Medical assistants work in doctor's offices, hospitals and nursing homes helping nurses and doctors with basic medical tasks and patient care. Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 34 percent between 2008 and 2018 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To help yourself stand out from the increasing number of people employed in the medical assisting field, it's important to develop good personal skills and provide excellent customer service as a medical assistant.
Focus on one patient at a time. Even though you have multiple patients to help as a medical assistant, give the patient you are working with now your full attention. Listen attentively to the problems or concerns they have relating to their health. Answer questions to the best of your ability, and treat them as though they're the most important patient in the world when you're with them.
Bring a positive attitude to work. Be cheerful and uplifting to the people you work with as well as the patients you help care for. Keep a smile on your face if you're having a bad day or upset over a specific interaction with a co-worker or patient. Don't participate in office gossip or grumble about how much you dislike your job. Instead identify and focus on the things you do love while understanding that no job is 100 percent fun or perfect.
Follow up on promises. Make a mental or physical note of any promises you make to a patient and follow through with them. If you promise to call a patient back or let them know when a supply ordered for them by the doctor has arrived, do so. Keeping your word not only provides good customer service, but raises your value and importance in the eyes of the patient.
Develop good phone customer service. Answer the phone with a professional and polite greeting. Listen to what patients need and accommodate their requests to the best of your ability. Smile when talking on the phone as this helps you speak in a more positive voice. Make sure any messages you take are delivered in a timely manner to the correct person.
Provide good customer service to co-workers. While many medical assistants focus their customer service skills on patients, it's just as important to provide good customer service to doctors, nurses and other staff you work with. Pitch in and help other co-workers out when they are in a bind or need assistance. Be a team player and assist with major projects. Developing good rapport with the staff can be beneficial later when you need a favor or want to negotiate for a higher salary.
Tips & Warnings
- To better your customer service skills, take a customer service class specifically designed for medical assistants and other professionals employed in the healthcare field.
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