Whether it is in the medical industry or any other, people expect a certain level of professionalism. Those who are learning to become medical assistants must represent their hospital or clinic in a respectful manner. Not doing so will have patients question whether they should trust the doctor and/or the medical facility.
The position of a medical assistant provides vast learning opportunities for any field of study and the pay can be very rewarding. However, for the student in training you should always remember that there will be constant interaction with patients. Sure, the position is designed to aid the physician in every way, but the whole industry is designed to help the patient.
When someone approaches a professional, a good appearance gives off a good psychological effect. This is especially true for a patient who is at their most vulnerable when they are sick. This appearance is one of good grooming, dress and health. Here are some basic expectations that that will help guide the soon-to-be medical assistant.
• Dress – For the most part, a medical facility and/or clinic uses standardized uniforms. In large hospital waiting rooms, medical assistants are recognized by a type of uniform called ‘scrubs’. These are manufactured by a uniform clothing company and sold in stores that specialize in medical supplies. They are most commonly seen in a shade of blue which determines the role of the professional among others in the area. This kind of attire may not always be mandatory if the position is within a private practice. In this case a lab coat is sometimes worn on top of other formal business wear. This is left to the decision of the main physician for that site and just to be clear, ‘business wear’ is anything that would be worn in a professional office environment such as pressed-slacks or long skirt, and dress shirt. There will also be a lot of standing and walking so comfortable footwear is recommended.
• Well-groomed – Shower or bathe daily, practice good oral hygiene, keep nails and hair trimmed or make sure it is out of the way. Patients know that they are entering an area where there are other sick people and the signs of cleanliness helps set them at ease. Make sure a mild deodorant is used and keep away from colognes or perfumes. For one, it gives the impression that you are drawing too much attention to yourself and it comes across as unprofessional and second, you never know if the patient is allergic or has could have a reaction to the scent which creates a bigger problem. If make-up must be worn than its presence should be subtle. A clean image will keep everything on track.
• Health – There is a term used to describe how actors get into their roles which is ‘method acting’. In a similar sense it applies to a medical assistant. Many who enter this field are usually committed to a healthier lifestyle. This may be because of the focus on the subject being taught and in this case, the practice of exercise and the adoption of healthy habits promotes the purpose of the profession. This is not mandatory but it is something to consider, especially when it puts the person in a better mood throughout the day. The patient will have more confidence in the care provided.
Taking Initiative and Responsibility
Once you receive your assigned schedule it is the responsibility of the medical assistant to stay on it. As the saying goes, “If you’re early you’re on time, and if you’re on-time you’re late.” This is easy to remember and should be followed as with any other profession. The privilege of playing a part in the medical industry is recognized and respected and should be treated responsibly. There will be plenty of times when the waiting room will be full of patients and being ‘present’ and on time helps the team build confidence in your abilities and help the patients get the attention they need. Patients are people with jobs too and know what tardiness might be like, however seeing a late and rushed medical assistant will not ‘sit’ well with them.
If time permits, volunteering to help others as long as it is within the scope of training and education, is welcomed and shows initiative. The medical environment always provides a atmosphere of learning and showing a willingness to do so lets others see your determination.
Human relations is a significant part of this profession. The ability to work well with others will open up more opportunities. This refers to both co-workers and patients, who put their health in the trusted hands of their physicians. Many patients are also intimidated in a medical environment so when they are treated with respect and politeness they will be more accepting of treatment.
As a new employee entering the field – allowing supervision and guidance is highly recommended. It is hardly necessary and sometimes not a good idea to let others know that you are new to the team. The expectation is to act as an active team member and be appreciative of others and their instruction. You should be willing to help others out too when you can and put your training and education to work. The desire to learn new things is always a great way to embrace the role and to learn faster. Everyone has a task to do and if there is time to help another; it will help build a good working relationship.
Welcome To Your Team
The level achieved from training to being an active medical assistant are very rewarding indeed. A great environment is provided with the excitement of learning new things which is shared by all members of the medical community. Having this position shows a level of advancement that establishes a new identity in your career. The door to success is wide open.