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Common Medical Assistant Challenges and How to Deal With Them

You’ve finally landed that dream job as a medical assistant, and you can’t wait to start. You know you’ll have your standard day-to-day challenges, but you probably don’t expect them to be too daunting. After all, this is the career you’ve always wanted, right? 

Unfortunately, there are many common medical assistant challenges that you’ll likely encounter as you progress in your career. The job may not always be easy, but with a bit of planning and some insider knowledge of what to expect, these potential problems won’t stand in the way of your success for very long. 

Keep reading for helpful tips on how to deal with these common challenges when working as a medical assistant!

3 Challenges Medical Assistants Face

Here are some concerns that medical assistants experience in their careers. 

  1. Long Hours

Most medical assistants work 40 hours per week. However, depending on the type of practice you work for, you may sometimes work longer hours than other healthcare occupations. For instance, a surgical medical assistant may be required to work until the surgery is over. 

In fact, you may work even longer than nurses since medical assistants have additional clerical duties. Your long work hours may be challenging not only for you, but also for your family and friends. 

  1. Intense Training

Medical assistants often go through rigorous training before they start their job, and they must keep up their skills even after they finish their training. 

This training is necessary to help ensure you avoid mistakes while doing your duty. After all, people’s lives and health are at stake. One study found that 5.4% of medical assistants expressed concern about committing critical medical errors in the past three months. 

It takes time to learn all the skills you need to work in the field. 

  1. Difficult Patients

Medical assistants sometimes have to deal with a difficult patient or relative. Some will say it comes with the job—after all, these patients may be under a lot of stress because of their illness or condition.

How to Deal With the Challenges of Medical Assisting

Being a medical assistant can be rewarding, so don’t let these challenges hinder you from performing your duty. Here are some ways you can deal with them:

Choose a Flexible Schedule

The beauty of being a medical assistant is the ability to negotiate a flexible schedule. You can choose a medical facility that will allow you to work on a schedule that best suits your preference and lifestyle. Working part-time is also an option.

Have a Mentor

Another perk of being a medical assistant is the presence of mentors in the field. You may have friends and co-workers who are very experienced. You can ask them for advice when you aren’t sure about a situation. 

Here are a few tips to help you find a mentor: 

  • Ask Your Employer: If you’re employed as a medical assistant, you can ask your employer if they have a mentorship program. Alternatively, asking for recommendations from employees if they have mentors to train and guide you also helps.
  • Talk to a Retired Assistant: If you can’t find a mentor at the practice where you’re working, consider looking for a retired medical assistant willing to mentor you.
  • Join a Professional Organization: Professional organizations usually have forums and groups where you can meet and network with other assistants.

Your mentor should coach you on how to handle various situations and learn from mistakes. 

Mentors can help you identify and learn from mistakes. Image Source

Know the Procedure for Complaints

When you work in any healthcare setting, you’ll occasionally hear complaints from clients and patients, so it’s crucial to know the procedures to deal with them appropriately. 

Consult the employee handbook to review the steps to dealing with patient complaints. Identify who you should talk to if a client or patient is unsatisfied. Identify who has the authority to make decisions and settle the matter.

If you receive a complaint about your work, consider it carefully and determine whether and how you can do better, and don’t forget to let your employer know about it. That way, they can support you and help take action to solve the problem. 

Beat These Challenges With the Right Program

As a medical assistant, your job is challenging and rewarding at the same time. Your work will test your patience and resilience, but it will reward you with new skills, interesting experiences, and the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping people in need.

Since this job is not easy, having certainty and confidence helps. That’s why getting your education and training from a reputable institution is critical. Discover how HCI College can help you prepare for your medical assistant career. Check out our Programs today!

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