Set an Example as a Medical Assistant

This is a profession where your attitude goes a long way

We all have the experience of walking into a doctor’s office and encountering a staff that’s thoughtful, attentive, and conscientious. Unfortunately, most of us have also had a negative customer service experience. If you’re in a medical assistant program, then you know that dealing effectively with patients is an important aspect of what you’re expected to do.

So we have some pointers for you about ways to thrive on the job. These aren’t limited to patient interactions, however; as you will soon learn, being a medical assistant requires wearing a number of different “hats” in the course of the day, and creating positive interactions with your supervisor, your colleagues, members of the support staff, as well as the public.

Here are some productive places to start. Take these to heart, and you can’t go wrong:

Be an early bird
We live in a society that values punctuality, but in terms of work culture, those who make it a habit of being early get extra points. Time yourself the next time you go through your morning routine and then add five minutes. This includes time to get work (including traffic), finding a parking space, making the walk from the parking lot, taking off your coat, putting your lunch away, and getting settled. (It probably takes more time than you think!) This is how much leeway you need to leave yourself, in order to be calm and relaxed and ready to start your shift.

Default to showing respect
No matter where you fall in the organization—from the top head honcho to those just starting out at entry-level—it’s important to treat everyone with respect. As a medical assistant, you’ll be reporting to nurses and doctors. Show respect by taking their requests seriously, making eye contact, and speaking politely with them. With your fellow medical assistants, share helpful information, avoid gossiping, and lend a hand when you can.

Show initiative
Be flexible and responsive when your supervisor asks you to take on a new responsibility. Soon you’ll see you’ll have gained the reputation as someone people respect and can count on. There will also be one less person contributing to the negativity that can make it a drag to go to work. At the same time, you shouldn’t always be the one stuck doing the least desirable task. Over time you’ll get the hang of when to default to being helpful and when it makes sense to thoughtfully and politely stand up for yourself.

Look for opportunities to learn
Medicine is a field that’s always changing, so there are limitless possibilities to improve yourself and learn about the latest technique, procedure, or software. Keep your eyes open for opportunities for professional development. Look to your savvy coworkers for direction on areas where they have more experience. Find ways to take on additional responsibilities or improve how you do things you’re already in charge of. It keeps things interesting to always be learning!

With these pointers, you’ll be off to a great start during that first week on the job. Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from your supervisors, and emulate others in your workplace that demonstrate these qualities consistently. You can have a positive impact on everyone you come into contact with. It’s a satisfying way to leave your job at the end of the day!


This article is part of the Branford Hall weekly blog. We offer an array of professional training programs at ten campuses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Reach out to us for more information today!