Competency #1 – Professionalism

Using reference material such as your textbook and the Internet research One of the topics below and post to the comment box below. Your posting should be between 1-3 pargraphs (see sample paragraphs). Good writing skills are required. For more information about good writing skills please review Writing Rubric under Getting Started in Blackboard. More than one person may use the same topic. After the topic has been posted please respond to at least two other students’ posting.

When responding to your fellow students the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Information clearly relates to the topic and adds new concepts or information. It includes several supporting details and/or examples.
  • Enhances the critical thinking process through reflection and difference questioning of self and others.
  • Encourages interaction among your classmates.
  • Professional vocabulary and writing style are used throughout the discussion.


How the medical assistant and the physician can apply legal and ethical standards in the workplace.

What are the characteristics of a Professional Medical Assistant?

Name several types of health-care practitioner’s licenses and what you must do to maintain these credentials.

Explain what CAAHEP and ABHES are and why they exist.

What must you do to maintiain your certification/registration once you have achieved your credentials?

This assignment is worth 20 points.

18 Responses to Competency #1 – Professionalism

  1. easheppard says:

    What are the characteristics of a Professional Medical Assistant?

    A professional medical assistant should display a variety of great personal and ethical characteristics. One of these is the characteristic of honesty, you cannot be a good medical assistant if you are not able to own up to your mistakes and learn from them. You must be honest to the patients as well as to yourself and fellow colleges. When speaking to patients you need to be honest and give the facts, not sugar coat the truth, this could cause confusion and make your job even more difficult.
    The other characteristic of a medical assistant is being a good listener to your patient, sometimes providers have limited time with their patients and all the patients want is for someone to take a minute and listen to what they have to say about their illness or treatment. You must listen and pay attention to the details. In medical attention to detail is everything, and if you are a good listener to the patient you are able to take notice of this. This leads into another characteristic of a medical assistant and that is communication, as well as good listening you must also be able to communicate back to the patient and physician about the cares and concerns both parties may have. The medical assistant is the liaison between the patient and the physician or even other health care workers. Good communication can go a long way and improve relationships for each party involve.
    Organization is also a skill that a medical assistant must be able to do. The chapter states that being organized and keeping your office clean can help limit possible lawsuits, and this is correct. You must be able to keep very organized medical records and documentation on patients. Multitasking is also a skill you must be able to demonstrate since you are expected to be administrative as well as clinic in your job as a medical assistant.
    The list of good characteristics of a medical assistant could go on and on, but it comes down to being a well rounded honest, and carrying person who knows their job and what they are doing,and has the ability to always practice integrity and good ethics in their job.

    • anmacey says:

      I also chose to discuss the characteristics of a professional medical assistant. I agree that the foundation for a professional medical assistant comes down to being a well rounded honest person. I feel like no matter what job you have you must have a moral and ethical compass to guide you, but it is vital when dealing with patient’s because they can be vulnerable and scared. I think about occasions where I have seen a doctor in a scary situation and how the demeanor of the medical assistant has calmed be down and assured me. Little things like remaining calm and giving off a sense of assurance can really pay off for the patient when they are worried.

    • klinda says:

      I know that in the past I’ve made the mistake in assuming that everyone to include myself should know what being a professional is and what is expected of them. People can get busy and even though not intentional, but can start overlooking certain things. I think it is important to remember why you chose your career path, so that we can all give 100% to all the patients we come in contact with. As you pointed out, being a great listener is essential and in doing so you will be able to completely understand and help the patients. Another characteristic that you pointed out was honesty, and it is extremely important to make sure that you are honest in everything you say and do, as well as taking responsibility for such actions. Organization is another important factor. I’ve experienced being in clinics that lack organization, and felt that I wasn’t given the best care. I enjoyed reading your post, you did a great job =)

  2. aptwyman says:

    Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is accrediting schools for medical professionals. They accredit over 21,000 entry level education programs in 23 health science professions. The program resides in over 1,000 post-secondary schools across the United States and Canada. It is a tax exempt organization formed in 1995. It is made up of Commissions and Board of Directors. The commissioners are responsible for determining which health science professions will be recognized by the CAAHEP. The board of Directors is the accrediting body of the CAAHEP and awards or denies the accreditation from the reviews from the commissioners.
    Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) is a private, non-profit independent accrediting agency. It has been formed since 1968. It advances the quality of the allied health education programs throughout the country. The ABHES three key areas are service, recognition, and resources which they believe these three things are essential to the mission. ABHES main key is to assure the quality of the programs it accredits and ensure improvement of those programs.
    These two programs exist so that we have a choice of where medical professions can go to learn and succeed in our goals. They strive to accredit schools and make them the best so that we get the proper education and they ensure that the schools are staying to the standards for the accreditation. It’s a means of helping us.

    • easheppard says:

      If I was to choose between the two I think I would go with (CAAHEP) with the constant moving that I do I think this program would better suit my needs since it is offered in 1,000 post secondary schools, giving me more flexibility. Not to mention the tax exempt status that it has, that never hurts either. The other program (ABHES) sounds great too, but since it is a private organization I think the cost comparison would equal out to paying a lot more.

    • hhelton2 says:

      I would also go with the CAAHEP due to the moving around we do as a military family. The tax exempt status is my favorite part of it!

      • Charlotte Bender says:

        I think both certifications are awesome and wasn’t even aware that they existed for Medical Assistants. I think it gives the profession more ground to stand on, and provides the platform that allows Medical Assistants to be recognized as professionals in their field.

    • pwilliams8 says:

      Good information

  3. Megan Hockin says:

    How the medical assistant and the physician can apply legal and ethical standards in the workplace.
    As medical assistants and physicians there are laws and ethics that have to be followed. Ethics are the guidelines, ought to be done customs and etiquette. Laws are rules set that are enforced by appointed authorities. As far as ethics go a medical assistant and physician should be dedicated to providing competent medical care with respect. Always being honest and professional in all interactions, knowing when a physician is deficient in duties and reporting to appropriate entities. A physician is expected to respect the law while respecting the patient and colleagues. Continuing education relating to medical advances and having current knowledge to share with patients and the public is also part of keeping up with the ethical standards.
    Some laws that a medical assistant and physician need to have knowledge of and use in the everyday workplace include, medical practice acts, controlled substance act, and the Good Samaritan act. In the medical practice act it outlines the requirements for a physician to practice medicine. The controlled substance act regulates the distribution of narcotics and non-narcotic drugs. This act helps control the abuse of these drugs by requiring a physician be registered with the DEA. The Good Samaritan act protects a physician when practicing medical care outside their formal practice of their profession.
    Medical assistants and physician have a long list of expected duties and guidelines that keep this field running smoothly while protecting the patients and providing the best care. Without these guidelines and rules the medical field may not perform at the level it does today. We may take them for granted not realizing the education, the time and continual efforts they put forth on a daily basis.

    • anmacey says:

      I feel like sometimes we take for granted that our doctor’s and nurses have to follow ethical guidelines. It is crazy to see what can happen when a doctor or medical personnel go astray and do not follow the ethical guidelines. I live in the tri-state area and a big case that has been taking place over the last several years is a doctor in Philadelphia who performed illegal abortions and the terrible things he did. It was horrifying hearing the stories of what when on behind the doors of his medical practice because he did not follow any moral or ethical guidelines. I definitely appreciate the doctor’s and medical professionals that take the ethical laws serious.

    • pwilliams8 says:

      I think the level of professionalism that is practiced in the medical field should be taught to the rest of the world let alone the working class.this report is a very good example of being good people not just good employees.

