11 Qualities that Make a Good Medical Assistant

Becoming a medical assistant requires a diploma from a vocational school and skills that are vital for the job. Candidates must also possess several personal qualities that ensure they are able to interact with patients as well as members of the healthcare team.

Quality #1: Effective Communicator

A medical assistant must learn medical terminology in order to understand professional conversations regarding medical conditions, diagnostics and treatments. In addition to communicating with members of the medical team, good medical assistants must have the ability to translate the terminology into lay-person terms that patients can understand.

Communication is a two-way street. A medical assistant must also possess good listening skills. Medical assistants listen to patients explain their symptoms and concerns. The medical assistant must answer questions to the best of their knowledge. When interviewing a patient, they need to know how to obtain all of the pertinent information from the patient to ensure the physician has the facts necessary to make an appropriate diagnosis. Good listening skills are also necessary when receiving instruction from physicians and nurses. Following an examination, patients may ask a medical assistant to clearly explain any procedures they must undergo and the treatment they will receive.

Quality #2: Compassionate

A medical assistant may encounter patients experiencing pain. Patients or parents may express fear concerning a potential diagnosis or condition. Medical assistants must offer compassion and support. Patients must feel that the medical team understands their concerns and has sympathy for their emotional state. The qualities of compassion and understanding help alleviate anxiety and encourage a sense of calm in patients of all ages.

Quality #3: Outgoing

Throughout each work day, medical assistants interact with a variety of patients, physicians, nurses and other members of the medical team. At times, the medical assistant may need clarification concerning a particular task. They must be able to ask the questions necessary to stay informed. Many of the conversations occur in person. Some of the conversations occur over the telephone. In any instance, a medical assistant must be a “people person.” This occupation is not for someone who is shy or withdrawn.

Quality #4: Nonjudgmental

A medical assistant may encounter patients who require medical treatment as a result of a prior unwise decision. Medical assistants may meet patients who have lifestyle choices or who are from cultures that are in stark contrast to their own. Regardless of the circumstance, the professional behavior of the medical assistant requires that they do not pass judgment on others. It is also unprofessional for a medical assistant to judge or gossip about patients or other employees. During their career, medical assistants may encounter ethical and moral issues but, as a member of the medical team, a medical assistant’s main concern is to always provide the best possible care for their patients.

Quality #5: Self-Controlled

Patients consult with medical professionals in order to receive the treatment they need to maintain their health and well-being. The field often presents several emotional challenges. Medical assistants may interact with patients exhibiting a wide range of emotions. At times it is difficult not to become emotionally attached or affected by the emotions displayed by others. However, despite what a medical assistant thinks or feels in the moment, they must display a professional attitude toward the patient and others.

Medical assistants may encounter people who are less than personable. Medical staff and patients may, at times, become frustrated or angry. In these cases, the medical assistant must have the ability to take another person’s personal temperament in stride and not allow the encounter to prevent them from performing their duties.

Quality #6: Calm Under Pressure

Physicians’ offices, quick-care clinics or similar medical facilities are bustling with activity throughout the day. Staff members pitch in and manage a number of responsibilities and assignments. During the course of the day, a medical assistant might encounter ranting patients or demanding members of the medical team, in addition to trying to fulfill their own duties. At times, an eight-hour shift may seem like a never-ending array of demands. Under these circumstances, the job can easily become stressful. A medical assistant must be able to handle multiple tasks and deal with difficult situations as they arise with a calm, controlled and cool-headed demeanor.

Quality #7: Reliable

Reliability is one of the most desirable qualities any employee can possess. Medical employees are expected to arrive at the agreed upon time and to accomplish the assigned duties within their scope of practice. Other members of the health care team rely on medical assistants to behave and act in a professional manner that appropriately represents the facility in which they are employed.

Quality #8: Honest

By being an honest person, a medical assistant is better able to establish trusting relationships with both patients and colleagues. When explaining procedures and treatments with patients, they must resist the urge to sugar coat the experience. Likewise, if a medical assistant makes a mistake, they should admit the error, make the necessary corrections, make amends and strive to improve. Co-workers will not view someone who engages in deceptive behavior as trustworthy.

Quality #9: Integrity

The quality of integrity can be described as how someone acts when others are not around to witness their behavior. The trait must be displayed when interacting with co-workers or in an examination room with a patient. Patient information is another area in which integrity has a role. The HIPAA Privacy Act protects patient information. Personal patient information should never be shared with people outside of the medical team responsible for that individual’s care. Behavior and conversations in and around the workplace must be both professional and discreet.

Quality #10: Well Organized

The many tasks that a medical assistant might complete in a day require that the individual is well organized. In addition to visiting with patients and consulting with colleagues, the medical assistant is required to complete various documents. They may need to provide medical professionals with laboratory tests and other pertinent information needed to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe treatment. The various tasks must be completed at specific times during the day. The medical assistant needs to manage their time accordingly to accomplish their duties to the best of their ability in the time frame allowed.

Quality #11: Adaptable

Adaptability is a good trait to possess. A medical assistant must be able to adjust their normal schedule to accommodate sudden change. They may need to use problem-solving skills in order to manage all that is required in the moment. Adaptability also helps when dealing with the many different personalities that medical assistants encounter. As their career progresses, medical assistants may need to learn additional skills or gain advanced knowledge. It is in the best interest of the medical assistant to embrace change as needed.

