A medical office assistant requires many skills to be successful. Some you may already have. Some require education and some you will learn on the job.
Because the day-to-day tasks of a medical office assistant are varied, you will need a variety of competencies such as administrationand “soft” skills.
What skills do you need?
Here is what you need to demonstrate to become a successful medical office assistant:
Communication: As a medical office assistant, you will be the first point of contact for patients. You will need to be able to take down their information accurately, collect billing or insurance information, show them into the exam room and take their vital signs. In many cases you will be dealing with people who are sick, in pain and possibly upset. You’ll need to be able to remain calm and reassuring under pressure. You should be able to communicate well in person, on the phone and in emails.
Team work: As an essential member of the staff, you will also need to communicate with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in your facility. You need to keep others updated about patients, order supplies and take instructions from others. You will need to be able to ask questions to ensure you understand processes and procedures. If you continue to grow in your role, you might take on leadership roles, which will involve training and supervising other employees.
Computer skills: Good typing skills and accuracy will be important as you learn new software, input data, do medical transcription and basic bookkeeping. If you have a knack for computers and learning software, it will help increase your efficiency on the job. You can learn the types of software used in medical offices from an accredited program such as the Medical Office Assistant program at Accelerated Career Institute (ACI) and on the job.
Medical skills: At Accelerated Career Institute, you will learn the clinical skills you need for the job. Although a medical office assistant does not diagnose patients, they may have to perform a few medical tasks such as measuring and recording vital signs. As well, part of your job may involve medical transcription. You will need to be familiar with terminology used by doctors. Typically these skills are learned through an accredited program, such as ACI.
Administrative skills: As a medical office assistant you will need to help with the general administration of the office. This will include data entry, bookkeeping, scheduling, billing and other basic office skills. You may learn these skills through courses, on the job or from other administrative positions you may have held in the past.
Organizational skills: Needless to say, managing an office while in a customer facing role requires excellent organizational skills. You will need to be able to take phone calls, greet patients, and perform the tasks assigned by the doctor or office manager. You may experience frequent interruptions. Your ability to multi-task will be essential in this role. Sometimes it will be impossible to do everything at once and you will need to prioritize your tasks.
If you enjoy working with people and are ready to take on new challenges in your career, find out if the medical office assistant program at ACI is right for you. Contact us today for more information.