Medical Assisting

Diversity in Medical Assisting

Medical AssistingFebruary 08, 2024

New York has always been a melting pot, welcoming a diverse group of people to its state and cities. And anyone who works with the public will encounter individuals from every race, religion, ethnicity, cultural background, gender, and sexual orientation. 

When it comes to healthcare, though, having diversity among the ranks of providers can create a better level of care. This is especially true when it comes to a medical assistant, who may be the first person a patient encounters during their visit and who often relates important instructions about home care. To improve patient care, facilities should strive to hire medical assistants from diverse backgrounds, which can provide many benefits to both the providers and their patients.

Improved Communication

Healthcare conversations are often personal and nuanced in nature. It can be helpful to have a medical assistant who speaks a patient’s native language or who understands their cultural differences. Poor communication could lead to a misdiagnosis or a miscommunication about important next steps. By having a diverse team, healthcare facilities are better equipped to communicate with their patients. 

Better Understanding

Patients’ cultures can impact their ability to accept treatment and it may be hard for them to explain their beliefs to someone who is not familiar with them. By having a medical assistant who understands the patient’s perspective and preferences, they can effectively relay this information to the rest of the healthcare team which can save time during the administering of care. For example, a medical assistant who is Muslim or LGBTQ will likely be more able to relate to and anticipate issues that are common among patients of a similar background. 

Better Outcomes 

Patients who feel heard and understood will have a better healthcare experience, and diverse teams have been shown to have the power to improve patient satisfaction. Patients who relate to their care provider are also more likely to feel empowered to ask questions and become a true partner in their wellness journey. They’ll also be more likely to follow the provider’s advice, which can lead to a better health outcome. 

While no single person can relate to every background, having a diverse healthcare team can allow healthcare providers to effectively serve a broader range of patients. If you’re interested in using your own diverse background to interact with patients as a medical assistant, St. Paul’s School of Nursing can help you get started. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 822-3018 and speak to one of our career counselors.