The role of Medical Assistants (MA) is ever-changing. Traditional duties, including direct care, give way to telemedicine and working with more technology to assist clinicians and other healthcare professionals. MAs perform the functions necessary between the patient and other, more advanced staff members, and as a result, their skillsets have a direct impact on their candidacy for employment. In fact, completing nutrition courses as part of an MA training program increases future job opportunities in several ways.
Clinical Settings Must Incorporate Nutrition Counseling in Care Plans.
Proactive care and counseling are replacing reactive treatment of conditions in clinics. In addition to providing interventional care of chronic and urgent health conditions, today’s clinicians must work with patients to prevent future health problems. One of the most overlooked areas in proactive care is nutrition, which affects both the body and mind, and MAs have the potential to pick up the slack.
According to a recent JAMA article, reports Health.Gov, clinicians forgo nutrition counseling due to lacking experience or time to speak with patients about the impact of nutrition on the body. The article proposes several ways MAs can work to improve nutrition counseling, including:
- Conduction of a dietary screening at the beginning of an office visit.
- Recommending health food substitutions when a craving for unhealthy snacks strikes.
At the same time, more insurance companies require nutrition counseling as part of all office visits for the completion of reimbursement payments. Thus, MAs with the training to provide nutrition counseling and assistance effectively increase the health of patients and improve compliance with insurance requirements. In other words, MAs with nutrition skills are in-demand.
Nutrition Courses Open Doors for MAs in Dietetic Assisting.
Facilities providing meals to patients or community members may employ healthcare professionals for food-preparation and planning purposes. This includes all in-patient facilities, such as assisted living, skilled nursing facilities for the elderly, and mental health and rehabilitation. MAs may work within the capacity of a Dietetic Assistant, ensuring meals adhere to each person’s dietary requirements and improve overall health.
For example, someone admitted to a care facility undergoing treatment for kidney failure must adhere to stringent dietary requirements to prevent the build-up of fluids between hemodialysis treatments. The MA helps prepare and serve the meal, ensuring the total fluid and types of foods offered are within the dietary requirements. In-patient mental health facilities may use an MA’s skills in nutrition to ensure meals do not contain ingredients, such as caffeine, that may interact with psychological treatment.
Weight Management Facilities, Including Healthcare Gyms and Physical Rehabilitation, Put Nutrition Skills to the Test.
Those undergoing post-care weight management and physical rehabilitation, such as that following heart surgery, must mind particular constraints for diet and exercise. This can make exercising with a personal trainer difficult, but a nutrition-trained MA can combine the skills of weight management and recovery from major medical issues to improve safety during strenuous exercise. MAs with these skills may work in healthcare gyms, which may be located on-site at a hospital or other healthcare facility. Of course, they also may work with doctors in weight management facilities for the obese and overweight as well.
Understanding Nutrition Basics Improves Your Personal Health and Well-Being.
Another variable affecting potential employment as an MA depends on your ability to handle stress and provide care. As a result, your health and well-being are essential to your ability to work. Knowing the basics of nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight will increase your candidacy for employment. Essentially, healthcare employers know that healthy workers are less likely to be out sick or become injured while working.
Stand Apart With a Strong Nutrition Education by Enrolling in the Right MA Program Now.
Job opportunities for MAs can be rewarding and exciting, but even during the application process, you may still need to prove your value. Obtaining your MA certification through a program that emphasizes the role of nutrition in health, such as that offered by CCI Training Institute, will make your application stand out from other applicants. Learn more about becoming an MA now by contacting us online or calling 1-214-763-9889.