, especially when taking patient vitals. A discrepancy in the recorded information vs. what was taken could alter the treatment plan. You must always pay attention to the seemingly smallest details to ensure proper treatment.
- Teamwork: With your varied responsibilities, you’ll likely work with several different departments within the office. You may step in to help the administrative staff with paperwork, physicians in deciding and administering treatment, and insurance companies in providing billing information. You must be able to communicate among these departments to provide excellent care for the patient.
- Multitasking & prioritizing: Your responsibilities may change at any given minute from one task to another. You need to prioritize urgent tasks and know what can get pushed back if need be. You may also work on two or more tasks at the same time, so multitasking is a must.
Earn Your Medical Assistant Certificate Today in Michigan, Ohio, & Indiana
Providers in the healthcare system know the importance of medical assistants. In order to fulfill all the roles of quality patient care efficiently, medical assistants need training in key areas along with hands-on clinical experience before working full-time.
If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant, check out our healthcare programs at Career Quest Learning Centers to learn how you can begin your training. Our classes are now open for online enrollment for Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana students. Don’t wait any longer to jump-start your new medical assistant career today!