Customer Service + Medical Assistant Training = Great MA Job Candidate

A medical assistant student learning to draw bloodCan your customer service history make you a great MA job candidate?

If you’re a medical assistant in the making, and you have a history of retail customer service work you’re proud of, ensure you showcase that customer service experience on your resume. When you do this, you’re demonstrating to a healthcare employer your past customer service performance is likely a good indicator of the future patient care you’re capable of providing.

“People who come from a retail background make great medical assistants,” says John Parshall, Senior Recruiter at Stanford Health Care (SHC).  “It’s the same type of people interaction, but in a different environment. How do you deal with someone who is having a bad day in retail? The same skills are used in healthcare.”

If you’re currently enrolled at a , or thinking about enrolling, your past or present customer service background is something you’ll want to showcase on your resume when you apply for your first medical assistant position.

Why It’s Important to Provide Exceptional Customer Service as a Medical Assistant

Whether you’re working in healthcare or not, it’s worth noting that it takes 12 positive customer service experiences to make up for unresolved negative experience.

The importance of medical assistants at SHC, and similar organizations, can’t be emphasized enough.

“Medical assistants are the front lines of the organization,” says John Parshall. “It’s an important position at Stanford Health Care.”

As an Entry-Level Clinical Assistant/Medical Assistant (CA/MA) at SHC, some of the support work performed in a learning capacity includes:

  • Patient rooming
  • Vital signs
  • Patient phone calls

From the beginning, a CA/MA is interacting with patients in an exam room, or on the telephone.

The same duties will be performed by medical assistants working at other medical facilities.

In performing such work, a medical assistant works to show the patient politeness, courtesy, respect, compassion, empathy, and responsiveness.

In doing so, trust is built between the medical assistant and the patient, something which is especially important in trying circumstances.

The patient understands the value of receiving quality care.

How to Showcase Your Customer Service Background on Your MA Job Candidate Resume

The customer service experience you gained at non-healthcare employers is a valuable and transferable skill, and you should showcase that experience to your best advantage.

“Customer service skills are crucial for these rolls,” says John Parshall. “You must highlight your customer service skills background on your resume.”

So how do you showcase your customer service on your resume so it catches the eye of a hiring manger or recruiter?

The best way to do this is by thinking about the results you achieved with your customer service work. Think about the type of customer service you provided, and then ask yourself questions about how you provided a benefit or added-value to the customer or the employer.

For instance, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself about the customer service you have provided:

  • Did I increase customer satisfaction by a certain percentage? How did I do that?
  • Did I go ‘above and beyond’ in the customer service I provided? How did I do that?
  • Did I increase the number of customers served? By how much did I do that?
  • Did I introduce new ideas, systems, or processes to improve the customer service experience? What was the impact?
  • Did I resolve customer service issues in a way that showed I valued the customer? How did I do that?

When you think about your past or present customer service work in these terms, you’ll clearly demonstrate you’re a results-driven employee.

And employers like to hire people who gets results with the work they do.

What If I Don’t Have Any Customer Service Experience?

You can have a customer service background without ever having worked in a retail job.

Have you volunteered? Did that work put you in contact with people you were helping in some way? Remember, it doesn’t have to be paid customer service work for you to include it on your resume.

With that in mind, have you helped out at a school event in the past? When you did this, was there a customer service element to your duties? If there was, you may want to consider adding this customer service experience to your resume.

If you truly don’t have a customer service background, there’s also the option for you to gain that experience now. For instance, can you find a part-time job that fits around your medical assistant training? Can you volunteer at a medical facility close to you?

If you don’t have a customer service background when you apply for your first medical assistant position, don’t worry; this doesn’t mean a recruiter or hiring manager is going to ignore your application. Not by any means.

However, if you’d like to show a healthcare employer you’ll be a MA job candidate who has the potential to provide exceptional patient-focused care, highlighting a history of customer service experience on your resume is a great way to get you noticed.


Would you like to know more about working for Stanford Health Care (SHC)?
If you do, you can learn more about what SHC has to offer their employees here