5 Traits of Successful Medical Assisting Online Students

Studying medical assisting online can be tough and confusing. Here's our guide to making the most of this opportunity...

When you decide to pursue medical assisting online, it helps to have certain traits successfully complete the program.

Taking classes online isn't easy. It requires a person with special abilities to be able to make it through an entire program online.

Similarly, it isn't easy to become a medical assistant. Actually, the traits that you need to be a successful online student are great traits to have if you want to be a successful medical assistant.

If you're considering medical assisting as a career and want to pursue your education online, we recommend you try to cultivate these 5 traits to succeed in both fields and come out on top. Click to skip to each section.

  1. Time management
  2. Organization
  3. Computer skills
  4. Communication skills
  5. Motivation

1. Time management

5 traits of successful online medical assisting students

Time management is very important in both medical assisting and in studying online. When you are a medical assistant, you'll have to manage your time very effectively to get all of your job duties completed.

You may have billing to take care of, patient records to update, a phone ringing, and a patient standing at the desk... all at the same time!

Managing your time means you know how to devote just the right amount of time to the most important things first. When you're an online student you have to use this skill to get your work done before your deadlines.

You can't spend all of your time on the computer looking at Facebook and not doing research for your paper. Likewise, you can't spend all your time reading the book when it would be better for you to go online and look at the discussion board.

You'll have to regulate your time yourself because no one will be looking over your shoulder telling you when to stop. If you don't have excellent time management skills before you start an online class, you'll have a difficult time knowing what to do and when to do it.

2. Organization

5 traits of successful online medical assisting students

Organization will make or break you in a doctor's office.

A medical assistant probably sees about 30 to 50 patients in a day, depending on how busy a practice is. All those patients generate paperwork:

  • prescriptions
  • job return sheets
  • diagnosis sheets
  • charting papers
  • medication worksheets

and so on.

The medical assistant has to keep everything organized or important medical information can very easily get lost, and people won't receive proper treatment.

As a medical assisting online student you need to have organization to get through your classes. If you can't find you homework, have no idea where your book is, and don't know where your test went to, you're not going to be successful at this type of education.

It takes more organization to be successful in online schooling because you are doing it all from a home office. You don't have to go anywhere, so you have to keep yourself in order in your house. Stay organized and keep your education and career running smoothly!

3. Computer skills

5 traits of successful online medical assisting students

You need computer skills for both medical assisting online classes and when you finally become a medical assistant.

Medical assistants spend a huge amount of time on the computer, inputing patient medical histories, updating medical charting, and keeping track of insurance information. You need to know how to use a computer to work in a medical office because just about everything in a doctor's office, hospital, or clinic is moving to an electronic format.

Those who are familiar with word processing, spread sheets, and the internet are going to make themselves more valuable to employers.

Of course, you have to know your way around the computer to take classes online. If you can't work your computer, you're not going to be able to get online to get your homework, do research, or ask questions.

If you computer has a problem – which they are prone to – you have to know more or less how to handle it.

Your computer is your lifeline in online classes - you have to be fairly proficient in it to get by in the class. You should know how to:

  • connect to the internet
  • post to discussion boards
  • send emails with attachments
  • and use a simple word processing program.

These are just basics, though. Much more knowledge is necessary to successfully complete an online class.

4. Communication skills

5 traits of successful online medical assisting students

You have to be a great communicator to work as a medical assistant. Medical assisting is all about communication with patients, doctors, and staff.

You'll talk all day to patients and doctors, getting information and recording it for future use. You'll ask patients questions about their history, their disease, and their medications.

A medical assistant has to be able to speak up when the doctor is in the room and ask questions. She has to be able to teach patients about their conditions and answer the phone with no problems.

Online schooling is also about communication, but in a different way.

You have to have a certain comfort level with communicating via email and chat boards to make it in an online school. If you have a problem or a question, you must have the self-drive to contact the teacher and ask the question.

In medical assisting online schooling, asking a question isn't as easy as raising your hand. You actually have to compose an email, send it out, wait for a response, and send follow-up replies. Communication is something that you can't do without if you want to pursue online education for medical assisting.

5. Motivation

5 traits of successful online medical assisting students

Successful medical assistants are motivated to do a great job and take care of their patients. They have motivation to get the job done right the first time, keep the office running smoothly, and get patients from one area of the office to another.

Employers look for medical assistants who are driven to achieve. Going to an online school shows that you are a motivated individual: if you take classes online, no one is pushing you to go, to get your work done, or to succeed but you.

You have to have an inner well of motivation to succeed in medical assisting online schooling because there's no teacher or classmate to pull you along and make you work.

Your desire to succeed is your only motivation. Only your dreams and hopes for the future compel you to complete your schoolwork and succeed. A successful online student has to motivate herself to get the job done, and that will definitely help her when she gets on the job as a medical assistant.

For more help, see our guides to what you'll learn in your medical assisting classes, and the questions to ask yourself to find out if a medical assisting program is right for you.

You should also have a look at what's in the final medical assisting exam.

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