Medical Assistant duties involve cognitive, sensory, affective, and psychomotor performance requirements. Therefore, the following are examples of the kinds of activities that a student in the Medical Assisting program would be required to perform in order to successfully complete the program. The examples used are not all inclusive.
Critical thinking: The medical assisting student must possess critical thinking skills sufficient for clinical judgment. For example, the student must be able to use critical thinking as a basis for identifying/resolving patient problems, apply knowledge from lecture, laboratory, and clinical areas, as well as utilize basic mathematical skills.
Interpersonal skills: The medical assisting student should possess interpersonal skills sufficient to interact with co-workers, patients, families, and individuals from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. For example, the student should be able to establish rapport with patients, families, and colleagues.
Communication: The medical assisting student must possess communication skills sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written format. Communication abilities including speech, hearing, reading, writing, language skills and computer literacy are required. For example: Collect and document assessment data. Explain treatment procedures. Obtain and disseminate information relevant to patient care and work duties.
Mobility: The medical assisting student should possess physical skills sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces. For example: The student must be able to move around in patient rooms, work spaces, and treatment areas. Administer CPR. Transfer patients from stretchers and wheelchairs to exam table and back.
Motor skills: The medical assisting student should possess gross and fine motor skills sufficient to provide safe and effective care. For example, the student must be able to use equipment, administer injections, insert catheters, and other assigned duties under the supervision of the physician.
Hearing: The medical assisting student should possess auditory skills sufficient to monitor and observe health needs. For example, the student must be able to hear monitor alarms, emergency signals, cries for help, and vital signs.
Visual: The medical assisting student should possess visual skills sufficient for physical assessment, performance of medical office/clinical procedures, and maintenance of environmental safety. For example: The student must be able to observe patient responses, see a change in skin color, read a scale on a syringe, monitor vital signs, read patient records, and observe color involved specimen testing.
Olfactory: The medical assisting student should possess the ability to perform medical office/clinical procedures. For example: Distinguish various drugs, liquids, and chemicals.
Tactile: The medical assisting student should possess tactile skills sufficient to assist physician in a physical assessment. For example, the student must be able to palpate a pulse and veins for venipuncture.
Emotional stability and mental alertness: The medical assisting student should present themselves in a calm and efficient manner in high stress/pressure situations with patients, staff, supervisors, and colleagues.
Weight-bearing: The medical assisting student should possess the ability to lift and carry up to 30 pounds on a weekly or daily basis. For example, the student must be able to position and transfer patients.
Cognitive skills: The medical assisting student must possess the ability to organize responsibilities, make decisions, and make accurate mathematical calculations. For example, the student must be able to evaluate patient complaints.
Occupational exposure: The medical assisting student should possess the ability to protect self and others by implementing appropriate precautions due to possible exposure to communicable disease and/or body fluids, toxic substances, and medicinal preparations. For example, the student may encounter a patient with Hepatitis B or AIDS and must be able to use standard precautions. When a health problem occurs that results in multiple absences from class, lab, or clinical or injury impedes meeting the performance standards for a period of time, the medical assisting student is required to bring documentation from the physician or other healthcare provider noting the student can safely resume activities in the program. This documentation will be used to help determine if the student can return to class, lab, and/or clinical course requirements.