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Essential Skills Needed for Medical Assistant Administrative and Clinical Roles

Medical Assistant Administrative and Clinical

Are you considering a career as a medical assistant? Medical assistants perform a wide variety of tasks to ensure the successful operation of medical facilities. They perform both medical assistant administrative and clinical roles in healthcare settings and deal with patients, families, and other medical professionals daily.

It’s also important for a medical assistant to be professional, responsible, and empathetic. If you’re considering medical assistant training and wondering if you have the right skills, we can help!

Here’s a guide to the skills you need to become a medical assistant.


Interpersonal skills like communication are essential in the role of a medical assistant. You are the contact person for patients, doctors, and families.

You need to be able to communicate calmly and clearly in order to facilitate the best patient care. A medical assistant must make patients feel comfortable, welcome, and at ease.

They depend on you in difficult times and look to you for safety and comfort. it’s important to have excellent communication skills to be successful in this field.


In your role as a medical assistant, you’ll handle many tasks. On any given day, you may be caring for patients, handling paperwork, answering phone calls, and assisting doctors and nurses.

Being organized is a critical skill for a medical assistant. You want to keep things organized for yourself, your patients, and the healthcare professionals you work with.

You should be able to organize your time to meet the demands of the job while providing excellent patient care.

Time Management

Effective time management is critical to managing your responsibilities as a medical assistant. Staying on top of tasks benefits the patients, nurses, and healthcare professionals you work with throughout your shifts.

You may be responsible for patient scheduling, updating records, and caring for patients. This requires time management and multi-tasking skills.

In the healthcare setting, emergencies occur that can interfere with your scheduled tasks. You want to be able to organize your time to catch up on tasks if you’ve fallen behind.

Attention to Detail

In a busy healthcare setting, there are many things happening all at once. A good nursing assistant must be detail-oriented to stay focused on the task at hand.

Some medical assistant skills include handling patient paperwork and dealing with medical records. It’s important for medical data to be accurate so patients receive the best care possible.

Attention to detail is also important when caring for patients. A medical assistant may have more contact with patients than doctors or nurses at times, so it’s important to be in tune with their behaviors and needs.

Knowledge of Basic Procedures

Basic clinical skills are also essential for a medical assistant. You should understand how to perform certain medical procedures safely and correctly.

Some procedures a medical assistant may perform include:

  • Administering medication
  • Collecting lab specimens
  • Drawing blood
  • Taking vital signs
  • Giving vaccinations
  • Changing wound dressings

Medical Assistant Administrative and Clinical Skills

Depending on your place of employment, you may be required to do some administrative work as a medical assistant. This may include responding to emails, answering phones, scheduling appointments, or performing bookkeeping tasks.

You want to be comfortable talking with doctors, nurses, and patients over the phone, email, or text. You may be required to keep records of the outcomes of your conversations in an organized manner.

Other tasks may include keeping records of patient appointments, cancellations, follow-ups, treatment, or referrals. You may need to handle other office tasks such as accepting packages or taking inventory.

Medical assistants must be versatile and able to perform administrative tasks and clinical duties. Many medical assistants now work under the direction of LPNs and physician assistants. These healthcare professionals appreciate a medical assistant with a variety of skills and abilities.

The Value of Clinical Skills

Clinical skills are needed to help care for patients in the doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital setting. Excellent clinical skills make patients feel comfortable and safe in your care.

Some common clinical skills you should have as a medical assistant include:

  • Taking vital signs
  • Performing CPR
  • Removing sutures
  • Drawing blood
  • Applying dressings
  • Collecting urine or stool samples
  • Performing EKGs

Soft Skills

As a medical assistant, you touch the lives of patients. You provide a calming force in difficult and uncertain times for them.

Soft skills are extremely important in healthcare today. Some soft skills you need as a medical assistant include:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Empathetic listening
  • Adaptability
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Critical thinking
  • Compassion
  • Strong work ethic
  • Teamwork

Medical Technology Skills

Technology is an essential element in healthcare today. Medical assistants must be familiar with various types of healthcare software.

You may be required to run lab tests on the clinical side. You may need to run scheduling software, use video for virtual appointments, or manage patient records using a spreadsheet or Word processor.

Some medical assistants may use billing software to handle insurance claims. As technology advances, you must be flexible to adapt to new systems that help to increase efficiency and enhance patient care.

Is Being a Medical Assistant a Hard Job?

Any new job can be a bit overwhelming. A job as a medical assistant may be difficult as you adjust to a new career.

However, good career training can prepare you for your first job in this field. Having some on-the-job training is valuable for a new medical assistant.

As you learn on the job, you’ll become more confident in your abilities and responsibilities. The job may have difficult moments, but the rewards are high.

Knowing you are helping patients and contributing to their well-being is a great feeling.

Get the Right Training to Become a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants play a vital role in today’s healthcare industry. They provide valuable medical assistant administrative and clinical skills to enhance the patient experience.

The job outlook for medical assistants is good and only expected to grow in the future. If you’re considering a career as a medical assistant, Healthcare Career College can help.

We provide career-focused training along with job placement assistance for our valuable students.

Contact us today to begin your journey toward a rewarding career in healthcare.