5 Reasons Moms Already Have the Core Characteristics of a Medical Assistant
You’ve occasionally daydreamed about getting a job in healthcare, but you usually find yourself walking away from the idea. You’re an excellent mom, but you don’t know much about the medical field. You keep telling yourself to put your healthcare dreams on the back burner and stick with what you’re good at. After all, you’re practically a certified pro in wiping runny noses, cutting up banana slices and keeping a lookout for sharp edges or dangerous objects before your baby can get to them.
But did you know that your time as a mother may have already prepared you with the core characteristics of a medical assistant? While you thought all those months of stuffing diapers in a dispenser were just part of the work of motherhood, your experiences as a mom have been preparing you to pursue a career helping others as a medical assistant (MA).
Being an MA is about more than job-specific skills that can be taught — like drawing blood or taking vital signs. MAs also need to have the right combination of people skills if they really want to succeed in their career. We’ve compiled a list of medical assistant attributes you probably already have as a mama! Read on and prepare to turn those healthcare dreams into reality.
5 medical assistant characteristics moms already possess
1. Problem sensitivity
Why this skill matters: The ability to tell that something is wrong — or that something is likely to go wrong — is key as a medical assistant. While MAs aren’t in charge of solving the problem (that’s the doctor’s job), they’re on the front lines of noticing abnormalities or patient discomfort. A medical assistant is often the first person in contact with a patient, which allows them a unique role in noticing what’s up.
How parenting helps: Your rug rats are running around, pretending to be superheroes, and you notice that your son’s racecar collection is still lying out. You can spot issues like this from a mile away thanks to your mama radar, so you call a pause on cops and robbers and have your kiddos clean up a potentially hazardous mess.
Why this skill matters: Health problems can be scary, and a little empathy from healthcare workers goes a long way in making a patient feel cared for. It also helps you, the medical assistant, to be gentler and more kind-hearted as you administer an injection, draw blood or complete other potentially painful procedures. It’s invaluable for patients to know that someone hears them and understands. Your empathy can make a world of difference to them.
How parenting helps: Bad dreams, stubbed toes, spilled milk — if there’s ever been a child-size problem, you’ve listened to it and talked through it. Empathy develops naturally for mothers because they are constantly working through the everyday problems that crop up as little ones grow. Your listening skills are probably stellar by this point in the game — why not apply that to a career as an MA?
Why this skill matters: Medical assistants wear many hats. They administer injections, draw blood, order supplies and equipment, take vital signs, prepare exam rooms for patients, record patient medical history, schedule appointments and much more. The skill of multitasking helps MAs complete all their duties without breaking a sweat.
How parenting helps: The doorbell and phone are simultaneously ringing, your toddler just chucked a handful of macaroni and cheese at the wall, and your other little ones are test driving their new pogo sticks right there in the kitchen. This may sound crazy to those without kids, but to you, it’s a typical Thursday afternoon. You’re a pro at managing several tasks at once — a skill that translates directly to a career as an MA.
4. Communication skills
Why this skill matters: With all the interaction MAs have with patients, nurses and doctors, it’s important to be a good communicator and relay all the necessary details. Letting patients know what’s about to happen, notifying a doctor or nurse if you notice something strange and providing great customer service as you schedule appointments goes a long way in making you a great medical assistant.
How parenting helps: You rely on clear communication as a mom, from reminding your son what time to be home for curfew to telling your daughter exactly what she’s allowed to watch on TV. But your communication skills don’t end there. It’s also that deep conversation before bed and the chatter in the car during your family vacation. Your ability to clearly give instructions while sincerely listening to and caring for your kids will serve you well as a medical assistant.
5. Organization and keeping track of details
Why this skill matters: Between scheduling appointments, keeping track of patients’ medical histories, recording vitals and communicating important information to your superiors, there’s plenty for medical assistants to organize and keep track of. If you’ve got a handle on keeping track of details and are thorough and organized, you’re already prepared to succeed as a medical assistant.
How parenting helps: Everyone’s got a dentist appointment scheduled this week, your daughter almost forgot her backpack on the way out the door and you have to write out instructions for the evening babysitter. Staying organized is a must for a mom keeping track of her busy family’s schedule, and there’s no doubt that this ability will also come in handy in a career as a medical assistant.
You might be a good match
Now that you can see you already have many characteristics of a medical assistant, why not find out more about the career you’ve been dreaming about? Being a mom has already equipped you in a multitude of ways, so why not leverage your practical parental skills in a growing field?
Learn more about why it’s worth it to follow this career path in our article: 12 Benefits of Becoming a Medical Assistant.