The Global Definition of Health Worker is Expanding to Include Non-Medical Roles
The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently working on an integrated policy ‘Global Strategy for Human Resources in Healthcare’ that encompasses end-to-end patient services. More specifically, incorporating the importance of all patient touch-points during the medical-care process. WHO is looking at the ‘experience’ patients are provided (which includes non-medical personnel) – not only at the quality of medical care they receive1.
In this report, Health workers are “all people engaged in actions whose primary intent is to enhance health” (WHO – World Health Report 2006). This includes physicians, nurses and midwives, but also laboratory technicians, public health professionals, community health workers, pharmacists, and all other support workers whose main function relates to delivering preventive, promotive or curative health services1.
Health workers (including those who have completed Medical Office Assistant Training) typically operate in collaboration with the wider social service workforce, who is responsible to ensure the welfare and protection of socially or economically disadvantaged individuals and families; a closer integration of the health and social service workforce can also improve long-term care for aging populations1.
This global strategy will address best practices, at a national level by planners and policy makers, and at a global level by the international community. A final draft of this global strategy is being presented at the 69th World Health Assembly in May 2016.
The Projected Outcome
These findings will dictate how countries with National Health Care Systems will implement go-forward medical strategies as globally recognized best-practices are a tipping point for change. The fact that non-medical staff, such as those who have completed Medical Office Assistant Programs are being considered part of this integrated process is good news for individuals operating in an administrative capacity giving credence to their roles as they directly impact service levels and patient experience.
Available positions for Medical Office Assistant’s (MOAs) are increasing, driven by the ongoing retirement of the baby boom generation and general increases in population. Many medical practices are converting to electronic health records, which often precipitates the need for additional staffing, improving prospects particularly for those who are computer-savvy.2
Salaries and Common Career Paths
The national average salary figure for this position is $33,500, with the highest annual salary being $45,000 depending on experience, capabilities and tenure within the industry. Individuals who excel in this area have the room to progress into positions with more responsibility and higher salaries.3
Common Career Paths in Canada3
Industry Accreditation and Support
Should you choose a career in this field you can easily add credibility to your resume and help build your career by joining both the Canadian Association of Administrative Assistants and the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Memberships are available to students, graduates and those employed within this field. Additionally, you will benefit from regular updates, networking opportunities and industry accreditations offered through these organizations.
There is no better time to become a medical office assistant. Demand for skilled professionals in healthcare administration is reaching new heights, with Canadian projections showing continued growth in the sector for years to come.
If you’d like to earn secure employment and a competitive wage, medical office assistant training will help you on your way. Along with practical knowledge, training can help you develop the particular “soft skills” today’s employers are looking for. Soft skills are skills we use to relate to others, from effective listening to confident communication.
Read on to learn the five soft skills most valuable to a medical office assisting career.
1. Medical Office Assistant Programs Promote Confident Leadership Skills
If you become a medical office assistant, a variety of career paths will open up to you in a range of medical office and clinical settings. In every position, your duties will likely include specialized tasks—like arranging examining room equipment, or purchasing and maintaining medical supplies.
Successful office assistants approach these tasks with confidence, because they have the expertise and leadership skills that come with comprehensive training.
Medical office assistant training teaches the expert practical knowledge involved in healthcare administration, such as human anatomy, medical terminology, systems and data management and more. The best employees use this training to exercise leadership in the medical workplace.
2. Communication Skills: Vital to Today’s Medical Office Assistant
Effective communication isn’t just about talking and listening. As a medical administrative assistant, your warm, professional spoken and written communication skills will set the tone of your future office environment.
Office admins need to update and file patients’ records, arrange for hospital admissions, coordinate lab services and more—requiring excellent written and spoken communication at every turn. These skills promote smooth operations, and help avoid confusions or misunderstandings.
3. Medical Office Assistant Training Teaches Flexibility
An office assistant’s responsibilities can vary greatly and change daily. From screening calls to organizing documents to interacting with a diverse range of patients, today’s office assistant must be prepared to do it all. This takes a certain kind of flexible, versatile personality.
Having firsthand knowledge of a variety of office procedures and policies—through both training and experience—can make it easy for you to adapt to various tasks, and even help you secure executive, managerial positions in the long run.
4. Superior Social Skills: Becoming an Interpersonal Expert
These are the social skills or “people skills” medical office administrators use to effectively work in teams, and to communicate important healthcare information to medical professionals and patients from all walks of life. For example, helping a patient secure medical insurance, or decide on an ideal appointment time, takes compassionate, clear deliverance of facts and options.
The right training and experience will give you the practical tools to turn each interaction into a positive foundation for a lasting, professional relationship.
5. Comprehensive Training Creates Informed, Aware Professionals
Healthcare administrative training teaches the particular roles and responsibilities of each member of a healthcare team. Once you’ve earned your diploma, you can use this knowledge to your advantage with the soft skill of “general social awareness”—understanding complex systems and your place within them.
When office administrators keep their fingers on the pulse of all office operations, it helps them understand the many levels of coordination it takes to keep an office running smoothly.
With the right training and the development of these five soft skills, you’ll be ready to make your mark on the healthcare administration industry!