7 Signs You Would Thrive in a Medical Assisting Career
By Ashley Brooks on 03/01/2018
Pursuing a new career or industry involves a lot of guesswork. From your initial interest in a particular field to researching a new career you are interested in, to gaining the necessary experience and education for that career, you will likely invest a lot of time and energy in the process of finding something you love to do. What if there was a way to take the guesswork out of the equation?
There are many ways to reduce risk when you are thinking about transitioning to a new career. Talking with a career or college counselor, researching online or even taking a career aptitude test could all be helpful options. But simply taking the time to examine which skills and personality traits come most naturally to you might be a great first step in figuring out whether a job is right for you. As you align your personality, interests and lifestyle with a particular job, you may feel more comfortable taking the leap toward investing in your education.
A career in medical assisting may appear straightforward. But like any other job, a medical assisting career is a unique role that, as a result, requires a specific set of skills and education. While a certain level of education and experience is necessary to work as a medical assistant, there are some personality traits you can translate onto the job for even more success. We did our research and spoke to a few medical professionals who work closely with medical assistants about what it takes to thrive in the role. Here’s what they had to say.
You should become a medical assistant if ...
1. You are at your best when you’re solving problems
Do you thrive when you are put on the spot? Do you like handling challenges and being trusted to find a solution? As a medical assistant, you will work independently to prepare patients for their visit with physicians. While it’s crucial that you have the knowledge it takes to serve the patients you work with, it’s equally important to be resourceful enough to find the answers you need when you’re not quite sure what to do.
“As a medical assistant, you will face patient questions on a daily basis. When a manager cannot be found, you may have to address these on your own. Solving problems without making excuses is essential to your work,” says Dr. Alex Roher of San Diego Botox.
2. You are a people person
If people know you as a friendly, warm person who looks out for the needs of others, a career in medical assisting may be for you. In addition to performing administrative and basic medical tasks, you will be responsible for making patients feel comfortable before their visits. For this reason, it’s important you have an outgoing, kind personality.
“Often medical assistants are the first person that a patient sees. A medical assistant frequently spends more time with the patient than nurses, physicians or other providers so being friendly and warm is important,” says Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, LCSW-C, author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One.
3. You pride yourself on being open-minded
As a medical assistant, you will inevitably work with a variety of patients dealing with sensitive issues. From weighing people to handling sensitive symptoms during patient intake, you will likely face patients who feel awkward or uncomfortable. Being open-minded is another way you can put them at ease during their visit to the doctor, according to FitzPatrick.
“Open-mindedness is important because the medical assistant will encounter patients dealing with issues the patient may consider embarrassing or shameful,” she says. “Being able to put the patient at ease is an enormous asset. I have actually worked with patients who avoided their doctor because the medical assistant made them uncomfortable or appeared judgmental.”
4. You pay close attention to the little things
FitzPatrick also says being detail-oriented is highly valuable in a medical assisting role. Think of it this way: Your job as a medical assistant is preparing the patient to be seen by the medical professionals with whom you work. Because you will be responsible for recording patient information, taking their vital signs, scheduling appointments and preparing patients for the lab, being accurate and precise is of utmost importance. If you are someone who consistently crosses their T’s and dots their I’s, then working as a medical assistant could be a great fit for you.
5. You have an uncanny ability to read people
Like many other medical jobs, medical assisting requires a lot of listening. You want to make sure you get all the information you need to serve your patients and their health well. But as you know, listening involves more than just hearing someone. Using your intuition is just as important. “Another quality that is important in medical assisting is being able to ‘hear’ what is not being said through facial expressions or body language,” FitzPatrick says.
6. You are a great multitasker
Let’s face it: Most careers these days involve a good amount of multitasking, and medical assisting is no exception. There’s a lot you will have to do in a short amount of time as a medical assistant. You may find yourself asking questions while taking vitals, or typing a patient’s symptoms while listening to them. If you enjoy juggling a few tasks at once—and more importantly, you can do them all well—that’s a good indicator you would fit well in this role.
7. You get energy from a busy schedule
Do your friends tease you for how packed your schedule is? If being on the go constantly is something you actually enjoy, then definitely consider working as a medical assistant. Since your job is to make sure your patients are prepped for the doctor, you’ll have to be one step ahead at all times. Whether you work in a busy clinic with back-to-back patients or an ER full of patients, you can count on a fast-paced environment.
Where do the signs have you pointing?
Now that you know how a medical assistant career could fit into your life, are you ready to learn more about the benefits of the job? If so, visit our article, “9 Reasons to Become a Medical Assistant Now.”