Did learning about the qualities that make a good medical assistant interest you? Interested in working with colleagues that want to help their patients stay healthy? Ready for an exciting new career in the medical assisting field? PCI Health Training Center’s Medical Assistant programs prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Medical Assistant. Within this general career category there are several specialty areas, including Medical Administrative Office Assistant, Clinic Assistant, Clinic Tech, Medical Office Manager, Phlebotomist, Physical Therapy Aide in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital out-patient clinic. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

The Importance of Communication Skills for Dental Assistants

Dental Assistant with Dentist

Communication skills are critical in any aspect of health care. In the course a day, a dental assistant might need to communicate effectively with dentists, dental hygienists, other dental assistants, patients, family members, insurance company workers, sales representatives or other dental offices. Ineffective communication increases the risk of misunderstandings and the potential for poor patient outcomes. Effective communication helps ensure the transfer of correct information, promotes better working relationships and soothes patient or family anxiety.

What is Good Communication?

Several skills are necessary for good communication. One of the most important is the ability to listen carefully and comprehend what is being said. In some cases, what is not being said is equally important, so the dental assistant must be able to “hear” beneath the surface to pick up on an unvoiced anxiety or fear. Empathy is the ability to see things from another’s point of view, while sympathy is the ability to feel sorry for another’s misfortunes. A dental assistant must be able to use both facilities to communicate effectively.

Nonverbal communication skills, such as focusing on the speaker, smiling when appropriate and nodding to convey agreement, are as important as what one says. If a dental assistant crosses their arms, taps their fingers impatiently or roll their eyes, the other person will often react defensively and stop communicating. Good communication skills take practice and awareness, and the ability to learn from one’s mistakes.

Communication in the Front Office

In many dental offices, the dental assistant wears multiple hats. They may answer phones, schedule appointments, work chair-side with the dentist, order supplies and manage billing. This brings the dental assistant into contact with a wide range of people of different ages, educational backgrounds and cultures. For example, they must have the ability to communicate with a frightened child or an elderly woman who has diminished hearing. Interruptions are the norm and the front office position can be stressful. However, allowing stress to take over can impede communication, so stress management becomes an important aspect of communication in this role.

Communicating with the Dentist

Dental assistants provide hands-on support to the dentist during the care of patients. A good dental assistant learns to anticipate what the dentist will need next. It’s important to stay focused on the task and listen to the dentist’s requests to help ensure an efficient work process. Working efficiently also helps make patients feel more secure. At the same time, the dental assistant must stay aware of the patient’s responses and emotions. A frightened patient may pull away at the wrong moment. The dental assistant can help soothe and comfort the patient with words or a gentle touch.

Communicating with Hygienists

In most offices, hygienists work alone. However, the dental assistant may assist with stocking rooms or escorting patients to their room for an appointment. It’s important to set the patient at ease. If it’s a new patient, the dental assistant may perform an introduction. In some offices with multiple hygienists, the dental assistant may act as a “runner.” In this situation, it’s important to convey messages clearly and concisely and to listen carefully to ensure the right supplies are obtained.

Educating Patients

Dental assistants may also perform some basic patient education. One of the most important aspects of patient education is to maintain awareness of the patient’s comprehension of the material. Research indicates that as many as 1 in 7 adult patients may be functionally illiterate, according to Intellectual Takeout from The Charlemagne Institute. Yet most educational materials come in printed form. The dental assistant must remain sensitive to the fact that the patient may be embarrassed to admit he or she cannot read. Reviewing the material together rather than just providing handouts is the safest course. Patients are more likely to ask questions in this sort of one-on-one session.

Culture & Communication

Culture has a big impact on communication. For example, in some cultures, it is considered disrespectful to meet another person’s eyes for any length of time. This can make it seem as though the individual is not listening. Words may have different connotations in different languages. When it comes to patient education, the patient may not have a written language or may be unable to read English. The dental assistant must be sensitive to verbal and non-verbal cues to assure the patient or family member understands what is being said. If an interpreter is necessary, the dental assistant must be able to have a three-way conversation in order to convey the necessary information.

Telephone Communication

One of the great disadvantages of telephone communication is that a dental assistant cannot see the person on the other end. Since we often depend on body language cues to determine if another person understands what is being said it is critical to listen to the other person’s tone of voice and to pay attention to pauses, sighs, volume, pace or other indicators of a communication problem. Always clarify misunderstandings immediately.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict is a normal occurrence in any kind of human interaction. A patient wants an appointment at a time that is unavailable or a dental assistant has a misunderstanding with a co-worker. The ability to communicate effectively can result in a resolution, while poor communication skills can make things worse. In conflict resolution, a dental assistant will use the facilities of empathy, careful listening, and nonverbal communication. However, a dental assistant must also manage their own emotions and stress. If they practice good communication skills, conflict resolution becomes much easier. Restate the other person’s words. This makes it clear a dental assistant is listening and will clear up miscommunication. Focus on a solution rather than who is right.

Good communication skills are not hard to learn. However, they do take practice. Once a dental assistant uses these skills consistently, they will find many benefits in their work as a dental assistant. In addition, good communication skills are useful in one’s personal life as well. Always remember the basics: listening carefully, awareness of non-verbal communication, respect for cultural differences, reiterating back what you hear and being empathetic.

