How Medical Assistants Can Improve Their Bedside Manner

HealthcareJanuary 07, 2021

When someone comes into a clinic or hospital, the first person they often meet is a medical assistant. From checking patients into the facility to taking vital signs and updating records, medical assistants play a crucial role in the delivery of quality healthcare.  

A medical assistant uses equipment and technology to gather and record information, but it’s important that the devices aren’t distractions that could interfere with their one-on-one interaction with the patient. To lead the conversation with a relaxed and open demeanor, it helps to follow a good protocol like the C.L.E.A.R. Healthcare Service Model, which was introduced by the Sullivan Luallin Group.


As soon as you enter a patient’s room or call them back from the waiting room, establish eye contact and greet them with a smile, using their name. Maintain a friendly disposition and show respect by saying "please" and "thank you" when you ask them to do something.


After you ask a patient a question, don’t interrupt them as they provide their answer. Use "active" listening techniques, such as maintaining eye contact and repeating back what you heard to check for understanding. 


Before any procedure, such as taking their temperature or blood pressure, describe what you are going to do and what they can expect. Ask the patient if they have any questions. And inform them if there are any delays or anticipated changes to their visit.


Check that the patient comprehends what is happening by asking questions that confirm their understanding. For example, ask "Do you have any concerns?" "Is there anything that is unclear?" or "Did you understand the doctor’s instructions?"


Keep checking in with the patient, especially while they are waiting. Provide updates if you have any information to share and give clear directions about what a patient should do or where they should go next. Always end the visit with a friendly goodbye and an invitation to reach out if they need anything further. 

Overall patient satisfaction is an important topic in healthcare today, and a provider’s bedside manner is one of the biggest contributing factors. Medical assistants often set the stage for the patient’s medical experience by establishing expectations in the beginning and ensuring that patients are comfortable and well-instructed at the end. 

If you are considering a career in medical assisting, a Fortis nursing education can help you get started. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.

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