Traits to Look for In a Good MA

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Jamie Troccoli
Vocational Nursing graduate
medical assistant

A great Medical Assistant (MA) can't be just good working with patients. Nor can they be good only at administrative tasks and paperwork.

When it comes to a medical office or hospital environment, the Medical Assistant must be all things to everyone. That's what makes the job challenging, and it's why Concorde's MA programs consist of comprehensive, real-world training, ensuring students that they are fully ready for the duties of the job on Day 1.

A multipurpose position

"Medical Assisting is a multipurpose position within the medical office," said Michael Meyer, DO, Medical Assistant/Medical Office Administration Program Director at Concordes campus in Orlando, Fla.

The traits desired by prospective clinical practices, he said, include front office management, including basic scheduling and verification of insurance, and telephone duties. They also require back-office assisting which requires proficiency in vital signs, electronic medical record-keeping, and patient room set-up and prep. There also can be laboratory assisting with phlebotomy and basic lab skills for blood glucose, cholesterol levels, as well as therapeutic treatments like injections, ultrasound, and hot pack placement.

"Some offices require the MA be a scribe for the physician to document all the clinical findings of an examination in real time into the medical record," Meyer said. "They can create and produce correct eRx documents for medicines to be purchased from the pharmacy as well as proper medication delivery within the office."

"The knowledge of basic machine operator for chest X-rays and other diagnostic X-rays might also be of great value for the MA in many primary care and orthopedic practices," Meyer said.

Medical Assistant certification necessary in some states

The need for the Medical Assistant is ongoing, and the skills necessary are both basic as well as specialized depending on the practice needs. Well-rounded training in both practice management software, scheduling software, and EHR is necessary to be successful at the clinical site. Registered Medical Assistant or Certified Medical Assistant certification is necessary in some states to properly document in the EHR. Many hospital-based clinics are requiring this extra level of proficiency in their employees.

"When you think of medical assisting, the canvas is quite open for those who desire to learn more each and every day," Meyer said.

pharmacy technician

Do you have an Associate's degree in health care field, which is a pre-requisite for this program?