10 Best Medical Assistant Skills
Medical assistants help the day-to-day operations of a health care facility run smoothly. From 2019 to 2029, employment for medical assistants is expected to grow 19%.
But to get the position you want, your medical assistant resume and medical assistant cover letter need to showcase the necessary skills on your resume.
To be an ideal candidate in this growing profession, you can list one or more of these 10 top medical assistant skills for your resume.
1. Communication skills
List your verbal communication skills on your resume. You’ll often speak directly with patients and other health care colleagues and act as a patient–doctor liaison to help patients understand the doctor’s instructions.
You’re also responsible for detailing what patients should do during a visit, and when to expect their next appointment.
Written communication is just as important. As a medical assistant, you must make detailed records of a patient’s medical conditions for your colleagues and accurately relay information to patients in-person, through email, or by phone.
If you’re unsure how to prove your communication skills, creating a strong resume and writing a compelling cover letter is a great way to show employers that you can share your ideas professionally.
2. Administrative skills
Having strong administrative skills is one of the most essential qualifications for medical assistants because they’re responsible for efficiently maintaining the workflow of an office.
Medical assistant administrative duties include inventory checks, restocking equipment, and preparing paperwork like insurance or permission forms.
Additionally, you’ll need to schedule appointments for patients, refill prescriptions, compile detailed patient notes, review the patient’s schedule with the doctor, and make phone calls and emails throughout the day.
Employers are looking for applicants who can help an office run smoothly, so don’t forget to include this skill on your resume.
3. Following guidelines and policies
Health care workers should always follow strict policies during their shifts, and medical assistants are no different. You’ll regularly bill patient payments, prepare treatment rooms for patient examinations, and follow infection control and safety guidelines to ensure there are no issues.
If your previous work history includes following protocols, mention it in your skills section. Employers will be looking for applicants who can follow formal instructions and carefully explain medical procedures to patients.
4. Interpersonal skills
Medical assistants must remain calm even during stressful situations, so demonstrate on your resume that you have exceptional interpersonal skills, a highly sought-after soft skill for employers.
Interpersonal skills include having a positive attitude, showing empathy, being open to feedback, and collaborating well with others in the workplace.
You’ll also work directly with at least one doctor and other medical staff members daily, so hiring managers will look for medical assistants who are positive and easy to work with.
5. Time management skills
Time is valuable, especially when patients and colleagues are relying on you in a fast-paced hospital setting. Having excellent time management skills is an example of professionalism and being a dependable employee.
Medical assistants will see multiple patients per day and juggle many responsibilities in a busy environment. Many tasks also require strict deadlines, such as securing blood and urine samples, changing dressings, or taking and recording vital signs.
Listing your time management skills shows hiring managers that you can work independently and be punctual and consistent.
6. Customer service skills
Employers love medical assistants who are friendly, professional, and know the importance of treating their patients with care and respect, so add customer service skills to your resume.
You’re often the first and last person patients see during their visit, so creating positive interactions with your patients while helping them understand medical procedures requires an appropriate bedside manner.
If you’ve worked in customer service-related roles before, mention them in your resume work experience section and your skills section.
7. Basic medical knowledge
Medical assistants perform several simple medical and nursing procedures under the direction of doctors. Your daily duties may include drawing blood, giving vaccines (such as AZ or Moderna for COVID), performing EKGs, applying bandages, collecting samples, and arranging prescription refills.
Although medical assistants receive training on the job, mentioning your previous experience and knowledge of basic medical terminologies will help you stand out among other job applicants and boost your resume. You can also include CPR and Basic Life Support (BLS) skills to prove you can actively respond to emergencies.
8. Computer skills
Medical assistants must be comfortable using computers for various administrative tasks, so mention your computer skills.
Sending emails, scheduling appointments, and recording patients’ health information into electronic health records (EHS) are typical duties, so show employers you have these skills and can pick up on computer-related tasks quickly.
Specifying which computer skills you have adds further clarity to your resume. For example, knowledge of proper email etiquette, EHS databases, Windows or Mac operating systems, and Microsoft Office are all relevant qualifications for medical assistants.
9. Attention to detail
In a health care environment, it’s imperative that medical assistants are detail-oriented and careful, because even a small clerical error can greatly affect a patient’s life.
Medical assistants play a crucial role in record-keeping. Doctors rely on medical assistants for accurate patient health records, and up-to-date knowledge of any procedures or medications that patients have received, so you’ll need to prove that you’re a responsible and attentive employee.
If you have previous experiences with keeping records, or working in environments where you had to pay close attention to a certain task, list this skill as one of your top qualifications.
10. Organizational skills and cleanliness
Maintaining physical organization and sterile equipment are essential in a health care setting. Listing your organizational skills demonstrates that you know how to keep a tidy workspace and won’t misplace any important medical records, equipment, or files.
Medical assistants often keep inventory records, schedule medical appointments, and prepare basic medications, so being organized and careful is a must.
If you’ve had previous experience as a medical assistant, you should know how to sterilize equipment. Mention your dedication to cleanliness on your resume — it lets hiring managers know you understand how to maintain a clean environment and care about the safety of your patients and colleagues.