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5 Ways to Become a Better Medical Assistant

medical assistantSometimes the small things can make a big difference

For students in medical assistant school, you may be busy learning about the clinical aspects of the job, such as how to draw blood, administer an injection, or take a patient’s vital signs. These are clearly a very important part of your training. But in addition, there are also “soft skills” that are important to your training. Learning to be a reliable employee is a skill that can use throughout your entire career. Try these tips for getting a strong start in your new career field.

1. Be an early bird

Plan to arrive at work 10 to 15 minutes early every day. You will need this time to put your belongings away and get ready for your work day. This gives you time to review the list of patients who are scheduled and to check on the day’s supplies. It helps you avoid the feeling of having to “hit the ground running” the minute you step in the door. By arriving just a little early, you can start off your work day feeling calm and organized.

2. Stay positive

Work is called “work” for a reason — it’s hard work! Every day there may be tasks that you don’t enjoy, changes that you weren’t expecting, or problems that arise. But rather than griping or complaining, take a positive approach. Remember that handling problems is simply part of the job. Try to focus on the parts of the job that you do enjoy rather than the negative aspects. With a positive attitude, you will find that you inspire the others around you.

3. Carry your own weight

As a medical assistant, you will be part of a healthcare team in a medical office or a hospital setting. Others on your team might include nurses, office staff, physicians, and other medical assistants. They are all counting on you to do your job. If you shirk your responsibilities, someone else will have to pick up your slack. Make sure you take your responsibilities seriously and put forth your best effort to fulfill your duties. As a team member, you should also be proactive. If you see a need that isn’t being fulfilled, see where you can help. This kind of approach helps make you a valuable member of your team.

4. Be respectful to anyone and everyone

Medical offices and hospitals are busy places. In the course of serving patients throughout the day, healthcare professionals can get stressed and hurried. Despite this, try to stay polite and respectful to everyone throughout the day. Showing respect to others will result in receiving their respect in return. This includes everyone you work with, from the newest employees to the head honchos. And most of all, it includes patients—even those who may test your patience. Being a respectful person is a career skill that should stay with you for your entire career.

5. Keep up your education

In a field like medical assisting, you need to be sure that you keep up with your learning. New technologies and medications are being created, and you want to be sure to stay on the cutting edge. Be sure to attend continuing education classes. Join a professional association and read their newsletters and blog articles regularly. Or subscribe to a journal like CMA Today. Having up-to-date knowledge of your career field is something that you can be proud of and something that others will respect.

Following these tips is a way to “go the extra mile” as a medical assistant. If you follow these guidelines, you can improve your approach to your work. What’s more, the better you perform on the job, the better you will feel about your career.

The Harris School of Business provides helpful tips to students through its weekly blog. To learn about the career-focused training programs at the Harris School, fill out our simple online form.