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The Medical Assistants (MA)Course 2019 Communications Strategy

At Collaborat-Ed, we provide bespoke education for Medical assistants. Our courses are in keeping with the collaborative team- work principles imbued by the GP Forward View. All our tutors are both experienced clinicians and qualified teachers. We are committed to inspiring capability, confidence, productivity and professionalism through participation, team work and learning through doing.

Medical Assistants are trained to relieve key administrative duties from GPs and to work as part of a collaborative team. We recognise that complex skills are involved in developing members of the team so our curriculum has been designed to align with the acquisition of these complex skills.

  • Critically reading and actioning letters
  • Writing resilience letters
  • Clinical ideas
  • Safety -netting, knowing when to ask and escalate problems
  • Snomed/clinical coding
  • The multidisciplinary team
  • