Pearson’s Comprehensive Medical Assisting, Chapters 56, 57, 58, 59 and 60
8 Most Common
How to Read a
Choose MyPlate Dietary Guidelines
in the Medical Community
FAQs on CMA (AAMA)
Patient education is the process of communicating information to a patient about his or her health, illness, treatment, and care. Patient education is provided to help patients better understand what is happening and, hopefully, to reduce the number of complications. Educated patients who exhibit a full understanding of the information provided will be less likely to suffer from complications or setbacks. In fact, patient information may even contribute to the patient’s full recovery in some instances.
Patient education can help to
It’s difficult to teach people something unless you first understand how they learn. Adults learn differently than children because their motivations are different. Adults are generally practical, goal driven, self-directed, and motivated.
They bring their life experiences with them and expect to be respected for that. On top of all of that, patients may also be dealing with difficult news about their health or may be in pain. When educating patients, these things need to be kept in mind so that the information is tailored and presented in the best possible way.
Before you can begin to provide patient education, you first need to understand how adults learn and receive information. There are three main categories of learners: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
Understanding these learning styles and being able to recognize them in patients will help you tailor your teaching style so that each patient is able to understand the information you’re presenting to the best of his or her ability.
The most important thing to remember when working with children in the medical office is that they’re not miniature adults. This means that you’ll need to adjust your patient education technique when working with children. Although children exhibit the same visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learning styles as adults, it’s important to remember that you’re dealing with immature beings who might be scared about the environment and their illness. When educating children:
You may also be dealing with patients who have disabilities or special needs or who are very aged. In these cases, education should be tailored specifically to meet the needs of those individuals. Refer to the office policies and procedures to gain more information.
Nutrition means eating the foods needed for growth and to maintain health. In health care, nutrition can refer to the patient’s food requirements. Proper nutrition is vital for health and wellness. It’s important to be aware of any digestive issues and any foods that the patient can’t have. Proper nutrition is vital for patient health, and this is especially true for aging patients. Patients won’t heal if they don’t receive the proper nutrients.
The terms nutritionist and dietitian are often used interchangeably. Although they both work with food and diet, they’re different specialists. Nutritionists are interested in nutrition and the relationship diet has with health and disease. Nutritionists aren’t required to have formal accreditation. In contrasts, dietitians have at least a four-year degree and study the science of nutrition and how it affects lifestyle and health. They often have taken a series of exams so that they’re accredited as registered dietitians (RDs). Dietitians are the ones who usually work in hospitals.
Nutrients are those substances that provide nourishment. For humans, nutrients can come in the form of food and provide the things our bodies need to thrive. The nutrients that provide energy for our body fall into three categories:
Our bodies also require nutrients to metabolize food. These include
Your textbook discusses the role of MyPyramid, the revision of the old food pyramid that was released in 2005. However, many found the new pyramid to be confusing and hard to follow. In June 2011, the USDA revealed a new program to replace MyPyramid called MyPlate. MyPlate is an image of a dinner plate divided into four portions: fruits, grains, proteins, and vegetables. A dairy component is represented by a glass off to the side. MyPlate shows that fruits and vegetables should make up more than half of our meals, with more vegetables than fruits.
On its website, the USDA offers 10 tips to a great plate:
Mental health is the state of a person’s psychological and emotional mental well-being. The U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health gives the official definition of mental health as, “the successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and the ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity.”
Mental disorders can be tricky in health care because they can be difficult to diagnose. For example, we can measure someone’s blood pressure, see that it’s consistently high, and then treat the patient with blood pressure medication. It’s much more difficult to measure a person’s mental status. In fact, the patient may even be unable to describe how he or she is feeling.
Psychology is the study of the human mind and how it affects behavior. A psychologist is someone who specializes in the area of psychology. Most psychologists have either a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in either philosophy or psychology. Mental health professionals must complete a number of educational requirements and be licensed in order to call themselves “psychologists.” Psychologists are sometimes called therapists or counselors.
These labels are accurate in some cases, but they may also be used by other professionals who are treating patients for behavioral issues, such as social workers who have become therapists. Psychologists generally can’t prescribe medications, although a few states do give psychologists prescribing privileges.
Psychiatry is the branch of medicine that studies and treats mental illness and emotional and behavioral issues. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the field of psychiatry. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who can prescribe medication.
Psychological disorders, sometimes referred to as mental disorders, are behaviors and issues that are the result of mental issues (i.e., organic issues with the brain) or behavioral issues that are caused by how a person acts or behaves. In some cases, psychological disorders can be caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins, poor nutrition, or stress.
Psychological disorders include
Professionalism is the knowledge, skills, characteristics, and positive actions, such as morals and ethics, that we exhibit in our jobs. One of the things that’s different for professionalism in health care versus jobs in other industries is that we’re bound by ethical behavior and a desire to help others. No matter if a healthcare professional works in the business office processing bills or assisting the physician with the patient, there’s always that common goal of treating patients and helping them live the healthiest life possible.
The following types of conduct would be considered unprofessional:
Communication is a vital part of working in a physician’s office. There are different types of communication, including written, verbal, and even nonverbal communication.
Written communication is anything that you write down—whether it be handwritten into a patient’s health record, typed into an email or a text message, or something shared on the office’s website or social media page. It’s difficult to determine tone in written communications, so be sure to avoid using slang terms, jokes, or passive-aggressive comments that could easily be misconstrued. When in doubt as to whether you should include something in a written communication, err on the side of caution and leave it out.
Writing or documenting information in a patient’s health record has its own set of standards and rules that you must follow to remain compliant with state and federal regulations. Be sure to review the office policies and procedures on documenting in a patient’s health record.
In the medical office, written communication should
Verbal communication occurs when people exchange spoken words. However, in verbal communication it isn’t just about the words someone is saying. It’s also about the words that are spoken and the speaker’s tone of voice and facial gestures and expressions.
Along with the words being spoken, listening is also an important part of verbal communication. Active listening means
Verbal modeling means speaking to people the way they speak to you. If they’re speaking quietly, then you should lower your voice also. Verbal modeling makes people relate to you more easily.
Nonverbal communication is everything that happens outside of speaking when interacting with another person. Nonverbal communication includes
Colors communicate messages, too. In health care, it’s important to be aware of colors in the areas where patients spend time. For example, studies have shown that red can raise some people’s heart rates, whereas yellow can evoke happiness and prompt our bodies to release serotonin.
Social media includes websites and applications that allow users to share information and communicate with each other online. Social media includes sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and others.
Social media enables people to share and receive up-to-the-minute information at any time throughout a day. Many medical offices are implementing social media as an additional way to market the business and to reach patients. However, utilizing social media in the healthcare setting creates issues that may not exist in other business settings. The medical field strongly regulates privacy and confidentiality, so this should always be taken into consideration when posting on social media from a healthcare environment.
Your professional image plays an important role in how others perceive you. How you look and present yourself is the first thing that you communicate to people. If you’re unsure of your image, now is the time to work on it before you start interviewing or look to switch jobs.
Most healthcare environments will have a dress code, so you’ll want to ensure that you’re meeting that standard. Beyond that, present a professional image by
Having a professional image isn’t all about how you look, it’s also about how you act. To present a professional image beyond your physical appearance:
Externship and Career Opportunities
The great thing about being a student in a healthcare field is that there’s always going to be a need for healthcare workers. No matter the state of the economy, people are still going to get sick and need treatment. Additionally, the U.S. baby boom population is aging, so more people are requiring physician services, which will require physicians, clinics, and other healthcare organizations to hire more qualified office help.
An externship, or practicum, is a way to obtain practical experience in the work environment as part of your educational process. It allows you to take what you’ve learned throughout your medical assistant training program and put it into hands-on training under the supervision of others.
The benefits of completing an externship include
During an externship, the student will most likely be assigned a manager, supervisor, or employee that he or she will “shadow” throughout each day. The student follows the designated employee and observes and participates in each area of work responsibility, including
Externship hours vary, but are generally around 160 hours of total time at the medical office site while still enrolled in a program or immediately after the school portion of the program has ended. Some students are even offered jobs at their externship site after they graduate.
During an externship, the medical assisting student is ultimately the responsibility of the physician. However, the physician may assign a preceptor, or someone to be in charge of the student while he or she is completing the externship.
Certification is a voluntary step that a medical assistant can take after graduation. It’s a separate step that many medical assistants take to show their knowledge and commitment to the industry.
Colleges don’t offer certification for medical assistants. It’s a professional designation that’s granted by independent institutions. The American Association of Medical Assistants, or AAMA, is the main certification-granting institution for medical assistants.
Once a medical assistant has graduated from an accredited program and completed the other requirements, such as the externship, he or she is eligible to sit for the AAMA certification examination. Examinations are given throughout the year by AAMA. After passing the AAMA certification examination and being awarded the CMA certification, you can then use the certification with your name like this: Jane Doe, CMA (AAMA).
is an optional step in your career as a medical assistant. However, it’s strongly recommended that you consider the certification. Many offices will only hire those who have their certification or are in the process of getting their certification.
Preparing for the Job Search
Once you’ve completed your training and the externship, you should start preparing for your job search. It’s normal to be nervous during this process because it’s a time of change and adjustment in your life. You’re finally moving from being a student into the workforce.
To prepare for your transition from a student to a professional in the healthcare industry, you should do the following:
You don’t have to only attend healthcare-related networking events. Business networking events and social events will be beneficial for you, too. Just meeting and talking to new people about what you’re looking for will help keep your name out there for potential jobs.An important part of networking is grabbing someone’s attention within the first 60 seconds of meeting them. This is called the “elevator pitch,” and it can help determine if people are going to remember you or not. Before you attend a networking event, write down and practice your elevator pitch—who you are, what you’re looking for, and why you’re there. Remember, at some networking events there will be hundreds of people. You need a way to stand out and get people to remember you, so be creative and interesting!
