8 Tips for Medical Assistants in Senior Care

Medical Assistants help patients in all areas of the healthcare industry, which is great news when America has a rapidly aging population to account for.  By the year 2030, America is estimated to have approximately 71 million Americans aged 65 or older. That’s a 200% increase from the year 2000. This means there are many more elderly individuals in assisted living or nursing care than ever before. Thus, there are more opportunities for medical assistants in senior care.

Medical Assistants can help anyone at any age, from the youngest babies all the way up to elderly patients. They can share a variety of responsibilities and serve the elderly population in a variety of different ways.  This includes assisting in fields like assisted care facilities, palliative care, end-of-life care, and nursing facilities.

What Do Medical Assistants Do?

Medical Assistants are trained and equipped to provide a variety of services to patients, including the ability to provide the elderly with the basic medical services they need to ensure their long-term well-being. They may assist seniors patients by monitoring their health through vitals such as height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, and temperature.

Many other Medical Assistants work in other facilities that also see elderly patients like hospitals, doctor’s offices, or clinics. These individuals can often provide a personal touch to a senior’s visit by simply greeting the patient and making them feel comfortable, welcome, and at ease. Medical Assistants in these settings can help seniors care for broken bones (or other injuries), redress wounds, or remove sutures. Furthermore, Medical Assistants can help assist physicians or nurses with various tasks. They can schedule appointments, help keep medical records, assist with bookkeeping duties, or manage any billing.

Despite all the different settings where a medical assistant can work, by simply being friendly and welcoming, a Medical Assistant can really brighten a senior’s day no matter what type of setting they work in. This is crucial now more than ever, as many seniors sheltering in place because of COVID-19 may not be able to see their families and loved ones regularly.

8 Tips for Medical Assistants:

Medical Assistants need to do more than just provide services to the elderly to help meet their needs. Many seniors will have different needs than younger patients and meeting those needs is vital to providing them good service. The following are 8 tips for medical assistants to consider when treating seniors in the workplace:

  1. Greet The Person Warmly: Be sure to start on the right foot by greeting each patient warmly (and if you know them by name, with their preferred name). Asking something as simple as “How are you?” or “How is your day going?” can show that you care about the person and their well-being, not just the job at hand. Friendly greetings make the patient feel more comfortable and provide them with a more personalized experience.
  2. Use a Touch of Compassion: Sometimes, seniors feel overwhelmed or even nervous at their appointment. Using a touch of compassion and empathy can help the patient understand that you are here to help them. Practicing kindness and patience will not go unnoticed or unappreciated by the seniors you are treating.
  3. Speak Slowly & Use Volume: Many seniors have a hearing impairment that makes it more difficult for them to hear. Speaking slowly and at a good volume helps the patient hear you and understand what you are saying more clearly. You may have to repeat what you said several times for a patient to hear and understand the information you are providing.
  4. Explain Processes & Procedures: Be sure to explain exactly what procedures are taking place during the patient’s appointment. Clarify what procedure(s) the person will be having during that appointment and what they can expect throughout the process.
  5. Answer Questions: Answer any questions the patient may have about their procedure, expectations, or precautionary steps they should take afterward. If you don’t know the information, ask other professionals like a nurse, physician, or medical staff member. This will ensure that the information provided is accurate.
  6. Use An Area with Good Lighting: If a patient is reading information or filling out paperwork, providing good lighting can help a senior with vision impairment. Some patients may need extra time or assistance to read through information or fill out paperwork. Providing such services can help them get the medical care they need and make their experience less stressful in the process.
  7. Do A Thorough Job: Take the time to do a thorough job when you’re providing services to senior patients. Ensure that you follow the step-by-step procedure that you complete for the patient. Doing a thorough job ensures that each patient gets the best care possible.
  8. Summarize/Review Information: When you finish speaking to a senior patient, quickly summarize what you said. Be sure to emphasize key points your patient should understand and know as they leave their appointment that day.

Taking a little more time out of your day to show that you care and have a willingness to help can make a world of difference in a senior’s ability to get quality medical care. This effort can help a senior understand the information presented and allow them to ask any questions.

Begin Your Medical Assistant Career with Milwaukee Career College

Geriatrics and caring for seniors is a rapidly growing industry that is consistently in need of more Medical Assistants. It has proven to be a secure job that will continue to grow in the coming years. If you are interested in becoming a Medical Assistant who can help seniors, please feel free to contact us at the Milwaukee Career College to start your exciting new career today.


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