Maybe you’re thinking you’d like to work in a medical assistant role, but what if you don’t quite know exactly what that role entails? Below are the top skills you’ll need to be a confident medical assistant.



Medical terminology sounds like gibberish to a lot of people who don’t work in the medical community every day. If you’re going to be working alongside doctors and nurses, you’re going to need to understand diagnoses, prescriptions, and treatments so you’ll know the best way to assist both the doctors and the patients.



The first thing most patients need when they come in is to have their vital signs checked. This means you’ll have to know how to check things like temperature, heart rate and blood pressure so you can have that information ready when the doctor comes in to examine them.



Once a doctor has prescribed medication for a patient, it might be the responsibility of a medical assistant to fill that prescription. That means you have to know what’s being prescribed, how much should be given to the patient, and how to measure the medicine. You might also have to know if there are any other drugs the medication does not react well with so you can be sure not to give incompatible drugs to the same patient.



Confidentiality is a major priority in the medical community. The nature of your job requires you to gather extremely personal and sensitive information on all your patients and they rely on you do keep that information private. Any time you work in a healthcare field you need to be aware of all HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) requirements and make sure you’re abiding by them.



One of the responsibilities that comes with the medical assistant role is some of the administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments for patients. That means you have to know the calendar system used by the medical establishment and be able to work with multiple calendars in order to determine when the doctor will be available, what rooms will be available at what times, what other professionals will be available if needed, etc.



Injections look easy to administer, and they might be if the needle can go in anywhere. But many medicines have to be injected directly into a vein in a particular part of the body. That means you have to know where the vein is, how to find it, and have the precision to get the needle into the vein you need.



There’s a whole procedure associated with giving injections and taking blood. For example, you have to make sure all needles are sterilized before use and used only once in order to minimize the risks of infection. Exam rooms and clinical laboratories likewise have their own procedures and anyone working in a medical assistant role will need to know what those procedures are.

An Associates in Science degree from City College will teach you all these skills and more so you can be as confident as possible when facing all aspects of the medical assistant role. Contact City College today to learn more about their medical assisting program.