Get a Helping Hand: Hiring Medical Assistants for Your Practice
Published on March 9th, 2023
The healthcare industry presents a plethora of job opportunities for individuals who possess an ideal balance of medical expertise and professional experience. But, a 'candidate-driven' job market has made filling these available positions challenging. With so many opportunities available to job seekers, it is unsurprising that hospitals and private clinics often struggle to secure qualified medical assistants, despite the continuously growing demand for these positions.
According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ‘the employment rate for medical assistants is expected to increase by 16% between 2021 and 2031. Much faster than the average for all occupations.’ (source)
Hiring a well-trained and qualified medical assistant might seem like a challenging task because the ideal candidate should possess not only medical proficiency but also the ability to perform basic clinical procedures and exceptional interpersonal and communication skills. (Source)
Despite the multifaceted nature of the role, it doesn’t have to hinder your hiring efforts.
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In this article, we’ll discuss some more helpful tips on how to discover and recruit certified medical assistants, as well as where to look and what to look for when hiring a medical assistant.
But first, let’s understand,
THE IMPORTANCE OF A MEDICAL ASSISTANT IN YOUR PRACTICE
Whether you manage a hospital or run your private clinic, a certified medical assistant can prove to be a versatile and valuable asset to any medical practice. They play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth and efficient functioning of the practice, enabling physicians and other medical professionals to focus on providing quality patient care. Medical assistants perform various administrative and clinical tasks that are necessary for the day-to-day operations of a medical practice.
From handling patient intake, scheduling appointments, and maintaining medical records to taking vital signs, preparing patients for medical procedures, and providing basic patient care, medical assistants are integral members of the healthcare team. They assist physicians during examinations, help with medical treatments, and provide critical support during emergencies. Additionally, medical assistants often act as a liaison between patients and physicians, providing clear communication and support to both parties.
Hiring a qualified and experienced medical assistant not only benefits the practice by increasing efficiency but also improves patient satisfaction by providing high-quality care and service. By assisting with a range of tasks, medical assistants allow physicians to focus on providing exceptional medical care, enhancing the overall patient experience. Therefore, medical assistants play a crucial role in ensuring the success of any medical practice, making them indispensable assets to the healthcare industry.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A MEDICAL ASSISTANT:
To begin, it's crucial to note that identifying the right medical assistant frequently depends on your field of work, as each specialization has its complexities. Finding the best fit for your practice begins with an in-depth analysis of the specific responsibilities and duties you would require a medical assistant to perform. While most experienced candidates will be knowledgeable about healthcare administration and clinical practices, it's critical to keep an eye out for the particular skill sets you're looking for.
Before you consider bringing in a new hire into your practice, make sure that they have these qualifications:
1. A medical certification: Certification from a reputable medical organization is crucial for candidates seeking medical assistant positions, whether they are recent graduates or mid-career professionals. While licensure and certificates are not mandatory for medical assistants, candidates with these qualifications are more likely to possess the specific knowledge and competencies required for the job. In addition to having a fundamental understanding of patient care, safety, infection control, and healthcare ethics certified medical assistants have demonstrated their commitment to their profession by completing rigorous training and testing. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you prioritize candidates with proper certification when filling medical assistant positions.
62% of employers state that certification was their top screening criterion when screening medical assistant applications. (source)
2. Experienced in Patient care: Experienced applicants who have a proven track record of performing clinical procedures such as taking vital signs, administering injections, and performing CPR are well-suited to start working as medical assistants without requiring additional training. Moreover, candidates with prior experience in healthcare can smoothly transition into a medical assistant career, given their familiarity with medical terminology, patient care, and health policies.
3. Knowledgeable in administrative skills: Medical assistants who have experience working at the front desk should be competent in scheduling, service, and support, and have technical knowledge. They should also be acquainted with the best ways to handle electronic medical records. Furthermore, because workers in this area are frequently tasked with maintaining patient engagement, interpersonal skills are also important.
