What Does It Take to Become a Medical Assistant?

See if you have these five key traits

If you are considering starting a new career field, it’s a good idea to look at your own strengths and interests. Are you the type of person who likes a busy, active job where the time goes fast? Do you want a job where you interact with a lot of people? Do you like the idea of working in a healthcare setting? If you answer yes to these questions, you might be interested in a career as a medical assistant.

In order to decide whether you might be a good fit with this career, find out the kinds of traits that successful medical assistants have. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, there are several qualities that will help you succeed in this field. Take a look at these traits. If you don’t have them now, don’t give up hope. Medical assistant schools can help you develop the skills and qualities you need.

1. Analytical Skills
What are analytical skills? Having good analytical skills means you have the ability to look at information and understand what to do with it. This is important because medical assistants are expected to handle patient charts, clinical procedures, doctors’ instructions, office schedules, and insurance paperwork. All of these items require you to understand what is being communicated and act on it correctly.

2. Attention to Detail
If you are considering medical assistant school, you should be someone who is attentive to detail. In any medical profession, details are important, especially when it comes to a patient’s health. Medical assistants need to be precise when taking a patient’s vital signs, recording health information in a patient’s chart, or calling in a prescription refill. Getting these things wrong could impact a patient’s health. These are just a few examples of why it’s so important to pay attention to the details.

3. Being a People Person
Medical assistants get to interact with patients every day, and many of them find this to be a very rewarding part of the job. Typically, a medical assistant will check a patient in, weigh them, and then take their blood pressure, temperature, and pulse. These tasks are a great opportunity to socialize with patients and help make them feel comfortable before the doctor arrives. In a role like this, you are representing the organization that you work for, so it’s important that you are friendly with patients and helpful with whatever they may need.

4. Communication Skills
When you are part of a medical team, whether you are a nurse, doctor, or medical assistant, it’s crucial to have good communication skills. You need to be able to communicate about a patient’s needs. You need to document all of your tasks clearly so that others on the team know what has been done. You need to use tact and respect when communicating with any member of the staff or medical team. These skills will help you build your reputation as someone who can be trusted.

5. Technical/Clinical Skills.
The clinical skills necessary to be a good medical assistant are skills that you will learn in medical assistant school. These will include taking vital signs, administering injections, drawing blood, performing EKGs, and delivering first aid. Some people may be nervous about the sight of blood or the thought of needles, but don’t let that stand in your way. Many medical assistant students have said that they started out nervous, but by the end of a week or two in the lab, they were completely comfortable and couldn’t even remember being afraid!

How do you measure up? Are you someone who has most of these qualities? If you do, you might want to learn more about the field of medical assisting. Read 5 Things to Know About Becoming a Medical Assistant, and see if this is the field for you!


The Branford Hall Career Institute is proud to offer a medical assistant training program at 10 campuses throughout New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Contact us online to learn more!