Medical assistants provide clerical and clinical support for medical professionals. Assistants with extensive experience can become managers who supervise other medical assistants. Being effective in this position requires setting positive and professional goals from the start. The aim as a medical assistant manager is to handle the team effectively while providing the best health care service possible.
Excellent Patient Care
Patient care is the top priority in medicine. Goals for a medical assistant manager include making sure the assistants under her watchful eye treat patients with dignity, listen to their concerns and act professionally. As a manager, you'll also monitor assistants as they perform basic procedures. Some medical assistants are allowed to draw blood, prepare laboratory samples, give injections, record vital signs and administer medicines.
Establishing Lines of Communication
Effective communication is a goal for medical assistant managers. Managers ensure their assistants are encouraging patients to be open about how they feel and to feel comfortable discussing health concerns. They see to it that assistants clearly share these concerns with nurses and physicians. They also ensure that assistants communicate status reports with their teammates, such as telling them when medications were given, which tests were ordered, which tests need to be completed and how the patient is faring. Quality health care is best achieved through teamwork.
Keeping with the Times
A manager has to stay current with emerging medical procedures and technology. Patient record keeping is going digital instead of hand written. Those who handle billing and coding are seeing another big change: The International Classification of Diseases transitions from the 9th version to the 10th version on October 1, 2014. This change broadens the number of codes from 13,000 to 68,000. Medical assistant managers need to become thoroughly familiar with these changes to properly supervise their assistants' work.
Managers should strive to listen openly, ask serious questions and keep their personal feelings out of their work. Handling criticism is a hallmark of being in a position of responsibility. When something goes wrong, it's the manager who takes responsibility. "The Wall Street Journal" recommends taking a deep breath, not giving in to your natural feelings of upset and defense, and actually listening to what's being said. Criticism can be constructive, and improvements may need to be made. Criticism may be precisely what a manager needs to better lead the team.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Medical Assistants: Summary
- College of Westchester: AAS: Medical Assistant Management
- Health Professionals Press: Becoming an Effective Healthcare Manager: The Essential Skills of Leadership
- The Wall Street Journal: Six Ways to Deal with Criticism at Work
- Medicaid.gov: ICD-10 Changes from ICD-9
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: ICD-10
Brooke Julia has been a writer since 2009. Her work has been featured in regional magazines, including "She" and "Hagerstown Magazine," as well as national magazines, including "Pregnancy & Newborn" and "Fit Pregnancy."