Did learning about dental assistant communication skills interest you? Still deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? Ready to learn more about a program that will help you become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information. Dental Assistant program offered at our Richardson Campus.

The Importance of Math for Medical Assistants

Lady and Doctor

Being a Medical Assistant can be a very rewarding career. There’s something very fulfilling about helping someone with their health issues or pain relief. Medical Assistants rely on several necessary skills for success in the field. Math is a skill that plays a very important role in the healthcare profession, especially for Medical Assistants. You may not have realized the importance of accurate math skills for Medical Assistants, but it is used in several different ways throughout their day: such as calculating medication, metric system conversions, vital signs, lab tests and while conducting clerical office work.

Calculating Medication

A doctor’s prescription may be filled by Medical Assistants to administer medication to patients. In measuring the medication, the Medical Assistant needs to gauge the correct dosage. It’s vitally important to calculate the correct amount, as giving too much or too little to a patient could cause serious harm.

Ratios and proportions are also used when calculating how much medication to give to a patient. The patient’s weight dictates the medication’s dosage. Sometimes micrograms will have to be converted into milligrams by setting up proportions.

In calculating medications for children, one formula to use is Clark’s rule. Graphs and rubrics are also used in determining the correct weight and height. A Medical Assistant will use the weight and height of a patient to create a graph. If a baby scale is unavailable, a Medical Assistant may have to calculate a baby’s weight by weighing an adult and the baby together and then subtracting the adult’s weight from the total.

Metric System

The medical field primarily uses the metric system for measurements. It’s the most common measurement system in the world. Many believe the metric system is a more accurate way to give medication. Decimal points are also often used in converting metrics as a short-cut. Medical Assistants must have knowledge of converting the customary U.S. measurements into metric measurements. Accurate calculations with those measurements is written in unit notations.

Vital Signs

One of the most important vital signs Medical Assistants will take is the pulse/heart rate. They will need math skills for taking respiratory rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
A person’s heart rate is measured by the number of times their heart beats per minute. A patient’s pulse can be taken by placing two fingers (not a thumb) at their wrist over the artery and multiplying the number of beats counted in 15 seconds by 4 to get the heart rate. Respiratory rates can be calculated by watching someone breathe for 15 seconds and multiplying the number of breaths taken by 4.

Blood pressure is measured by two different numbers; the higher number is the systolic pressure and the lower number is the diastolic pressure. When taken, it’s written as a ratio figure with the systolic pressure number over the diastolic pressure number. A Medical Assistant may need mathematical skills to read a thermometer and convert Fahrenheit to Celsius.

Clerical Office Work

Medical Assistants often assist with patient billing. They must know basic addition and subtraction to calculate bills for the cost of the office visit, plus any procedures that were done. A Medical Assistant may call the patient’s insurance provider to verify their insurance and the amount the insurance company will pay toward the patient’s bill and then calculate what the patient owes, minus what their insurance pays.

Did learning about the importance of math for Medical Assistants interest you? Interested in working with colleagues who want to help their patients stay healthy? Ready for an exciting new career in the Medical Assisting field? PCI Health Training Center’s Medical Assistant programs prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Medical Assistant. Within this general career category there are several specialty areas, including Medical Administrative Office Assistant, Clinic Assistant, Clinic Tech, Medical Office Manager, Phlebotomist, Physical Therapy Aide in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital out-patient clinic. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a Medical Assistant and start a rewarding career today.


**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

7 Reasons to Get a Medical Assisting Diploma

Interested in earning a medical assisting diploma? There are many different reasons to get your medical assisting diploma and become a medical assistant. Medical assisting is becoming increasingly popular with students entering the medical career field each year and is highly rewarding. Medical Assistant is a great choice whether you are looking into it as a career or a stepping stone to another position.

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

Medical assistants do a variety of tasks around the office. You can find them working with patients, taking vitals and performing preliminary screenings. Medical assistants can schedule patients, order supplies and resolve payment issues. Medical assistants are incredibly useful and necessary as the backbone of all hospitals, healthcare facilities and medical offices.

Why Get a Medical Assisting Diploma?

Interested in getting a diploma in medical assisting? There are many beneficial reasons for doing so, including the fact that you can have an important job helping patients, it is a growing industry, you are able to work with colleagues who care, you can obtain a diploma within a short time frame, your career can provide personal fulfillment, and there are numerous job opportunities with flexible work schedules.

9 Months to a Medical Assisting Diploma

It typically takes less than a year to become a medical assistant. 9 months from now, you could be a medical assistant in the healthcare field, working in a medical office or hospital. You don’t have to spend years in school. A medical assisting diploma is perfect for those that want a rewarding career and may have obligations that stop them from attending a traditional 4-year college.

Helping Patients

Being a medical assistant means being able to help patients daily. As the first person a patient sees, you will want to make a good first impression. As a caring and nurturing individual, you can help calm patients dealing with the stress that comes with illness and injury. The medical assistant can create a comfortable place for patients to get treatment and stay healthy.

