Many medical assistants are not aware that communication is also a very important skill they need to develop in order to become better in their jobs and to help advance their career. If you want to stand out above other MAs, you must try to enhance your communication ability. It is a useful skill that you will be using most of the time while you accomplish your tasks as a MA. In this career, you will be exposed to plenty of patients and will be in direct contact with other medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, and lab technicians. Furthermore, your work might also entail having to deal with medical supply agents. Hence, good communication skills will pay off well in such situations.
Tip #1: Be With People When You Listen
Listening is an essential competence that many fail to practice. Whenever you converse with a person, it’s always good to block off other things from your mind and to just be with that person for the moment. This will make a difference in how you deal with various patients and even with colleagues in the work place. You will soon see the amazing results this simple tip can bring about when it comes to improving your relationship with others. Furthermore, patients will flock to your office and will want to keep coming back because they feel your genuine concern and they have learned to trust you.
Moreover, it is good to listen well in your profession because there are particulars about a patient that will matter a lot in how the patient is to be treated and cared for. You can help the physician you are assisting in a significant way if you get to take note of certain details that can help in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of various conditions.
When you listen to your partner physician, it will do you a lot of good to really be with him or her. It means that you are not only physically present but completely there with the person. This shows great respect while allowing the two of you to foster a harmonious relationship with one another. At the same time, it will help you remember and recall given instructions much better.
Tip #2: Be a Good Storyteller
If you think that being a medical assistant does not necessitate storytelling skills, you better think twice. Just imagine how many patients from all walks of life you’ll be dealing with in your work. Wouldn’t it be great if you are able to tell your own stories as you assist them in their needs? For instance, if someone strikes a conversation with you while waiting for his or her turn, it would be better to have something more to say instead of just a mere “yes” or “no”. This is helpful especially when you have to handle children and elderly people.
Because you are the one in charge of interviewing patients, giving instructions, and providing reassurance and comfort, storytelling is one tactic that will be valuable as you do carry out these tasks. It will put people at ease. Being a good storyteller will enable them to understand the directions and guidelines more quickly too because you know how to adjust your words to diverse types of audiences. Just remember to tell stories sparingly and with the right timing. Also never divulge confidential information or give any hints about other patients.
Tip #3: Always Use Polite and Tactful Language
A medical assistant should always use polite and tactful language. Remember that you are also representing the doctor you’re assisting. You are also an extension of the hospital, clinic, or other institution that you work for. Thus, no matter what a patient or a visitor says, you must at all times be polite and tactful. You have to use different approaches for different people, especially if you need to share or ask for sensitive information.
Yes, there will be some irate or hysterical patients, relatives and friends of patients who complain a lot, and more. Don’t lose your cool no matter what. Even if they seem to stomp all over you and become personal in their attacks, at least you know that you are not stooping down to their level and that you are able to maintain your professionalism.
Tip #4: Speak with Authority But Not Like a Doctor
As a MA, it’s important that people look up to you and feel that they are in good hands. Since you will be performing several important tasks like administering injections, checking for blood pressure, operating an x-ray machine, and instructing patients about their medication, then you have to be well-respected and trusted. You have to assert yourself as a qualified and credible professional. This will surely come out whenever you speak and also through your nonverbal communication signals. Hence you must always show confidence and authority and actually believe that you are good at what you are doing.
Although you want to be viewed as an authority in the medical field, you must also be careful not to act like you are a doctor. Don’t give advice that only doctors are supposed to be giving. Don’t diagnose based on your own assumptions.
At first, implementing these four important communication tips may seem like a big challenge. But with constant practice, you will surely be able to nail them all. In time, you can improve your communication skills significantly and you’ll be surprised to see the positive effects on your career advancement along with your own happiness while on the job.