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What are the challenges in Medical assisting?

As someone interested in medical assisting as a potential career, what are some challenges you face on a daily basis? How do you cope with said challenges?

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Linda’s Answer

Hi Madison, I am a RN and I started my career as a nurse's aide which I believe is similar to medical assistant. My NA role was inpatient (in the hospital). I believe most MA's work outpatient where the challenges are similar but also different. Dr. Chuang's answer about personalities, patience, speed and helping the doctors is true. I would add that because you are patient-facing you will encounter infectious diseases as a frontline worker, which means potentially catching COVID/flu etc. Vaccination and masking are mandatory. Lifting heavy objects/patients and assisting with mobility-challenged patients is a significant challenge at times, depending on your provider specialty and what kind of healthcare the office provides. Your daily workflow will include greeting patients, intake assessments gathering their demographics and insurance information, taking their vital signs, getting them into the patient rooms for initial assessment/questions to prep for their provider visit. Think about and watch what the MAs do at your personal doctors offices when you go in for appointments to see what their routine tasks include. I'm not sure if MAs do phlebotomy as well, but that is a challenge and an art form, to get good at drawing blood. Those are the major challenges I can think of, despite of course what type of management, leadership, and provider you work with. They can be challenging too! LOL Good luck!
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Rita’s Answer

I am not a medical assistant but I'm a medical doctor. I believe the challenges are dealing with various people with multiple personalities. Some people are very nice and others become nasty when they don't get what they want. You need to be able to deal with all sorts of personalities and try to be patient. You need to work fast and room the patient and help the doctors.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Madison
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David’s Answer

As a medical assistant, one would be expected to take on a variety of responsibilities in a fast-paced clinical setting. One must be able to multitask and finish work in a timely manner in order to help the clinic run efficiently.
For example, as a medical assistant, you would be responsible for pretesting patients (taking pertinent medical history, vitals, and other tasks specific to that field). All of this needs to be done in 10-15 minutes before the doctor meets with the patient. Being late, or inaccurate results in disorganization and patient dissatisfaction. At the same time, one must be personable so that the patient does not feel rushed or uncomfortable.
To address these challenges, it is important to work on clear communication with both patients and members of the healthcare team and other medical assistants. It is ok to ask for help when needed to prevent burnout and mistakes. Work on medical knowledge and know how the doctor likes their testing done (it is common for doctors in the clinic to prefer testing being done in different ways).
Lastly, I would say that a medical assistant should try to work in a field that they find interesting, as this will contribute to positive attitude and facilitate learning.
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