  4. anmacey says:

    When a person chooses to pursue a career in medical assisting they are taking on the responsibility to be the most professional they can be while serving the public. A medical assistant’s job is to act in the best interest of the general public’s health and well-being. A medical assistant must participate in completing clinical and administrative duties all while maintaining their professionalism. Every medical assistant must possess certain characteristics to be a professional medical assistant. The characteristics of a professional medical assistant can vary from person to person but require each person to always do the right thing, strive to exceed expectations, be a team player, be motivated, and be committed to the job.

    Important characteristics for a professional medical assistant also require each person to be dependable. If a person cannot be relied upon their leaves little room for trust in the medical assistant’s capabilities. If an individual is constantly late or absent it means other personnel must make up for that individual’s absence. If the absence is unexpected there could be a lack in coverage which could affect patient care. Patient care needs to be one of the main priorities of all medical assistants. Another important characteristic of a professional medical assistant is to have maturity. A medical assistant must be able to handle all situations with sensibility and calmness. Having the ability to maintain calm in stressful situations will have a soothing effect on others that are present during the situation.

    The list of professional characteristics also includes the capability to respect a patient’s confidentiality, excellent oral and written communication skills, professional appearance when working, accuracy, good interpersonal skills, ability to work as a team player, empathy for your patients, courtesy, and ability to project positive self-image. When it comes to being a professional medical assistant each individual must additionally have a high moral and ethical compass. With each task a medical assistant is given patients and additional medical team members must be assured that the medical assistant will always do what is morally and ethically correct. If there is not a moral or ethical foundation it leaves insufficent room for trust and faith in the medical assistant’s qualifications.

    • klinda says:

      Well written!!!! You had an abundance of great points in your report. I agree with you completely in that making that choice to work in health care is more than just showing up to work and going home at the end of the day. You have to be a dependable person, that has a positive attitude, and can work well with others. To make the clinic run smoothly, everyone is counting on each other to be there, on time, and ready to work. The patients suffer if someone shows up late, as that may throw the day off in keeping appointments on time, and others will have to hurry and try and cover for you. Your image, actions, and standards are either going to contribute to the positive image the clinic is aiming to have, or just give your company a bad name. Medical assistants have to be well rounded, and be able to adapt to different tasks that are given and being professional when dealing with difficult situations. Well done =)

  5. klinda says:

    CAAHEP which stands for The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. CAAHEP is the largest accreditor in the health sciences field and it accredits medical assisting programs in public and private institutions. The numbers vary slightly from the textbook to their website, but they accredit around 2100 entry level education programs in 23 health science professions. CAAHEP is a tax exempt organization that was formed in 1995 and is made up of both a commission and a board of directors. This organization makes sure that its mission to assure quality health professions education to serve the public is being met. In order for a program to be accepted by CAAHEP, it must be thoroughly evaluated to make sure that it meets the standards set by CAAHEP.

    ABHES which stands for The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools is an organization that accredits only private post-secondary medical assisting programs. ABHES has been nationally recognized by the U.S Secretary of Education as an agency that is private, nonprofit, and independent. ABHES frequently evaluates their programs for quality and make necessary changes in the areas that need improvement. ABHES focuses on three key areas, which are recognition, resources, and service. These three key areas are important factors that tie into their mission.

    For both of these accrediting agencies, you will be able to sit down for certification examination after graduating from any of their approved and accredited programs. Most employers want to hire employees that are certified because it demonstrates that they are competent to perform their duties. In my opinion, CAAHEP has more benefits for me because it is not restricted to just the private post-secondary programs.