A Growing Industry

The field of medical assisting is expected to grow over the next decade because of the healthcare needs of an aging population. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 29 percent growth in the medical industry from 2016 to 2026. As more people age and experience the natural health concerns of aging, medical assistants will be in high demand for years to come

Caring Colleagues

As a medical assistant, you will be working alongside colleagues who care about their patients as much as you do. You will work with nurses, doctors, phlebotomists and other medical specialists. Your colleagues are in the healthcare field because they want to help others. Working with these kinds of individuals in a professional environment is incredibly rewarding and inspiring.

Personal Fulfillment

Many medical assistants work in the field for their entire careers while others take a break from working as a medical assistant only to find themselves returning years later. A career as a medical assistant is one you can always fall back on, even after being out of the field for periods of time.

Job Opportunities

Because medical assistants are in high demand, work is readily available after graduation. Medical assistants are needed in a wide range of healthcare settings such as doctor’s offices, hospitals and nursing homes.

Flexible Schedules

Medical assistants can work morning, afternoon or nighttime shifts. The medical assistant may choose to work part-time or full-time. This is essential for busy individuals who balance work with their home and family life.

Becoming A Medical Assistant

If you are tired of going from one job to the next, it might be time to earn your diploma to become a medical assistant in the healthcare field. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a rewarding career helping others alongside caring colleagues, while maintaining a flexible work schedule if you need to take care of family members or children.

Did learning about the reasons to get a medical assisting diploma interest you? Interested in working with colleagues that want to help their patients stay healthy? Ready for an exciting new career in the medical assisting field? PCI Health Training Center’s Medical Assistant program prepares  graduates to work as an entry-level Medical Assistant. Within this general career category there are several specialty areas, including Medical Administrative Office Assistant, Clinic Assistant,  Medical Office Manager, Phlebotomist, Physical Therapy Aide in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital out-patient clinic. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a Medical Assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

Chair side Skills to Master for Dental Assistants

The job of a dental assistant requires a set of skills that helps both the dentist and the patient. It is their job to ensure the patient is comfortable, calm and well informed about the procedure. It is also the dental assistant’s duty to assist the dentist in performing vital. Depending on where the dental assistant chooses to work, they could be working with adults and the elderly or children as young as one or two years old. Because of this, it is important that they have the proper chairside skills to ensure the comfort of all of the patients they see during a typical workday.

The Job of a Dental Assistant

Dental assistants perform a wide range of duties and are often considered the back bone of the dental office. Most dental assistants will greet the patient and bring them to the exam room. The dental assistant is the first person that the patient will see when going for the actual procedure and before sitting in the chair. Most dental assistants are also responsible for taking x-rays of patients’ teeth. Dental assistants are required to help prepare the exam room for treatment and to assist the dentist chairside while the procedure is being performed. Lastly, the dental assistant is required to clean the operatories and sterilize all equipment prior to the next usage. .

Chairside Skills Required to Master Your Career

Because a dental assistant will see many patients on any given day, they will need to have the necessary set of chairside skills for the optimal comfort of their patient.

Some of these chairside skills include:

Skill #1: Compassion – Studies have shown that more than half of the population is afraid to go to the dentist. An even smaller portion of individuals have a condition known as dentophobia, where they have an intense fear and worry about going to the dentist. The dental assistant needs to show compassion to these patients and to let them know that they are available if and when the patient needs them. A caring smile and compassionate tone can be all that is needed to calm the worries of a patient who is terrified to sit in a dental chair.

Skill #2: Patience – Many dental procedures take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to complete. The dental assistant is usually beside the dentist during the entire appointment. The dental assistant will need to have the patience required to sit for a relatively long period of time. This is especially vital if the dental assistant works in a dental surgeon’s office where longer and more in-depth procedures are being performed.

Skill #3: Knowledge of Procedures – It is the dental assistant’s job to have the room set up prior to procedures and to know what supplies are needed during each part of the procedure. This is where it is important for the dental assistant to have a clear understanding of all the dental tools, procedures and materials that are needed along the way.

Skill #4: Calm Demeanor – Many patients are nervous prior to and during their appointment, even if they are an adult and have been to the dentist hundreds of times. This is where a calm demeanor comes in handy. The soothing presence of a composed dental assistant allows the patient to calm down. Composure comes with a working knowledge of the dental procedures to be performed, as well as a good working relationship with the dentist. These elements improve a dental assistant’s chairside skills.

Skill #5: Foresight – The dental assistant needs to have the foresight to know what the dentist or patient is going to need before it is needed. For example, for a simple filling procedure, the dental assistant needs to know the specific steps of the procedure to ensure that it goes smoothly and without interruption. Attending a good school to become a dental assistant is of the utmost importance because that is where a dental assistant will learn about all of the various dental procedures and what is expected to work with the dentist chairside.

Skill #6: Accuracy – Most people think that dental procedures are solely performed by the dentist, but actually there aremany duties that the dental assistant performs that are crucial to the patient’s oral and dental health. For example, when the dental assistant takes an x-ray of a patient’s mouth, the x-rays need to be accurate in order to be read correctly to detect underlying problems. Accuracy comes with both education and practice. Learning dental assisting from a book is ideal to get started, but the real skills begin with hands-on experience working with patients.

Skill #7: Understanding – Patients may come into the dental office afraid, nervous and even angry. Having a good understanding about people and being able to put oneself into the patient’s shoes will assist greatly in connecting with the patient and ensuring a successful appointment.

