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Five qualities you need to become a successful medical assistant

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When considering a career in healthcare, medical assisting shouldn’t be overlooked. The need for qualified medical assistants is booming and in fact, the need has never been greater than it is now.

Medical assistants perform a variety of duties, which include both medical and administrative. They often work with both doctors and nurses and perform a wide array of tasks each day. Some of the most common include recording vitals, drawing blood and taking patients’ histories. They’re also required to keep medical offices running smoothly. If you’ve been considering becoming a medical assistant, here are five skills you should possess.

Great communication skills

One of the most important qualities you need to possess is excellent communication skills. Since medical assistants are usually the first person a patient encounters, you need to make patients feel comfortable, be a great listener, and ask the right questions about their medical history without judging.

Work well under stress

No two days are the same in the medial field. Whether you work in a medical office or in the ER, medical assistants must perform well under pressure. From chronically ill patients to an overload of administrative duties, you need to master your multi-tasking skills in this role.

You also need to be tolerant of another person’s behaviour, even when they’re not so pleasant. Patients are known to vent to the first person they encounter, so it’s important to maintain your composure at all times.


Because you will often encounter patients when they are stressed or anxious, you also need to show compassion. Patients can tell whether a medical assistant is truly compassionate or just going through the motions. You need to genuinely care about helping patients and want to make them feel comfortable before, during and even after their health assessment.

Be honest

Working as medical assistant also requires honesty. In this role, you’re privy to a patient’s medical history and often, personal history as well. You must not disclose anyone’s personal information. This includes telling the information to other co-workers, unless it’s in a medical setting and is necessary for patient care. This, along with other major points of ethical conduct, is covered in qualifying medical assistant programmes.


Medical assistants also need to be mentally flexible. Regardless of setting, there will be times when a doctor is running behind, or A&E is busier than usual. This means you’ll need to stay until your services are no longer needed for the day.

Anyone interested in becoming a medical assistant should want to help other people and have a genuine interest in the field of medicine. So, whether you’ll use medical assisting as a stepping stone before entering the nursing sector or you want to only work as a medical assistant, there’s no better time than now to invest in a new career.

Are you a successful medical assistant? What’s your advice? Tell us in the comments below.

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO and often writes about finance, education, business and family. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.
Anita GinsburgFive qualities you need to become a successful medical assistant

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