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Why Medical Assistants Matter to Patients

Posted Tuesday, Oct 9, 2018 by Altierus

Medical assistants make a difference. They help clinics and physicians’ practices run more smoothly and efficiently while supporting patients. Demand for medical assistants’ skills is growing at a healthy rate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 29% growth over the 2016-2026 period, adding about 183,900 new job openings to the economy[i].

A major part of what medical assistants do doesn’t just meet the business or clinical objectives of the practice or department they work for. Instead, medical assistants can make a difference to patients. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a medical assistant, read on to learn how your work can make someone’s day.

A Human Touch

Many doctor’s appointments are routine affairs. Some are very distressing. Medical assistants can help support patients with a warm welcome and a show of calm concern. As a medical assistant, if you take the time to connect with patients, especially before difficult appointments or procedures, you can help them remain calm and feel cared for when they come to your practice.

A Smooth Experience

As a medical assistant, you’ll act as flow control for your practice. This has a direct impact on the patient experience. You will work to ensure that patients aren’t kept waiting for an excessive amount of time, and that they see the right practitioner for their needs.

You’ll also play an important role in setting up further care after the appointment by referring them to specialists. In addition to making their visits more convenient and efficient, smooth handling gives patients peace of mind as they prepare for the next step in their medical care.

An Extra Pair of Eyes

A busy practice or department will keep volumes of patient records, and errors in those records can have a profound impact on a patient’s insurance payments or treatment. As a medical assistant, you’re likely to have some responsibility for organizing, maintaining, and even coding some patient records. Using your knowledge of your patients, you can help spot potential errors and flag them for correction.

Your attention to detail could save patients from unnecessary procedures or ensure they can claim appropriate coverage for treatment. That’s no small thing.

An Advocate in Their Corner

Finally, as a medical assistant, you can act as a channel of communication between your patients and the physicians or other practitioners at your workplace. Taking a few minutes to ask patients if they have any questions about their consultation, recapping instructions from the practitioner, and translating their prescriptions can help take away some of the mystery—or anxiety—medical care can cause.

In a country where as many as half of all adults don’t understand everything a physician tells them[ii], making the time to check understanding and explain further can be an enormous help. In addition to preventing problems with aftercare or medication, this kind of attention makes patients feel truly cared for.

Learn More

Want more information about how Altierus Career College can help you train for medical assistant career opportunities? Learn more about our Medical Assistant Diploma, or contact us today to apply!

[i] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Assistants. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm.

[ii] Chesanow, Neil. “Why Some Patients Aren’t Following Your Instructions.” Medscape , WebMD LLC, 29 May 2013, www.medscape.com/viewarticle/804739_1.

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