Skill #8: Helpfulness – A dental assistant needs to be as helpful as possible to both the dentist and the patient. They need to be able to discuss various aspects of the procedure and the patients’ needs with the dentist. When speaking with patients, the dental assistant must also be helpful in educating them about what to expect prior to, during and after their procedure.

Becoming a dental assistant is a wonderful career choice that can lead to a variety of opportunities within the dental field. Some dental assistants go on to become RDAs (registered assistants) while others become hygienists or even dentists! By possessing the proper chairside manner, the dental assistant can ensure the comfort and safety of both the patients and the dentist.


Did learning about dental assistant chairside skills interest you? Still deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? Ready to learn more about a program that will help you become a dental assistant? The
Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic. PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the Dental Assistant Program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information. Dental Assistant Program offered at our Richardson Campus.

How to Create a Medical Office Emergency Plan

A medical office needs to be resilient in times of crisis. FEMA recommends that all businesses plan in advance to manage any emergency. They recommend being prepared to assess the crisis situation, use common sense and use available resources to take care of the those involved.

During a crisis is the time when patients are at their most vulnerable and when medical offices may need the most support. It is very important that a medical office and all its employees know how an emergency plan operates. Medical office administration staff are ideal at developing emergency plans.

Risk Assess the Potential

One of the most important things for the medical office assistant to do when developing an emergency plan is to consider the potential risks to the medical facility. This ranges from flooding from a nearby river making roads impassable to a chemical plant being in the neighborhood. An emergency may include illness striking the staff and the need for an emergency staffing plan. The medical office may fall into darkness with an electricity outage. Increasingly the risk of computer system failure and hacking is a hazard as more records and systems go digital. It is also recognized in emergency planning that it is impossible to plan for everything as the unexpected can and does occur. Being prepared for common scenarios increases the resilience of the medical office and the likelihood that everyone involved will be safe.

Stock Emergency Supplies

Every medical facility needs to be prepared for a crisis and have the proper supplies to combat any situation. Basic supplies include fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. Each employee should have a personal kit that satisfies their specific needs including any medications they may need. First aid kits should be available in case of an emergency. Other items that may be supplied in case of an emergency include a battery-powered commercial radio, extra batteries, flashlights, whistle to signal for help, and tools to turn off utilities.

Clearly Display Emergency Routes

It is important to include the emergency routes out of the medical office. Staff and patients need to be aware of the emergency routes and follow them in case of a crisis. These emergency routes must take into consideration the use of stairs rather than elevators and access for disabled co-workers. There should also be a rally point set for everyone to meet after leaving the medical office. Make sure to account for all medical staff and patients when arriving at the off-site emergency location.

Pick an Emergency Leader

The medical office administrative staff should be in charge the day of the crisis. They will be fully in charge of the medical office emergency plan and have the authority to make decisions to keep people safe. The medical office administrative staff will also have the knowledge, skill set and available resources to implement the emergency plan. They will also become ambassadors for new employees and those needing retraining.

Develop Contingency Solutions

Once the medical office is aware of potential hazards they can create an emergency plan in case a crisis occurs. Having a contact list of all staff is vital. The plan needs to list the processes to take should an emergency situation occur. An example is a scenario where all the doctors have contracted influenza and are unable to work. Solutions might include cancelling routine surgery and getting colleagues from another medical office to cover for the sick doctors. If there is deep snow, or flooding, some of the administrative work may be continued remotely by staff having access from home. Another critical solution for emergency planning is to make sure computer systems are backed up off site. If the office caught fire destroying computers, it is essential to have access to medical records.

Working with a Larger System Plan

One of the most important things for medical office administration staff to do when developing an emergency plan is to connect to other organizations. The city government may have systems in place that the medical office can take advantage of. The community can come together to plan with local hospitals, and the fire and rescue services in case of a crisis. It is also vital for a medical office to partner with other medical facilities in the area to ensure plans are consistent and there is cross coverage. The medical office can also provide support to a hospital in an emergency if there is an overflow of injured patients. By being part of a larger plan, across a region, there is likely to be consistency with planning in emergencies.

Test the Plan

One of the most important things to do is test an emergency plan by having a trial drill. This can be organized by the medical office administration staff who also keeps records to ensure everyone has received training. Practice exercises identifying issues that need to be resolved and amended for the medical office emergency plan. The practice also ensures that medical office staff is familiar with the plan and can act in an emergency situation.

Emergency planning is a vital part of running a safe medical office. By having an agreed upon and tested emergency plan, a medical office can be as prepared as possible for a real-world crisis.

Ready to be a part of a community that takes care of all medical staff and patients? Want to become a medical office assistant? The Medical Office Assistant Program is designed to prepare graduates to work as an entry-level medical front office assistant, receptionist, insurance billing, insurance collector, appointment scheduler, medical secretary, or medical records clerk, in health care centers, clinics, hospitals, ambulatory care centers, and medical billing offices. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical office assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

 

 

Preparing Kids for a Dental Procedure: A Dental Assistant’s Guide

The dental office can be
a scary place for a kid. The noises, the prodding of teeth, and the dentist’s drill are all things that a kid waiting in the dental office will be wary of and the reason they are reluctant to be examined.

