Professional ethics are a set of rules and standards adopted by groups of people, especially people of a certain profession or community to serve as a professional code of ethics. One of the earliest examples of written and publicly cited professional ethics is probably the Hippocratic oath to which all medical doctors still adhere to this day.
Medical Assistant Code of Ethics
[sociallocker]While medical assistants are not considered true professionals in the sense that professionals are usually licensed and hold an academic degree, they are equally expected to perform their job in an excellent manner and uphold high morals and proper conduct whenever they are providing a service to the public and community.
The code of ethics is very important because it spells out boundaries that we have to stay within and stick to throughout our career. The one problem with the code of ethics is that we can’t always have the answers black and white. Sometimes there are grey areas where the answers aren’t so simple and where decisions must be made based on training, experience, good judgment, morals, manners, and personal accountability.
Unofficial Medical Assistant Pledge
Here is our unofficial medical assistant creed adapted from the Hippocratic oath:
“I solemnly pledge myself before God and these witnesses to practice faithfully all of my duties as a member of the professional health care team. I hold the care of the sick, and injured to be a privilege and a sacred trust, and will assist the physician with loyalty and honesty. I will hold all personal matters pertaining to the private lives of patients in strict confidence. I dedicate my heart, mind, and strength to the work before me. I shall do all within my power to show in myself an example of all that is honorable and good throughout my medical assistant career.”
Accountability is a concept in ethics that is often used synonymously with responsibility and liability. One of the biggest misconceptions among medical assistants and their supervisors that still remains is whether a medical assistant can be sued, or not… many believe they cannot be sued because they work under the doctor’s umbrella—nothing could be further from the truth. Just like anyone else who provides a service medical assistants can be sued for negligence if the medical assistant fails to make prudent decisions and does not perform a duty up to the standard of care.
[/sociallocker]Accountability does not only start at the work place, but rather, it begins in the classroom where medical assistant students are expected to apply themselves in a professional manner, participate actively in the classroom and clinical laboratories, obey the rules, and complete their homework and studies in an honest and respected manner.