Who Makes a Good Medical Administrative Assistant?

Administrative Assisting2 Comments

Will you make a good Medical Administrative Assistant? Career Step's checklist helps answer that question.What types of people make good medical administrative assistants (MAA)? What skills and qualities do they need to possess? What skills and qualities do they need to possess? Will you make a good MAA? The previous posts have given information about the job and different areas you may work in as an MAA, but is it a job that you will enjoy and excel in? This post will explain some of the most basic skills and qualities sought after in MAAs.

Skills are things that you can DO. They can often be taught and learned. As we discuss some of the skills needed to work in an office, remember that even if you don’t currently possess ALL of these skills, you can learn them and we try to teach many of them in the course. As you learn new skills, practice them! Use them in your everyday life and practice using them as you answer the phone, meet new people, and interact with others in all types of situations.

Skills often sought for in an MAA include:

  • Communication - Probably the most important and most used skill!
  • Education - MAAs often have to act as instructors to educate patients on policies and procedures.
  • Operational Functions - This includes the ability to perform basic office duties, such as printing, scanning, inventory, etc.
  • Administrative Procedures - This includes scheduling, organizing, retrieving and filing records, answering the telephone, etc.
  • Finance - Often needed in smaller offices—this could include coding and billing, collections, payroll or bookkeeping.

In addition to these skills, you will also need sound interpersonal skills. These are a little different than the skills previously mentioned and you may already posses many of them. These skills will help in your day-to-day-communication and will help you adhere to privacy and customer service rules.

Qualities in this category include:

  • Loyalty
  • Respect
  • Confidentiality
  • Dependability
  • Courtesy
  • Initiative
  • Flexibility
  • Empathy
  • Professionalism

If you want to become an MAA, you should begin working on these skills now! Make them a part of who you are. If you want to know more, review the module Working as an MAA for more specific, detailed information.



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  1. Brittany King-Compton July 13, 2013

    Im wanting to go back to school through Pennfoster for Dental Assistant but cant seem to find all the information I need to get everything set up

  2. Career Step July 16, 2013

    Hi Brittany,

    We don’t have any information on the Penn Foster programs since we’re a different school. If you’d like information on our Medical Administrative Assistant program, which can prepare you to work in a dental office doing administrative tasks, please contact one of our Academic Advisors at 1-800-411-7073 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    Best of luck!



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