Dental assistants have a major role in helping kids who are having dental treatment by:

  • Creating a child friendly environment
  • Thinking safety and security
  • Explaining the procedures so that the child can understand and pay attention
  • Using distraction as a calming tool
  • Asking the kid what they would do to make the dental office child friendly
  • Helping the children and their parents deal with the fear
  • Educating the kids to prevent cavities in the first place.
  • Helping kids understand who people are thereby creating a friendlier environment.
  • Having an atmosphere that looks welcoming and friendly

Explaining the Procedures

If kids know what is happening and the rationale for doing things, they are likely to be more cooperative. A dental assistant can explain procedures in a child friendly way, using simple descriptions and ensuring things are clear. Using a doll or teddy as role playing model is another technique that works with small kids. Another way to get messages across clearly is to use animation that can be shown on a TV screen. The dentist assistant needs to identify a way to explain the procedure so that children will not only understand but will be attentive to the message.

Distraction

No one likes the sound of the drill, especially kids who are about to have a treatment. One way to help kids in the treatment room is to distract them. Music is one way of providing a distraction. A ceiling mural is an alternative for kids to

look at as they get examined in the dental chair. Talking to the kid and maintaining eye contact is calming which something a dental assistant can do as they are helping the dentist. Sometimes, having a parent in the room can help a child receiving treatment.

Ask the Child

When creating a child friendly space in a dentist’s office one of the best ways to get some creative ideas and insights into what is needed is to ask a child or parent. This is an easy task for a dental assistant who can gather opinion in a dental exam room or support managerial staff with focus groups and questionnaires. By listening to the people who visit the dentist’s office, issues that are problematic can be easily addressed. Kids observe things that are overlooked by an adult, and yet these are really important issues.

Dealing with Fear

A dental assistant can be proactive by helping kids who are afraid of dental treatments. In working with the dentist dental assistants can help calm children by using local anesthetics along with well-honed techniques. The dental team can work to get procedures done fast and efficiently on children by operating in a confident and seamless way. Dental assistants can also work with parents to calm and reassure the kid having treatment. The goal of a dental assistant is to gain the confidence of frightened kids rapidly, so they cooperate to complete the dental treatments. They must also calm anxious parents, so they do not exacerbate the situation with a frightened kid.

Education

One of the best ways of avoiding problems with frightened kids in the dental office is to do as much health promotion and education as possible to prevent tooth decay. A dental assistant has a vital role of teaching kids how to brush and floss their teeth. This includes reducing sugar consumption and avoiding too much candy. By using child friendly teaching methods, a dental assistant plays a huge role in helping kids stay healthy, so they avoid dental treatment in the first place.

Child friendly areas in dentist’s offices are vital and a dental assistant is ideally placed to maintain them and to work with the dental team to deliver care in an appropriate setting. Having space that is bright and welcoming, calm and full of games and toys, is an excellent way to care for kids during a dental procedure. Dental assistants are vital in ensuring the department is a proactive and attractive environment for any kid.

Still deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? Ready to learn more about a program that will help you become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-informationDental Assistant program offered at our Richardson Campus.

 

5 Job Ideas for Dental Assistants Beyond the Dental Office

Dental assistants play a critical role in a dental office. A dental assistant regularly aids the dentist, ensuring that patient care is completed as efficiently and effectively as possible. Dental assistants often work in traditional office settings. However, dental assistants who are feeling adventurous can consider a career beyond the typical dental office. There are several creative possibilities for jobs beyond the dental office that dental assistants can consider including working as a dental office manager, teaching dental assisting, selling dental products, dental assisting in the military, and a dental insurance claims processor.

What A Dental Assistant Does

A dental assistant works with the dentist to offer proper dental care and educate patients on good oral hygiene, according to the American Dental Association. They will assist the dentist during treatments, exams and procedures. The dental assistant takes vital signs and records the patient’s medical history. They will also take impressions of the patient’s teeth for casts and models. The dental assistant will assist the dentist whenever they are caring for a patient to make sure the patient is comfortable and properly informed during any procedure.

Dental Office Management

Dental office managers have administrative roles and oversee the functioning of a dental office. They answer phones, greet customers, order supplies, manage bookkeeping, take inventory and cover for other dental office staff. As a dental office manager, you’ll work with front desk staff, hygienists, dentists, and staff to ensure that the dental office is functioning smoothly, and that patients are receiving the best care possible.

Teaching Dental Assisting

Some dental assistants may become teachers in different teaching capacities. Dental assistants who decide they want to teach can get a simple certification that allows them to provide education to others who are hoping to pursue a similar career path.

Dental Assistants can also work in schools to educate students on proper oral hygiene. Habits are learned at a young age and helping youth with preventive dentistry will set them on the path to healthy teeth and gums.

Selling Dental Products

Dental product manufacturers and distributors employ people with a distinct knowledge of dentistry to sell their dental products. Dental assistants are often qualified to hold these positions because they have an in-depth knowledge of oral health, teeth, and how the dentist office works. Dental assistants can consider getting into sales if they want to use their knowledge and continue to improve dental offices, while not having to work chairside assisting a dentist.

