Medical assistant skills (With definition and tips)
Updated 31 July 2023
Medical assistants find it beneficial to develop particular interpersonal and technical abilities. If you wish to secure the role of medical assistant, you can mention such aptitudes on your CV. Hiring managers normally spend only a few seconds per CV, so you may increase your chances of acceptance by including the necessary qualities the medical field demands. In this article, we discuss some of the most important medical assistant skills which you might either develop or improve to add to your CV.
What are medical assistant skills?
Medical assistant skills are the most important qualities for this profession, therefore it's essential to include them on your CV. Hiring managers always seek particular keywords when scanning a CV, so mentioning these aptitudes may increase your chances of invitations to interviews. Medical assistant responsibilities are both administrative and clerical, therefore all the abilities you decide to list on the CV result in relating to at least one of the two categories.
Examples of medical assistant skills
If you resonate with the following skills and if they apply to you, ensure that you mention them when applying for the next role. This may also help you to develop or improve some of these skills. Here are nine key skills you can choose to include on your medical assistant CV:
Medical assistants have several responsibilities that range from greeting patients to answering phone calls and scheduling appointments. Hiring managers seek candidates who have experience and that are able to handle such administrative duties daily. An effective way in which you might mention the proper skills on your CV is to insert them in the experience section. If you have expertise from being a receptionist, for example, include this on your CV, as your knowledge of office software represents an important asset. Explain how this helped with scheduling, rescheduling and cancelling appointments for guests.
It's essential for medical assistants to possess strong written and verbal communication skills. It's important to feel comfortable when interacting with patients to explain various concepts to them in a clear manner and to offer them details in writing through notes. Some responsibilities that this job involves might demand skills like knowing how to work well both with patients and alongside colleagues, communicate efficiently, handle phone calls and reply to emails.
Good medical assistants are able to manage their own time, but also the employer's. For instance, in case you're working for a doctor in their private practice, you might schedule their appointments for them. Medical assistants have clerical responsibilities which they perform daily, therefore it's highly important for them to be able to manage their time well. Hiring managers wish to see that you're capable of completing all of your tasks in a rather short amount of time to ensure that things run smoothly at the workplace.
Cleanliness and organisation
All health care industries demand sterile work equipment. Medical assistants know how to maintain tools aseptic at all times. Sterile equipment is crucial for the patients' health, therefore all hiring managers treat this matter with seriousness. If you possess prior expertise as a medical assistant, you might have the necessary knowledge regarding the steps to keep all medical utensils free from bacteria. Listing this in the skills section of your CV can prove to the employer reading your CV that you're a responsible person.
The majority of health care facilities make the staff members follow strict rules to maintain safety and order within the workplace. Therefore, all medical assistants know how to handle infectious diseases, but they're also aware of how to do paperwork properly and how to bill clients. Hiring managers always discuss their own rules with the new medical assistants, but possessing this type of expertise represents a great advantage when seeking a position in this field. It demonstrates the fact that you're aware of the reason why following protocols is highly important.
Attention to detail
Keeping treatment records is an important part of the position of medical assistant and it's also crucial for maintaining the patients' health. Professionals such as doctors and nurses require accurate records that mention the patients' previous procedures and medications to be able to continue with the proper treatment. It's the medical assistant's duty to monitor this information about the patient for later consideration. For this role, you might benefit from developing a good eye for details. In case you possess any record-keeping expertise, regardless of it being outside the healthcare industry, list it on your CV as a key skill.
Knowledge of basic medical procedures
Medical assistants often perform standard medical procedures. For instance, you might change bandages, draw blood and administer vaccines. If you have experience doing any of those tasks, list that and provide details on your CV. When covering your prior work expertise, ensure that you mention all of the standard medical procedures with which you're familiar.
Due to the fact that many of this position's duties are purely administrative, it's necessary for medical assistants to spend a great deal of time using computers. Mentioning computer proficiency as a key skill on your CV shows hiring managers that they can save time, money and energy by skipping the training stage. In this way, they're more likely to choose you over other candidates, as this information shows them that you can learn about their scheduling software and email programme quickly.
To succeed in the medical field as an assistant, try to work hard on your interpersonal skills. You might often face challenges such as having patients that are in pain or sick. This type of interaction demands a level of empathy and compassion. Good medical assistants communicate well with others and are passionate about helping them. To show the hiring manager who's reading your CV that you possess interpersonal skills, you may list various examples of helping people, including volunteer work.
Tips for medical assistants
Below are some tips you can follow to succeed as a medical assistant:
Learn how to be self-sufficient
To be a strong collaborator, learn how to answer your own questions. As a medical assistant, you're in constant communication with the physicians. Even so, as they're busy professionals, it's a good idea to try other sources before turning to them for help to fix an issue. It's ideal to be able to discern between particular situations, understanding which ones demand the physician's aid. The distinction might take some time, but by being self-sufficient and proactive you become a huge asset to the medical team. It's efficient to collaborate by setting high standards for your prioritisation and organisation.
Understand when to intervene and when to avoid involvement
Urgent situations happen very often in the medical field, so they demand quick thinking. For example, if the patients' vitals change abruptly, try to put your qualities and experience to good use and intervene even if you're alone and lack assistance in the situation. There are times when the most effective thing to do is to offer your support to the physician and give them time to respond to the situation without pressuring them. It's essential to act decisively and calmly when communicating with the physician, to establish what the best course of action is and to start achieving it.
Speak with confidence if you find errors
Regardless of your medical assistant workplace, it's necessary to pay attention to details, as that's one efficient way to make a true change and impact your team positively. Even though the physician with whom you're working possesses a great deal of professional expertise, they can sometimes lack accuracy regarding documentation, prescriptions and charting. Be brave enough to mention whatever it is that the physician may be overlooking, as you can help more in this way. It does take some courage, but acting in the patients' interest and taking the necessary course of action can bring you satisfaction.
Keep up morale
Both medical assistants and physicians are extremely busy people, as they have many patients that are in great pain and they face fast-paced schedules. All of this often leads to an overwhelming amount of stress and fatigue. Even so, you can help by making a real difference through a positive atmosphere for both yourself and the physician with whom you work. Communication can flow better when both of you are able to focus on the current situation while maintaining calm and taking the necessary steps in every moment.
Medical assistant qualities on a CV
You may emphasise your qualities on your medical assistant CV either by mentioning them in the skills section or in the work expertise section. Below are examples of both:
strong verbal and written communication
handling phone calls
attention to detail
Assistant Manager Franco Marketing
2016 to 2019
handling phone calls and scheduling meetings with clients
making notes of all meetings
putting my computer skills to good use to communicate better with clients and to maintain organisation within the marketing department
Related: How to write a medical assistant CV
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