4. Soft skills in a candidate are also just as important: The most important characteristics to look for in a prospective employee are their attitude, temperament, professional attitude, and eagerness to learn. Even the most skilled medical assistant might harm your institution's reputation if they have a dismissive attitude towards patients and poor bedside manners. Look for individuals who are enthusiastic about assisting others, keen to learn, and appreciate working as a team member.
5. Should have the ability to multitask: Today’s healthcare institutions and private practices are fast-paced work environments since there is no predicting when or where a patient emergency may necessitate the intervention of a medical assistant. Professionals in this field must be able to quickly respond to their employer's needs, which might involve rotating between clinical and administrative responsibilities throughout the day.
DETERMINE YOUR SOURCE OF HIRING
A critical phase in your recruitment process is determining which channels to utilize to achieve the best results by presenting you with more candidates most efficiently and cost-effectively. Consider exploring a few different hiring approaches to discover the appropriate medical assistant for your company:
Utilize social media as your primary recruitment tool:
In today's modern world, social networking is the most powerful instrument for hiring for your organization. It is no longer only a venue for personal images and social updates; it's also a digital platform for networking and sharing knowledge. As a result, an increasing number of healthcare recruiters are using these platforms to find job-seeking medical professionals.
A study showed that ‘73 percent of job seekers between the ages of 18 and 34 found their last job through social media. (source)
Healthcare recruiters can enhance their recruitment efforts by leveraging social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook to increase the visibility of job ads for private practices, clinics, and hospitals. Constantly posting about job openings and distributing them across multiple online platforms can help maximize visibility. It is important to include critical details about the job vacancy, such as location, whether it is remote or in-person, working hours, and required experience, to ensure that only qualified and relevant candidates apply. By utilizing these tactics, healthcare recruiters can increase the likelihood of attracting suitable and interested candidates to their job postings.
Get in touch with local colleges and training programmes.
Colleges are frequently keen to assist their students in finding employment prospects once they graduate. Hiring medical assistants from colleges and training programs can be an excellent strategy for medical practices looking to attract qualified and motivated candidates. Graduates of accredited medical assistant programs have received comprehensive training in both administrative and clinical duties, making them well-prepared to tackle the challenges of working in a fast-paced medical practice.
When hiring from colleges and training programs, medical practices can expect to find candidates who possess the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. Additionally, many programs require students to complete an externship or internship, providing valuable hands-on experience in a real-world medical setting. As a result, graduates are often eager to apply their skills and contribute to a medical practice's success.
Employ a Medical staffing agency.
Employing a medical staffing agency is an effective solution for medical practices that need to quickly fill medical assistant positions or require temporary staffing solutions. Medical staffing agencies specialize in finding and placing qualified medical professionals, including medical assistants, with experience and expertise that aligns with the practice's specific needs and requirements.
One of the main benefits of working with a medical staffing agency is the speed and efficiency of the recruitment process. Staffing agencies maintain a pool of pre-screened and qualified candidates, reducing the time and effort required for recruitment, screening, and interviewing. This can be particularly useful for medical practices that need to fill positions quickly or require temporary staffing solutions due to staff shortages or seasonal fluctuations.
Use referrals as an important source of hiring
Employee referrals are an invaluable source of healthcare hiring. Referrals are a form of word-of-mouth marketing that helps generate interest in open positions by using trusted channels to spread the word. Healthcare organizations that use employee referral programs typically have a higher rate of retention and employee satisfaction, as well as better quality hires. Employees who are happy with their work and feel valued by their employer are more likely to recommend their friends and family for open positions, who in turn are more likely to be a good fit for the organization's culture and values. Referral programs also help save time and resources that would otherwise be spent on advertising and screening potential candidates. By leveraging employee referrals, healthcare organizations can tap into an extensive network of trusted individuals and increase the chances of finding suitable and qualified candidates for open positions.