  6. hhelton2 says:

    What are the characteristics of a Professional Medical Assistant?
    The characteristics of a Professional Medical Assistant are courtesy, interpersonal skills, positive self-image, team capability, initiative and responsibility, tact and diplomacy, high moral and ethical standards, empathy, respect for confidentiality, honesty, accuracy, maturity, good communication skills, dependable and punctual, professional appearances and images.
    No health care professional should engage in any act that he or she feels is ethically or morally wrong. As a Medical Assistant it is your job to be the advocate for the patient, and always be on their side. The practice of medical assisting directly involves the public’s health and well being, you must also have a mastery of knowledge and special skills acquired from education and experience. Administrative and clinical skills and knowledge are required and involve direct patient care. I am so very excited to become a medical assistant, learning all the ways that I will be helping the patient and the medical office I will work for is so much fun! I cannot wait for it to be my official title, the time work and effort is going to be worth it in so many ways!

  7. Charlotte Bender says:

    What must you do to maintain your certification/registration once you have achieved your credentials?

    When you finish your degree as a Medical Assistant, there are two options that one can take. The first is simply going out into the world with your degree as a Medical Assistant, hoping to find work with only a degree and perhaps some experience. The second option, and the more popular, is becoming a certified or registered Medical Assistant. This is the more popular option because it gives you a professional standing and offers to employers that you are certified by a professional board. Becoming a certified Medical Assistant requires taking one of two exit exams -the AAMA and AMT.

    The AAMA offers the CMA Certification Examination, which is available to anyone who graduates from an accredited Medical Assistant program. With this test, however, you are required to re-certify yourself every five years by retaking the test. If you prefer not to take the test again, recertification can be obtained by acquiring 60 continuing education credits, as well as making sure your CPR certification is up to date.

    The AMT offers an RMA examination; this examination is only available to those who attended a ABHES-accredited program. Recertification by the AMT is NOT required, although they do offer a continuing education program, which is encouraged. Through this continued program, AMT keeps track of course credits and issues annual reports of program activities, which can be useful in terms of references.

    Therefore, once you are certified, you have breathing room to find and solidify a career, yet through the option of recertification or continuing education programs, Medical Assistants have options to expand their career even further.

  8. ella says:

    What are the characteristic of a Professional Medical Assistant?

    Medical assistants are multi-skilled health care professionals trained to serve with physicians in the medical office performing administrative and clinical duties. As a medical assistants perform many administrative duties which may include maintaining patients’ medical records, receiving patients and scheduling appointments, billing and insurance claims, and general office management. The clinical duties include taking the patient’s medical history, assisting the physician with the examination or minor surgery, performing basic laboratory testing, observing and instructing patients, and preparing and administering medications prescribed by the physician. Competence in the field requires that medical assistants maintain ethical and legal standards of professional practice and consistently demonstrate professional characteristics.

  9. hlgustafson says:

    What are the characteristics of a Professional Medical Assistant?

    First what is a characteristic; it is a feature or quality belonging typically to a person. As a professional medical assistant we play a key role in creating and maintaining a professional image for our employer. A characteristic in a medical assistant defines you as professional or not. Let’s go over what characteristics are found in a professional medical assistant.

    This happens through certain traits such as; having strong communication skills. Being able to share important physician instructions clearly what patients and answer any questions they may have. Being empathetic this is a big part of letting the patient know it’s going to be ok, making them feel more at ease during the appointment. Dependability is a part of making a team flow. A team that is multidisciplinary needs to have dependable people on it to keep it strong. Being able to have a high Stress Tolerance is GREAT when in a medical facility. You might be behind in your paper work, and had a rough patient. But you are able to override those feeling and focus at the task at hand. This is also when Self-Control and Courtesy comes in. Courtesy in the way we act to patent and physicians. Self-control is when we have control of our own emotions and actions. You can see why this co-insides with stress tolerance. Integrity this is part of the HIPAA Privacy Rule it requires discretion of patients health. As a medical assistant we will face moral and ethical situations every day. This is why Attention to Detail is so important; by being alert to details you will better the team and the patients.

    These attributes of a professional medical assistant will keep you as an outstanding health care worker and great part of the multidisciplinary team. Therefore we, in becoming a health care provider need to take these characteristic in to thought and action. We all want to become a Professional in our job, so let’s take this list and to put then to work.

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