Qualities a Medical Assistant Should Have

Qualities a Medical Assistant Should Have

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Medical Assistant often takes vitals and patient history, helps physicians with examinations, administers patient injections (as directed by a physician), schedules patient appointments and assists in drawing and preparing blood for laboratory tests.  Note that all of these duties involve patient interaction.  If you’re considering a career in the Allied Health Care Industry as a Medical Assistant, then you probably love the idea of helping others and providing comfort and care in what, in some cases, is not a very comfortable situation.  This career is not for everyone.  You must have a level of compassion and care giving that far exceeds the common soul.  When discussing health care, most people will automatically assume you are speaking of doctors or even nurses, however, medical assistants are quickly becoming an integral part of the health care system and the level of care and administrative support they provide often makes all the difference to a patients experience and comfort level.  So if you’re considering a career as a Medical Assistant, here is a short list of the qualities a medical assistant should have in order to ensure a long, successful and rewarding career in the allied health care industry.


As a Medical Assistant, you will most likely be assigned to patients in pain, discomfort and in some cases terminal conditions that require a high level of compassion, empathy and tactfulness at all times.  In fact, you may actually have several patients that you need to attend to at the same time and each will have varying needs and require different levels of and types of compassion.


Nothing screams professionalism and respect quite as well as “competency”.  Knowing your job, what it is and how to do it, is a vital part of this career.  Patients, as well as the nurses and doctors you work with, need to know that you know what you doing and that you can handle your assigned tasks.

Communication Skills…

As a Medical Assistant, you will be responsible for communicating patient status to your superiors (doctors and nurses) in charts (written or electronic format) and verbally.  You may also be required to communicate with patients from all walks of life and provide guidance and care as directed by a physician, so excellent communication skills are a must!


Dealing with patients that have a life threatening illnesses or injury is not easy.  Being able to maintain your professional demeanor and composure in these instances is essential to good patient care.  This trait often comes with experience and one’s own confidence level in their ability to help care for and provide comfort in a patient’s time of need.

Good Listening Skills…

Taking instructions from nurses and doctors for one or more patients at a time, retaining and executing those directions properly is another vital skill set and requires you to be able to listen carefully and follow instructions to the letter.  Your patients are counting on you to do so!  In addition, you will have to listen carefully to patients and be able to extract vital information that you can relay to the care team to help them make informed medical decisions about the patient’s treatment plan.

This list is by no means a complete or comprehensive list of the qualities a medical assistant should have, but it’s a good start.  Feel free to add your own qualities you think make a good medical assistant in the comments below.

For more information about a career in the medical assisting field, or to speak with an admissions representative and apply for career training, contact Centura College today by visiting our Medical Assisting Career Training Webpage.  You can also learn more about Centura College at our Consumer Information Disclosure page, Your right to know.


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[tabs slidertype=”simple”] [tab]Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor/Occupational Outlook Handbook – fromhttps://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm#tab-2  (visited 10/22/2013)[/tab] [/tabs]

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Comments (2)

  • Sarah Shelton Reply

    Hey! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!

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    at 1:13 pm
  • Sharon Fahey Reply

    I agree it takes the right kind of personality as well as the right mental attitude to be a good medical assistant. Not everyone has that.

    But if you do, I can think of no better care field than the medical assisting field. But once you have decided it is the career for you there are a lot of things you need to think about to find the job you want and ultimately the success you want.

    You need to complete the right kind of training program, get certified if you want a chance at the best job opportunities and then pursue job opportunities the smart way.

    at 8:12 pm

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