Military Dental Assistant

Dental assistants may want to travel or be in more exciting work environments than a typical dental office. For those dental assistants, there are careers in the military. Military dental assistants work for military dentists, who provide dentistry to people in the U.S. armed forces. The main job functions include education of troops in preventative dentistry, radiology techniques, and dental office procedures. The dental assistant may be stationed in military dental clinics or deployed where soldiers are located. Some military dental assistants may even serve aboard a ship. The military dental assistant will help the troops with oral hygiene and serve their country at the same time.

Dental Insurance Claims Processing

If you have trained to be a dental assistant, you are qualified to work in the dental insurance industry. Working in dental insurance allows you to process dental insurance claims, verifying the treatments that were given to patients and deciding whether those treatments qualify for coverage. Working in dental insurance is a good way to use your dental knowledge in a more business focused position.

Being a dental assistant is a fulfilling job where you get to provide oral health care for those in need. While many dental assistants choose to work in a regular dentist’s office setting, some may be looking for more unique career opportunities or interesting work environments. Those dental assistants, upon gaining experience in the field, can consider working as a dental office manager, teacher of dental assisting, selling dental products, becoming a military dental assistant or become a dental insurance claims processor.

You can graduate from a vocational school’s dental assisting program in as little as 9 months and start your new career in the dental industry. Many dental assisting programs offer in lab training and off-site externships to prepare graduates for real world situations Whether at a traditional dental office, in the military or working in a related field, dental assistants have the opportunity to help people live healthier lives.

Still deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? Ready to learn more about a program that will help you become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-informationDental Assistant program offered at our Richardson Campus.

 

How to Stand out in a Dental Assistant Interview

Interested in learning more about a dental assistant interview? The best way to look at the dental assistant job interview is to see it as an opportunity to stand out. Everyone will come rehearsed. Chances of anyone showing up inappropriately dressed are slim. You must come prepared to shine. This checklist will help you prepare for that interview with the dental office panel. Learn what the employers are looking for in a candidate and make sure you are a good fit.

During the dental assistant interview, the candidate will need to know an in-depth understanding of the role. They will need a level of compassion and technology. The dental assistant candidate will need organizational skills. Their communication will be tested, and they must endure a tense situation. Preparing for these situations in a dental assistant interview will help you stand out among the crowd.

An In-Depth Understanding of the Role

The prospective dental assistant has to display a thorough knowledge of the functions. That includes knowledge of tools and techniques used. They must show proficiency in conventional dentistry procedures such as took excavation, extractions, crowns, and polishing teeth. The dental assistant should show knowledge of regulations and privacy guidelines as well.

When explaining anything, the dental assistant candidate should refer to processes and experiences in various work situations. That way, the interviewer can properly gauge their level of expertise. They can take a typical dental assisting day that they mastered in the past and let them see the things they did on that day to shine.

A Level of Compassion

There is no better way of showing compassion than an inherent desire to help others. An interviewer can inquire about the dental assistant’s immediate reaction to someone who checks in to the dental practice with an acute toothache.

One’s ability to relieve the patient’s pain immediately is imperative. Rushing to give a painkiller shows concern but rushing to process the patient is better. Such processing will include medical history, insurance, and current complaint. The employer will want to see that level of craft and resourcefulness.

Helping is a team effort. It pays to show that one understands teamwork as a core value in dentistry. Borrowing an example from chair-side assisting can help the candidate demonstrate their ability to anticipate team needs.

A Level of Technology

It is now a requirement in most jobs to be computer literate. Showing computer literacy and a desire to adopt emerging technologies will help improve the chances of landing a dental assistant job. The dental assistant is the face of a dental clinic. Patients will come armed with information from the Internet. The dental assistant should also be abreast of such information. It is not necessary to know all the technical resources that a dental practice Including dental office management software and showing a fast learner’s attitude. The dental assistant must also demonstrate competence in data handling from capturing to retrieval.

Organizational Skills

When answering questions, one’s answers should flow logically. The interviewer can spot the ability of a successful dental assistant to transition effortlessly from task to task. However, it is not easy to keep a steady flow. It requires plenty of practice and knowledge. One must deliberately accustom themselves to operational processes of dentistry. How to conduct an initial evaluation, take patient information, do x-rays, root canals, and make dental impressions are some of the things the dental assistant is expected to know. One must also show that they can schedule and multitask effectively.

Communication is Tested

A dental assistant has to show that they can communicate with a problem patient effectively. That must come out through effective people skills. They must practice being resourceful in challenging situations.

It is up to the dental assistant to prepare adequately by brainstorming and practicing various situations. They can rely on their experience. Do not dwell on the positives only. There are days when things did not go as you envisioned. Sharpening verbal communication is also important.

Testing Nerves in a Tense Situation

The interviewer will devise a situation that the dental assistant must diffuse. The first thing that they will want to see in a successful dental assistant is active listening. If the dental assistant manages to display that, they will have a good chance of getting that job. Remember, a dental assistant can nurture this trait through regular feedback and improvement. They can use their friends or family to try different situations. Further, the dental assistant must show adaptation and composure.

We know that job hunting can be unnerving. There are many different situations when a dental assistant needed help in many situations when they are stuck. The candidate will need an in-depth understanding of the role of a dental assistant. People skills and that ability to be a calming presence should come naturally. It is up to the dental assistant candidate to prepare. Utilize these tips to stand out among the crowd of dental assistant candidates.Still deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? Ready to learn more about a program that will help you become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information. Dental Assistant program offered at our Richardson Campus.

