6 Skills Every Medical Assistant Needs to Build a Successful Career

Medical assistants play a vital role in the healthcare industry. 

A medical assistant — sometimes also called a healthcare assistant or clinical assistant — is a healthcare professional who works alongside doctors, nurses, and physicians to provide the highest quality of care to patients as well as ensure the team’s operations run smoothly.

They are incredibly valuable to health teams due to their unique possession of both administrative and clinical skills. Medical assistants perform their duties in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

The demand for these workers is expected to see a growth rate of 16% over the next 10 years, a rate that’s much faster than the majority of industries. In other words, there’s never been a better time to start building a career in medical assistance.

Medical assistance is a viable career option for people who want to work in the medical industry but don’t yet have a relevant education or experience serving people. If compassion, organization, and communication are some of your biggest strengths and you have a passion for helping people, this very well may be a rewarding career path for you.

What are the best medical assistant skills?

If you’re considering a medical assistant career, you’ll first want to assess your current skill level.

Here are a few skills you should be proficient in as a medical assistant:

1. Communication and teamwork

As a medical assistant, you are deeply integrated into a team (sometimes several) and vital to the overall functionality and efficiency of your medical setting. You’ve chosen a field where the very nature of your job is working with people, which means you need to have strong communication, teamwork and other interpersonal skills.

2. Knowledge of medical terminology, procedures and equipment

Building a successful career path in patient care demands more than just refined soft skills; it also requires strong clinical skills. This includes a strong knowledge of medical terminology, a basic understanding of how to operate day-to-day equipment, and a grasp of how to assist doctors and physicians with medical procedures.

3. Basic computer and telephone skills 

You’ll need a strong understanding of how to operate computers on a basic level, as well as comfort and confidence speaking with people regularly on the phone. In addition, you’ll also need to know how to use healthcare-specific clinical skills, such as electronic record systems, virtual scheduling software, and medical coding.

4. Organization and time-management

Staying organized and being able to effectively manage your time are two incredibly valuable skills every medical assistant needs. These skills not only impact your personal workflow, productivity, and overall ability to do your job; they impact your team in the same way.

5. Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously

As a medical assistant, you’ll often have more than one responsibility to juggle at the same time. If you get overwhelmed or frustrated easily with multiple tasks, this might not be the job for you.

On the other hand, if you thrive in a fast-paced environment and love the thrill of solving problems, this role should suit you well.

6. Physical stamina and strong overall health

Medical assistants have a fairly physical job. They have a lot of responsibilities between the clinical and administrative settings they work in, which means they’re regularly walking to different rooms, lifting items, helping patients, and standing for long periods of time.

How do I learn these skills?

Two of the most common ways people receive medical assistant training are through college, and the newer, alternative option of a bootcamp.

While a college degree is still considered the most thorough, in-depth education you can receive, bootcamps have become an increasingly popular option for adult learners who are seeking a faster, more affordable higher education.

Get started in medical assistance today

Health Tech Academy’s certification training programs are designed to help you fasttrack your healthcare career by equipping you with all of the education, training, and tools you need.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards your future, consider the Health Tech Academy Medical Assistant Training Program. You’ll learn all of the skills you need, in as few as 16 weeks, to help you earn the medical assistant career you deserve.