Friday, January 28, 2011

13 Incredibly Easy Steps to Becoming a Perfect Medical Assistant?

Are You Looking for 13 Incredibly Easy Steps to Becoming a Perfect Medical Assistant?

You are right, of course I am exaggerating! There is no such thing as easy recipe for making the perfect medical assistant; in fact, it takes hard work, interest, uniqueness and a dedication that comes from deep within. Some medical assistant students may think it all starts on the job in a medical office, where the medical assistant works diligently side by side with the physician and other health care professionals, applying all skills learned. But nothing could be further from the truth: Becoming a (well, okay... almost perfect) medical assistant and future success BEGINS with the right attitude in the class room and then CONTINUES later on at the work place.

Below are thirteen real-world tips that helped me personally to make my medical assistant school days enjoyable and successfully graduate:

  1. "Hello, my name is Danni!" Introduce yourself to your classmates and instructors. You don't want to just be a face in the crowd.
  2. "Front row? No way!" Do it! Sit in the front row! Most study groups form from those you associate with during classes. Sit in the front row with the students who are, or want to be brilliant.
  3. "Yikes, I don't want a partner!" Really??? Select your lab partner with care and once you found a good match, practice, practice, practice together to solidify every simple and the most challenging skills (injection, blood draw, urinalysis anybody?).
  4. What is your image? During even the most boring lecture look interested. The secret of a good image is striving to be that which you wish to appear. Learning how to deal properly with a boring situation, or a person that is boring is a good skill to cultivate in any discipline.
  5. Get the most from your textbooks! Take your materials out of your house to study. Get away from distractions, undone dishes, radio and TV. (Tip: the doughnut shop or all night cafe will offer ample amounts of coffee).
  6. Read nursing journals and medical assistant magazines. Often current articles will compliment your text and make the information more easily understood. Use individual sheets of paper or large index cards to make a file of disease/conditions and their treatments. List etiology, signs and symptoms, diagnostic tests, interventions, etc. and keep them in a binder for future reference as well as present study.
  7. Take notes from your notes! After taking notes in class or from a book, put away the book and bring out a tape recorder and outline your notes so you can listen to them. A great way to also practice your medical terminology words. Also, turn course objectives as found in the beginning of each chapter of your workbook into questions - presto, instant study guide.
  8. Name that thing! My medical assisting instructor during my medical assistant training amazed me! On the second day of class she single-handedly greeted every new student, about 30, by their first and last name (amazing!). However, if you are more like me and one of those who have trouble remembering names, protocols, lab values, or terminology write them down on index cards and keep them in your pocket. It works - take them with you everywhere you go! The more you use them the more you will solidify them.
  9. If you can get your hands on them, use old CMA or RMA exam review materials as your study guide. Sort questions by topic as you go through school and study those questions pertaining to your current lesson. It will help you learn and give you a head start  when it's time to schedule your final examinations.
  10. Clinical lab - Yippeee! Be helpful to the clinical lab instructor and work with your classmates toward the common goals. Practice taking all the different vital signs, never contradict publicly, don't interrupt with constant repeat questions (that's what you have instructors for!) and don't make your instructor hold your hand. Even if you're scared and have never done something before, jump in and follow instructions. If you don't know how to do a procedure, look it up, check the protocols, ask for additional help. Instructors would rather be "bothered" walking you through the procedure than fixing the mess if you do something wrong.
  11. Thrive in clinical lab classes! Appreciate even the simplest things, such as how to properly greet a patient. Whether you are a complete novice, or have already been in another allied health career for  years, remember everyone begins at different levels. Focus on where you are going - not on how much you already know.
  12. "1-2-3, deep breath!" In Venipuncture practice, take a moment to center yourself before working on somebody's arm. Most people respond best to a calm focused approach. Study your instructors. 
  13. The more you know them the more likely you are to understand them and what they are expecting from you. Adjust your attitude, buy a good personal planner and log all projects, deadlines and tests in it. Plan a realistic schedule and follow it.
To learn more about the medical assisting career please visit Medical Assistant NET on the Web.

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