The medical assistant is like the linebacker of a football team. While most won’t receive a trophy, double their salary in one raise, or are celebrated on a pedestal they stand tall, knowing that they are the unsung hero of the medical office. All medical assistants we know gleam with pride knowing they make a world of a difference to people within their community.
Their title and credentials added to their #name stands for honesty, integrity, knowledge and dedication to doctors, patients and the health care professions.
Pride is a personal commitment. It is an attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity.
Their highest goal is to provide outstanding services to every person that goes in and out the medical office and being an active participant in the daily workflow. While their days often become extremely busy they go home with the satisfaction that they have made a difference. They know that their training and skill stands behind everything they do and their loyalty makes them a strong contributor to the medical office team.
All health care professionals and medical staff and personnel are expected to adhere to proper etiquette which includes properly greeting patients and providing their full #name each time. If not, how else would a patient feel welcome and safe and could keep track for reference of who said what, or did what, on a given date, etc.?
QUESTION: “Are medical assistants supposed to offer their full name or only 1st name when a patient asks? All doctors give their full name, but do patients have the right to full name disclosure of the medical assistant also?”
When you call a patient in from the waiting area the first thing you should do is introduce yourself by stating: “Hello, my name is Jen, I am your medical assistant”. You should also be wearing a name badge with your first and last name and showing your #credentials. If the patient asks for your last name, provide it with a pleasant tone of voice, then verify you have the right person before you continue the take-in procedure.
One question that often arises is whether a medical assistant should discuss his or her ethnic background, customs and heritage with a patient, or brush them off and pretend you did not hear it when a patient asks: “Where are you from,” or “what is that accent?”
Don’t think that others won’t be interested in your cultural background. While wearing your name tag visibly provides people with your first and last name and your credentials, it does not tell them who you are. Naturally, in a medical office were you deal with people from all walks of life in close proximity and contact, and close relationships are formed, a patient might be curious and ask you where you are from.
Scrub tops (solid or various colors and patterns), scrub pants (no higher than 2″ above ankle), work shoes (closed toe medical clogs with socks, clean athletic shoes), lab coat and warm up jacket that is worn only at work are all acceptable on the clinical floors. Administrative and receptionist staff in the front office may wear neat pants, slacks, a dress, or skirt that is at least 3/4 thigh length, nice shirt, blouse, sweater, or warm up jacket with a good pair of shoes are appropriate business attire.
Natural fingernails should be kept neat and clean and not exceed ¼ inch length. Artificial fingernails are typically prohibited for medical assistants who provide direct patient care, certain services within the immediate vicinity of patients, equipment, or supplies that may come in contact with patients, and those involved in food preparation or distribution.