Creating a Resume
Creating a resume is a daunting task for anyone, especially if you’re just graduating and don’t have a great deal of experience to put on it. So, how do you create a strong resume with your current background?
When creating a resume for today’s market, you need to include the following:
For new graduates, additional things to include on a resume that could be beneficial include technical experience, volunteer experiences, and professional association memberships.
When creating a resume, DO
When creating a resume, DON’T
The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself to the potential employer and describe why you’re contacting them. Like your resume, you’ll create or tailor the cover letter for each job.
When creating your cover letter:
One of the best ways to help you stand out from other cover letters is to match their qualifications up with your experience. Every job advertised will have a list of needs. Pick three to five of those from the listing and match your skills up with it. In the cover letter, this would look like:
YOUR NEEDSMY QUALIFICATIONSSchedule patient appointmentsOver 2 years of scheduling experienceProvide quality customer service”Best Customer Service” award for 2014Verify patient insuranceVolunteered at insurance company
Question 1 (5 points) Which one of the following disorders is caused by the decisions the patient makes in his or her life?Question 1 options:Psychological disordersAnxiety disordersBehavioral disordersCognitive disordersQuestion 2 (5 points) When should you set priorities?Question 2 options:First thing every morningAfter goals have been identifiedBefore goals have been identifiedBefore going home at nightQuestion 3 (5 points) With regard to patient education, medical assistants should always remember toQuestion 3 options:use visual aids.speak louder than during normal conversation.adjust each teaching session to meet the individual patient’s needs.include the patient’s physician.Question 4 (5 points) Which one of the following skills is based on a person’s ability to learn and process information?Question 4 options:Cognitive skillsPsychomotor skillsSoft skillsAffective skillsQuestion 5 (5 points) When _______, accuracy is more important than brevity.Question 5 options:writingthinking criticallyproblem solvingmaking value judgmentsQuestion 6 (5 points) Which one of the following choices is a motivational incentive for adult learners?Question 6 options:Praise from othersStages of developmentRole-playingCultural influencesQuestion 7 (5 points) Which one of the following choices is one of the most common job search mistakes?Question 7 options:
Networking outside of your industry
Completing an externship prior to getting a job
Asking for a reference letter from an instructor
Spending too much time on classified ads
Question 8 (5 points) Which one of the following choices is an efficient way to defer tasks so that they’re not forgotten?Question 8 options:Write them on a notepad in your work area.Focus on completing multiple filing jobs at once.Tell the physician which ones you can’t complete right now.Set up a tickler file system.Question 9 (5 points) Which one of the following choices is a good teaching technique when working with patients with disabilities?Question 9 options:Use stickers for illustration.Face the patient and speak slowly.Praise the patient while speaking.Lecture without props.Question 10 (5 points) Which one of the following disorders can cause a person to completely withdraw from reality and may also include amnesia?Question 10 options:Dissociative disordersAnxiety disordersEating disordersCognitive disordersQuestion 11 (5 points) Which one of the following skills refers to how people react to emotions and feelings?Question 11 options:Cognitive skillsPsychomotor skillsSoft skillsAffective skillsQuestion 12 (5 points) Which one of the following nutrients is necessary for proper heart contraction and hormonal action?Question 12 options:WaterFatsMineralsProteinsQuestion 13 (5 points) If a potential employer asks you to define one of your weaknesses during an interview, what should you do?Question 13 options:State that you have no weaknesses.Ask the interviewer what he thinks your weaknesses are.State a weakness and reveal how you’re working on it.List at least three weaknesses.Question 14 (5 points) Which one of the following choices could be one of the most important factors in getting hired as a medical assistant?Question 14 options:
Having a certification
Knowing one of the patients
Offering to volunteer
Having poise under pressure
Question 15 (5 points) Low-fiber diets are useful for patients withQuestion 15 options:heart disease.difficulty swallowing.diabetes.a colostomy.Question 16 (5 points) Which one of the following choices is the most efficient way to complete tasks in a short period of time?Question 16 options:
Ask a coworker to do them.
Perform more than one task at the same time.
Focus on one task at a time.
Ask the doctor how she would like the tasks to be handled.
Question 17 (5 points) ADHD is classified as a(n)Question 17 options:mood disorder.anxiety disorder.impulse-control disorder.cognitive disorder.Question 18 (5 points) Which one of the following choices is an effective teaching tool for patients who need to lose weight?Question 18 options:LecturingMyPlateBrochuresGastrointestinal anatomy modelQuestion 19 (5 points) The conversion of food into its chemical substances is calledQuestion 19 options:nutrition.metabolism.digestion.elimination.Question 20 (5 points) Which one of the following choices is a benefit of completing an externship?Question 20 options:Higher salaryOn-the-job trainingGaining integrityEnhanced professionalism