The making of a successful medical assistant

While health care jobs can prove stressful, medical assistants can make a significant difference in their patients’ lives by providing support, compassion, and expert care. If you want to succeed in this career, you can develop the following skills, each of which will help you do your job more effectively.

Steady Hands

Whether you’re giving an injection, drawing a blood sample, or taking your patient’s vital signs, you need steady hands that complete your work quickly and accurately. When it comes to patient care, you want to inflict the least amount of pain and anxiety, and quickly drawing blood or administering a vaccine will help you reach that goal.

Perform hand stretches and exercises to increase the strength and flexibility in your fingers, hands, and wrists. In between exercises, you can practice inserting a needle into a piece of fruit or checking your own vital signs. Focus on remaining calm; you can try deep-breathing exercises if you get anxious during an exam.

Excellent Bedside Manner

You’re often your patients’ first point of contact at the hospital or doctor’s office. You listen to their complaints, take their medical histories, and soothe them when they express anxiety. Consequently, you need an excellent bedside manner: the ability to connect with patients on a personal level and to make them feel at ease.

Fortunately, this skill boils down to friendliness. If you treat your patients like old friends and express concern for their welfare, you’ll become an invaluable member of your health care team. Other medical professionals will appreciate your willingness to connect with patients, which could result in advancement opportunities.


Technology and knowledge continue to advance in the health care field, and you must prove capable of adapting to change quickly. For instance, most hospitals and practices have adopted electronic health records — also called electronic medical records — to replace hard-copy files. Learning these systems can be challenging, but you must pick up these new skills quickly if you want to succeed.

Additionally, as new developments materialize, you might have to change the way you interact with and treat patients. Patient care policies have become increasingly important thanks to health care legislation and evolving systems, so you don’t want to get left behind.


Patients might ask you questions for which you don’t have the answer. To maintain your professional integrity, you must admit when you don’t have a solution for a patient, then find someone who does. A humble attitude will show your superiors that you’re willing to look to others for guidance and that you won’t jeopardize a patient’s health because of pride.

That said, you’ll likely have to educate your patients about their medications, treatments, and conditions. The more you learn about these facets of your career, the faster you’ll gain credibility in the field.

Working as a medical assistant can help you advance in the health care field. You can further your education if you’d like to become a nurse or other health care provider, but there’s plenty of demand for medical assistants.


This article was originally published by CareerBuilder on 9/30/2016

1 Comment
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