Dealing with people who are sick, or have health concerns and feel out of control can be difficult and stressful. Certain medical and healthcare facilities are busier than others by nature, and some experience a higher stress level internally or among their patients depending on the medical specialty and sub-specialty focus area. A pediatric hematology and oncology department, or an OB/Gyn clinic, where the work load is heavy, the hours long, the liability high and the outcome of a treatment plan not always easily predictable can quickly drive the stress level up on both sides.
Certain seasons, like the cold, flu or allergy season can leave both, the patient and the medical office staff flustered, hoping for better days, especially in a pediatric or internal medicine practice. This is where the doctor’s medical assistant staff can make a world of a difference.
Medical Assistant: I’ve Got The Power!
Remember the old-school classic song by Snap! “I’ve got the power“? This definitely is a song a medical assistant can sing a song about, however, often the medical assistant remains the unsung hero of the medical office.
Medical assistants are the first line representative and “point of service” of the modern medical practice and in an excellent position, often in a better one than the doctor, to recognize, alleviate and ease some of the daily stresses and frustrations through courteous interactions and excellent interpersonal communications skills; as a matter of fact, the medical assistant is often the ONLY person who can put patients at ease even BEFORE they are seen by the doctor in the examination room through mindful interaction and a gentle touch.
How the Medical Assistant Makes a Difference Doctors generally agree that they depend quite heavily on their medical assisting staff member’s knowledge and skills to make the day go over well and keep their practice on track.
As far as difficult situations, no one wants to be the bearer of bad news, and doctors are just as human as their patients. To tell a mother her child has a serious disease is never easy. This is where true empathy will make a world of a difference to the patient, and make the doctor’s job and day a little easier.
A friendly “hello, how are you” can go a long way, along with a gentle reminder discretely passed on to the doctor that he/she is on running on schedule, that a patient didn’t show and there is room for a brief break, or that h/she is starting to fall behind the schedule and need to speed up the pace a little to catch up.