A medical assistant is usually employed as an allied medical professional and as such required to maintain professional behavior in the medical office and work place. The medical profession has traditionally enjoyed a highly respected position in society. While knowledge and technical skills are crucial in medicine and science. The manner in which they are used is equally important. In addition to competence in their field, all medical professionals including assistants must strive to retain those humanistic qualities such as integrity, respect, and compassion that constitute the essence of professionalism.

The core of professionalism thus includes altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, service, honor, integrity, and respect for others. These qualities apply to all aspects of the professional’s life, including the relationships between medical professionals, between specialties, and between professional organizations.

Medical professionals should always strive to reach the highest standards of excellence in their profession practice and in the generation and dissemination of knowledge to patients. The medical assisting career is very versatile. Even though one can never really predict what may happen next in a busy office or clinic. However, one thing is for sure whether working with physicians and patients in the front or back office, in healthcare there hardly ever is such a thing as a typical day.

In any given medical specialty, everything needs to work together in the office. The medical assistant’s work could involve anything from cleaning a wound, to setting up an ECG, to administering medications, to cleaning instruments or an exam room. There are additional responsibilities in a group practice. The challenges medical assistants face there, clinically and administratively, are more complex. An excellent understanding of the office’s routines and workflow, the ability to work collaboratively with a number of different healthcare professionals and staff on all levels to back their doctor’s team is essential. Online classes covering office professionalism is now available online at http://www.medassistant.org from the St. Augustine Medical Assistant School.

Medical Assistants usually work in well lit, air-conditioned primary care, specialty medical offices, or various types of ambulatory clinics. They may also have to lift, stand, reach, stoop, and walk. Often assistants in medical office work under pressure, answering phones and always having to be ready when the doctor needs assistance. They also must be prepared to handle emergencies. As a member of a medical office team there is an expectation that office assistants will observe the values of the employer, office rules and code of ethics, and will embrace the philosophy and mission for optimal patient care.

Professionalization is the social process by which medical professionals transform into a true profession of the highest integrity and competence. This process tends to involve establishing acceptable qualifications with some degree of demarcation of the qualified from unqualified amateurs.

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