Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Do Practices Look For When Hiring A Medical Assistant?

Digitization of the healthcare industry has lead to an increasing demand for qualified, experienced and IT educated medical assistants to help practices and physicians meet their Meaningful Use objectives. Although this has opened up many new opportunities for job seeking medical assistants, it has also resulted in practices raising the bar pertaining to candidate quality, experience and training standards.

Jobs and Duties of a Medical Assistant

As a medical assistant, you are in charge of performing administrative and basic clinical tasks of the practice. While your job description may differ depending on the size and location of the practice, your basic responsibility is to ensure the smooth and efficient running of day to day operations and clinical tasks that are assigned to you. The clinical duties that a medical assistant is eligible to discharge vary according to state law. Practices require medical assistants to be well-versed with patient and laboratory work, administrative activities like maintaining medical records, bookkeeping, filing tax returns and insurance forms, hospital admissions, appointment scheduling, patient-practice correspondence, billing and other practice management duties.

Some practices require medical assistants to help physicians with pre and post treatment procedures like recording vital stats (height, weight, blood pressure, temperature), medical histories, drug allergies and routine lab tests. They may also be expected to provide first aid, remove sutures, change bandages, give injections and take X-rays or other scans.

Formal Education, Training and Certification

Although practices impart training on the job, experienced candidates with formal education, certification or a degree are generally preferred. 1 year certificate or diploma programs, or 2 year associate degree programs are offered in vocational-technical high schools.
 

Candidates who have received formal training in medical assisting are well-versed with anatomy, physiology, medical terminology and administrative functions like maintaining records, transcripts, accounts and insurance processing. Clinical and diagnostic procedures, laboratory testing, pharmaceutical proficiency, first aid are also covered in these programs along with office management activities, skills and techniques. As formally trained candidates already have a good command over the duties and functions of medical assisting, they naturally hold the edge over novice medical assistants in job interviews and selection procedures.


Healthcare IT Skills

Practices require medical assistants to look after the front office administration including staff management, appointment scheduling, filing reports, maintaining patient charts, bookkeeping, billing, tax and insurance processes. With the federal government incentivizing Meaningful Use of EMR implementations, a majority of administrative and clinical tasks have been digitized. As the onus of meeting Meaningful Use objectives lies largely with medical assistants, practices have started to consider IT skills as indispensable to medical assistant skill sets and resumes.

Soft Skills

Medical assistants must be equipped with good communication skills. As they are essentially the connecting link between patients and physicians, it is important for medical assistants to develop soft skills that make the patients feel welcome and comfortable in a place they don’t really want to be in. Interacting with patients and their families, providing them all the information they would need in order to ease their apprehensions, displaying empathy and understanding the delicacies of communication in a dispiriting hospital environment, are skills that practices are imploring their medical assistants to imbibe and develop.

Lastly, medical assistants must be capable of handling intense emergency situations placed against chaotic emotions, flying egos and anxieties. It is absolutely essential for them to maintain a calm, patient and positive attitude to focus on keeping their nerves intact and getting the job done.

References:

1. http://medicalassistant-jobs.blogspot.com/2010/03/communication-therapeutic-skills-for.html
2. http://www.ehow.com/about_5341447_general-skills-needed-medical-assistant.html
3. http://technology4doctors.blogspot.com/2011/05/information-technology-orientation-for.html
4. http://www.medicalassistantx.com/expectations-of-behaviour-and-medical-assistant-code-of-ethics/
5. http://www.medicalassistantx.com/know-the-basic-medical-assistant-requirements/
6. http://www.medicalassistantx.com/the-skills-of-the-medical-assistant/
7.
http://www.medicalassistantx.com/whatdoesamedicalassistantdo/

17 comments:

john said...

Well, if I were in need of MOA, I definitely would look at their medical office assistant training back ground. If they completed it well and even got the right certifications, they would be a good candidate for the job.

mithun said...

I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.



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Talent Shout said...

The medical assistant job description is focused on providing assistance to the doctors while performing general medical check ups and giving consultation to patients.

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m rana said...



Although practices impart training on the job, experienced candidates with formal
education, certification or a degree are generally preferred. 1 year certificate
or diploma programs, or 2 year associate degree programs are offered in
vocational-technical high schools.

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