Monday, December 19, 2011

Medical Assistants Stating their Name


Without a single doubt, it is good practice and courtesy for a medical assistant to state his, or her full name when greeting and checking in patients. Properly stating a name establishes identity and builds trust and rapport with patients. Simply stating a first name, while also wearing a name tag with the full name and credentials visibly printed is sufficient, and many medical offices now require it.

A typical greeting, when a patient is called in from the waiting area would be:"Hello, my name is Judy and I am your medical assistant." If a patient asks for a full name it would be improper to withhold this information and certainly will not go over well with the patient, nor the doctor under which the medical assistant works. Refusal implies lack of cooperation, empathy and courtesy and comes across as unprofessional in a health care setting.

Equally unprofessional is when the medical assistant habitually omits stating his/her name when addressing or calling a patient in. Unfortunately, this happens all too often, where the medical assistant routinely calls in patient after patient with a simple:"Hello, how are you, please follow me," and shuffles the patient along the corridor toward the scales to chart a weight. It would be so simple to properly greet a patient and giving a name so the patient can feel welcomed and keep track of who said, or did what for future reference.

Last, but not least, a medical assistant stating his/her name, title and credentials would prevent any misunderstandings as to whether the patient is dealing with a medical assistant, or nurse. There is a big difference between the two professions and their scope of practice and medical assistants should NEVER tolerate, imply, or leave any questions as to their identity, credentials and role. 

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