Focus on internal hiring.
Internal hiring is a valuable strategy for medical practices looking to fill medical assistant positions. By promoting from within, medical practices can leverage the knowledge, experience, and expertise of current employees while creating opportunities for career growth and advancement.
One of the most significant benefits of internal hiring for medical assistants is the retention of institutional knowledge. Current employees are already familiar with the practice's culture, policies, and procedures, reducing the time and resources required for onboarding and training. Additionally, internal hires are more likely to have established relationships with patients, improving continuity of care and patient satisfaction.
Engage the Services of a Medical Assistant Recruiter.
Medical recruiters are professional staffing experts who specialize in hiring talent for the healthcare industry. Medical recruiters work with clients to identify their unique staffing needs and develop customized recruitment strategies to attract top talent to the organization. They can provide comprehensive support throughout the hiring process, including sourcing and screening candidates, conducting interviews, and negotiating job offers. Additionally, medical recruiters have access to extensive networks of healthcare professionals and can provide valuable insights into current industry trends and best practices. Recruiters can also assist you in researching competitive salaries and benefits, and they may be willing to bargain with prospective workers taking most of the workload off your shoulder.
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS TO ASK WHILE HIRING A MEDICAL ASSISTANT
Once you've identified a promising candidate, it's necessary to ask the correct questions to have a better understanding of their primary competencies. While most typical interview strategies do work, there are a few key aspects to consider when determining whether a candidate is a good fit for your work placement.
While a candidate's résumé and cover letter can provide a lot of information, it's crucial to dig deeper by asking insightful medical assistant interview questions. According to Indeed's job research, the following interview questions ranked at the top:
- Are you a certified medical assistant?
- Have you ever been in charge of taking patient histories or examining patient vitals at a previous job or internship?
- What is your expertise in front-office work, and are you comfortable answering phones and greeting patients at the door?
- What is your knowledge of electronic medical records software?
- What procedures have you assisted the doctor with?
- At your previous practice, what decisions were you able to make on your own?
- What were your responsibilities in your previous practice?
Asking insightful medical assistant interview questions that focus on hard skills, soft skills, and significantly increases your chances of finding someone who will benefit your patients and practice.
EVALUATE YOUR CANDIDATES THE RIGHT WAY
Hiring a new employee is a critical choice for any company. Employing a new worker often indicates that the organization has decided to devote all of its time, effort, and resources to onboarding the new employee. A new recruit is regarded as a valuable long-term investment for the firm. This is why making the right decision the first time around is paramount.
The key question to ask is, 'How can a recruiter make the best hiring decision for your practice?'
The answer is simple: By making sure that your hiring process is strategic and that your firm's principles and objectives are well-defined before you begin the process. After you've assessed your practice's hiring needs and long-term goals, it's important to recruit a qualified individual with the aforementioned skill sets and qualities.
However, even with a well-defined hiring process, there is no guarantee of finding the perfect candidate.
For that purpose, skill assessment becomes the most important device in your recruitment toolkit.
HireQuotient offers a variety of skill assessments based on your preference, skill set, or job specificity. If you're looking to hire a medical assistant for your practice, give the HireQuotient skill assessment tool a try!
THE FINAL WORD
Hiring a medical assistant is a time-consuming process that requires patience and persistent effort. In today's competitive job market, it's essential to streamline your recruiting practices to ensure that you don't miss out on a perfect candidate. Delaying the interview process can be detrimental as the best candidates may receive multiple job offers and opt for another opportunity before you've even had a chance to schedule an interview. Therefore, it's crucial to have an efficient and well-organized recruitment process that moves quickly and allows you to identify and secure top talent efficiently.
Check out all of the amazing content on our website site, Hirequotient.com, for more tips and techniques on how to run a successful business.
Thomas M. A.
A literature-lover by design and qualification, Thomas loves exploring different aspects of software and writing about the same.
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