How to Take Patient Histories

One of the many numerous responsibilities taught in an online Medical Assistant school is to keep track and record patient histories. Now you may be asking yourself, what exactly is patient histories? But that question only lasts about a minute before you realize that it is as the name suggests – the history of any given patient. These histories include records of the patients’ past, any and every previous illness, any past surgeries and medical procedures, and former vaccinations as well.

When you’re working in a medical facility and a new patient comes in for a visit, as a medical assistant you will be responsible for creating new records for these patients. For patients who become regulars at the clinic or facility you work for, however, you only have to refresh/update what information is already on record. For instance, you would write about any new illnesses that have occurred, surgeries that have come to pass, and what medication they have recently taken – whether it was prescribed or over the counter.

Here are few things medical assistants do when recording a patient’s history:

  1. Be warm and inviting – in order to record a patients history you have to engage in conversation with them. This can be difficult since with new patients you’ll be a new face to them. Be warm and inviting and greet them in a friendly manner. If they warm up to you they will give you the kind of information you need with ease.
  2. Get down to the nitty gritty – After a patient has warmed up to you it’s time to ask for details. You have to really get a lot of detailed information from them. A lot of it will not only help you with record keeping, but will help the doctor as well before even coming in to make an analysis.

Electronic Health Records Infographic from ONC


How Medical Assistants Can Prepare For the Flu

Flu season is coming around again, and it is a tough time for every medical facility ranging from hospitals to physicians’ office to even the walk-in clinics and centra cares.

It’s hard to avoid the flu in most cases, and this is due to the fact that it is such a common illness that it makes it way around as easily as the common cold. So what can medical assistants, who are at the front of this disease battle, do in order to not only protect themselves but also keep themselves from getting sick, and providing tips to patients in order to overcome the flu.

Get a Flu Shot

A lot of people swarm clinics before flu season in order to get the latest vaccination against the flu. It’s a preemptive strike so to speak against the flu and it prevents a lot of people from catching it later on. However, if you are a medical assistant just know that you should make some time to get vaccinated yourself. You’ll be working long hours assisting with the vaccination, but try and get it done at a walk-in clinic or local pharmacy store. These places often advertise that they have one minute vaccinations, so take full advantage of it and get it done.

By vaccinating yourself your body will be prepared for the numerous amounts of people who will contract the flu due to not getting their flu shot. The flu is highly contagious to those who didn’t get the shot, and it will only be a matter of time before you yourself come down with it from assisting patients who are sick.

Another way in which a medical assistant can be prepared for flu season is by keeping their immune system up through use of vitamin C, and washing or sanitizing their hands after dealing with every patient.


Flu vaccine infographic