 

How a Medical Office Assistant Can Organize a Disorganized Physician

Medical Offices and departments that are organized are more likely to operate efficiently than those who work in chaotic environments. Physicians are incredibly busy people and do not have time to do clerical tasks that are often business critical. That’s where medical office assistants are indispensable. With their unique skill sets they can create order and organize a physician.

To create an organized physician’s office, the medical office assistant will want to establish a filing system and use electronic health records to allow care providers access to patient information. They will want to set up the billing and coding processes, so the physician gets paid for services rendered and the patient is billed properly for healthcare services. The medical office assistant will want to also keep staff records and calendars organized so continuing education requirements are met and meetings don’t overlap. The medical office will want to draft an emergency plan in case disaster strikes. Finally, the medical office assistant will need to make sure the medical office abides by HIPAA guidelines to minimize legal ramifications for patient privacy breach.

Establish a Filing System

One of the most important tasks when organizing a medical office is to set up a filing system. Using alphanumeric and tabular filing systems can allow medical staff to find paper records when needed. However, a filing system is not just for paper records and invoices but there needs to be an online file as well for electronic correspondence. The use of electronic health records allows the patient’s entire medical history to be accessed by all medical providers. Making this easy to access will help anyone find the medical information they need. The medical office assistant will also need to ensure there is a secure data system and that patient records are secure as they should only be accessed by the staff working directly with the patient.

What is an Electronic Health Record?

The electronic health record (EHR) is a systemized collection of a patient’s electronically stored health information. The electronic health records can be shared by all providers in a patient’s care including physicians, medical offices and healthcare professionals. Medical records can be shared in minutes and better healthcare can be administered to patient with the help of electronic health records.

Some of the information recorded in electronic health records includes patient personal information, vital signs, medical history, medications, immunization status, laboratory test results, and all insurance billing information. It is important that only authorized medical staff have access to electronic health records and abide by HIPAA guidelines.

Set Up the Billing and Coding Processes

Medical offices need to ensure they have a robust billing and accounts system. Without cash flow the medical staff wages will go unpaid and ultimately the physician’s office could close. Alongside this system is the clinical coding process where diagnoses and treatment of care need to be recorded using internationally recognized codes. The different internationally recognized codes include the International Classification of Diseases version 10 (ICD-10), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS). If this process is done incorrectly it can result in under or over payment, and incorrect diagnoses on medical records. Medical office assistants have educational training to review the records and ensure everything is correctly coded. By having these processes in place in a medical office, billing and coding is more efficient. Proper processes also ensure the medical office keeps the business cash flow in check.

Organize Staff Records

Staff records are another area that needs to be in order. Medical office assistants can set up a filing system for personal records. In the medical world there is a requirement for appraisals, revalidation and renewal of some qualifications, and annual training. If they are not completed there are serious consequences. Medical staff may need retraining or not be allowed to perform a procedure until the staff’s required paperwork is in order. By setting reminders for staff, the medical office assistant can help the medical office transform into an organized system and one where training obligations do not lapse.

Schedule an Office Calendar

Having a single office calendar will enable medical staff to see vacation time, clinic time, and specific meetings. It will also act as a booking system for teaching, specific administrative tasks such as signing off invoices or documents, and reminders when due dates are near. An office diary or calendar avoids double booking appointments and keeps the medical office organized.

Have an Emergency Plan

All medical offices should have an emergency plan, so they can stay resilient in an adverse situation. Medical staff need to plan for adverse weather. For example, snow or floods may inhibit medical staff to reach the office and alternative plans must be in place as patients will still become ill and injured. It may even be more vital in an emergency situation to have a plan to manage multiple patients through a triage process. If the computer system was destroyed, is there an off-site back up set up that is data secure? Developing a plan for emergency situations will enable the medical office to be prepared if a crisis occurs. Making sure all the physicians are aware of and read the plan is essential.

Know and Follow HIPAA guidelines

The medical office assistant will need to keep all patient information confidential as a disorganized physician may inadvertently reveal private patient information to people that are not authorized to view it. Following HIPAA guidelines is important to not only keep patient information confidential but to not experience any legal implications for breach of patient confidentiality.

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 was developed to help ensure the confidentiality of medical records in the age of the computer. The HIPAA privacy rule requires that healthcare providers, health plans and healthcare clearinghouses gain authorization before they can use or disclose protected patient information. This privacy rule requires that the covered entities provide patients with written notice of their privacy practices and the patient’s privacy rights. All pharmacies, health plans and other covered entities must obtain an individual’s authorization before sending marketing materials. Finally, patients must be able to access their personal medical records and be able to request changes to correct any errors.

Medical office assistants have a vital role in organizing disorganized physicians and their medical offices. From setting up a filing system to developing an emergency plan and getting coding in order, a good medical office assistant can create order out of chaos.

Enjoy managing the front office and bookkeeping duties? Want to become a medical office assistant? The Medical Office Assistant Program is designed to prepare graduates to work as an entry-level medical front office assistant, receptionist, insurance billing, insurance collector, appointment scheduler, medical secretary, or medical records clerk, in health care centers, clinics, hospitals, ambulatory care centers, and medical billing offices. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical office assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.