What makes the medical assisting field so special is the personal connection medical assistants often have with their patients. Many times, patients are going through pain or discomfort and the personal care of a medical assistant goes a long way in establishing a good relationship and helping the patient feel comfortable.
While technical skills are important in the medical assisting field, soft skills should not be overlooked. Especially in the medical field where a patient-centered mentality is ideal, soft skills like empathy and communication are critical. Technical skills may qualify someone for a position, but with many candidates competing for jobs, soft skills can potentially give you a competitive edge in the application and interview process.
Starting Point: Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Take an honest inventory of your strengths — and also your weaknesses. Maybe one strength is that you’re a strong, confident communicator. Or perhaps you make people feel instantly at ease. Perhaps a weakness is taking criticism too much to heart.
In order to develop your soft skills, or even get rid of bad habits, look to the professionals around you. They can you assist you in finding and cultivating your true potential. Join organizations (both professional and volunteer positions), internships, and externships that build your soft skills and potentially open doors to the next step in your career.
Though each soft skill is important, they become more beneficial for a working or future medical assistant when you can confidently say you have many of these qualities:
- Empathy and Communication Skills. Being able to openly communicate with patients and respond to their needs can be key in handling difficult situations.
- Cooperative and Able to Deal with Pressure. Working alongside other medical professionals is about supporting each other and developing your strengths. Help your coworkers become strong employees, and also remember to lean on them for support when you need it.
- Strong Work Ethic and a Positive Mental Attitude. Hard work means going above and beyond. It means promoting a positive attitude that creates a healthy environment for you and your coworkers to assist patients with sensitivity.
- Flexibility and Time Management. Being flexible and capable of handling your daily routine efficiently brings stability to the office environment. Acting responsibly with your time will give structure and support to staff as well as patients in distress.
- Self-Confidence and Dealing with Criticism. The world is always changing and admitting that you don’t know everything is always a good first step. Having self-confidence in your abilities can be determined by how well you can accept and learn from criticism.
Are you interested in training to become a medical assistant? Check out information on Carrington College’s Medical Assisting program: