Medical assistants are essential in any organized medical office because they are the ones who ensure that daily business operates efficiently.
They need a variety of skills, including written and oral communication skills and they have to be polite and pleasant people when interacting with patients.
Medical assistants have to remain calm and friendly with patients even with those who are anxious and difficult to manage.
They also have to be proficient with technology because much of the work in medical offices are performed using a computer.
Other skills needed by medical assistants are:
- accounting knowledge
- knowing medical terminology
- industry software knowledge
- insurance billing procedures
- medical ethics
In our day and age, due to the complexity of the healthcare system, many medical offices need medical assistants who have completed specialized training.
Many training programs are available at certificate, diploma, or associate degree levels.
These programs cover both the clinical and administrative aspects of medical assisting.
The curriculum usually includes topics such as:
- medical terminology
- interpersonal professional communication
- medical law and ethics
- office accounting
- anatomy and physiology for medical offices
- medical office procedures
- software applications
- office accounting
- healthcare coding
- medical transcription
Some programs may also include specialized training for medical administrative assistants with courses on:
- medical malpractice and medical practice specialties
- confidentiality of medical records
- medical records management
- technology in the healthcare environment
- medical accounting
- patient bill of rights
- abbreviations and symbols used in the medical office
- billing and collecting procedures
- medical emergencies
- federal and state regulations.
After completing a training program and an externship many aspiring medical office assistants pursue national certification as a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant or a similar credential.