An Important Skill for a Medical Assistant: Collaborating with the Physician

Article Categories: What is a Medical Assistant & Administration

Life as a medical assistant may just be beginning for you and you have high hopes of making it big in this chosen career. You won't be disappointed. With the right experience, soon you'll find yourself growing in this job. It is important to do things properly from the start of your career as a medical assistant in order to have an excellent foundation for your advancement.

So you probably ask yourself, if there is one huge thing to learn as a medical assistant, what would it be? The answer is a no-brainer. As your job name implies, your overall task is to assist physicians and ensure that they can perform at peak levels. To do this, you must be a champion of collaboration.

Collaboration is a process of doing a set of tasks with others to come up with a common goal. As a medical assistant, collaboration may take many forms such as setting the stage for the physician to make an accurate diagnosis and perform appropriate treatments. The bottom line is to have an open line of communication between you and the doctor so that workflows become smooth and efficient.

Here are some tips to make you shine as a medical assistant!

1. Build your confidence quickly and have a positive demeanor at work. Working with a physician for the first time can be intimidating. As you work your way through your responsibilities, you should focus and learn fast. Have a reliable online source of information ready for you to access anytime. If still in doubt, ask for clarification. It also helps to smile and to keep a light mood, and not to appear flustered.

2. Know your physician and the way they work. Be creative in determining their preferences for how they want things done. Asking them directly and keeping their instructions in mind can make the day go smoother for both of you. Anticipate their needs. If you were in their shoes, what would you expect to be prepared before you start work?

3. Develop a system of doing things in the simplest, quickest, and most accurate way. Ask your physician if they are amenable with your workflows. Ask for their suggestions.

4. Practice active listening. It is common for a physician to give instructions as if they were reading from a long list. Listen carefully and ask for clarification, if needed. Keep a small notebook or your phone handy so that you can jot down important points.

5. Be open to suggestions and constructive criticisms. As a medical assistant, you will have a ton to learn in practice. If you find yourself being flooded with instructions, remember that these are just a means to an end, which is excellent service delivered to patients. Be accommodating of the doctor’s teachings and soon you will find that your teamwork is paying off.

6. Never be afraid to point out errors. Sometimes, this is the part where medical assistants fall short because of fear of annoying their doctors. Be creative, and at the same time respectful, when asserting a safe practice. As the saying goes, “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.” If a physician missed washing their hands after a treatment procedure, for example, you wouldn’t want to say, “I think you should wash your hands before you go.” You may instead say, “Let me get you a hand sanitizer.” The physician will get the cue and will either wash their hands or open their palms to use the sanitizer instead.

7. Celebrate small achievements with your physician. Nothing boosts morale better than appreciation. After setting them up for success, point out the result of their hard work, and you will be appreciated in return.
Being a medical assistant brings a lot of rewards, and the good things start coming in only when you learn how to collaborate with your physician.

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