Being a medical assistant is challenging and rewarding at the same time. Medical assistants, also are known as ‘clinical assistant’, work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or care facilities in medical offices and clinics.
What do Medical Assistants Do?
Before we get on to the medical assistant skills employers need, let’s have a look at the duties and responsibilities in a typical day. You will be performing both administrative and clinical duties, as guided by the physician or registered nurse. Some of the outlined tasks medical assistants expected to perform are:
- Scheduling appointments.
- Interviewing patients and preparing a medical history.
- Maintain medical records, billing and coding information for insurance.
- Preparing patients for examination.
- Helping physicians with patient examinations.
- Drawing blood and preparing samples for lab tests.
- Recording vital signs, such as blood pressure.
- Injections and medications as per the direction of physicians.
Medical office assistants have to multitask with back and front office duties. Thus, requiring versatile skill-set. Employers’ value candidates who are detail oriented and friendly. Here are some of the most demanded skills are:
- Good working knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and necessary procedures.
- Patient/Family education. Medical assistants are required to have basic patient care know-how.
- Knowledge of First aid and CPR is an asset.
- ECG/EKG and Phlebotomy certification is preferred.
- Giving injections and sample preparation.
- Knowledge of safety and sanitation and practicing of protocols is essential.
- Understanding of prescription refills as directed.
- Answering phones and Scheduling appointments.
- Basic computer skills and well versed with billing software – OHIP.
- Filling, updating and maintaining patient medical records.
- Arrangements for hospital admissions and labs.
- Handling correspondences.
- Bookkeeping (in small settings).
- Excellent communication skills, both written and spoken.
- Empathetic – Medical assistants attend patients of all kind, and it is vital to understand the situation the patient is in.
- Excellent customer service skills, quality of care and service.
Medical office assistants work in a fast-paced environment. So, if you are someone who enjoys multitasking and interacting with people, it can be a great field for you. You might possess some of the skills as mentioned earlier and qualities, but formal education will equip you with the required clinical knowledge and training. You can earn a medical assistant/administrator diploma in less than 7 months.
With increasing demand in healthcare, it is estimated 17200 medical office administrator jobs will open across Canada. Thus, employers are looking for motivated, caring individuals to work in high-quality healthcare services.
BizTech College offers diploma in medical office administration, certifications in ECG, Phlebotomy and CPR within the course. Clinical placements is included within the program to make sure you are prepared and succeed in the chosen career.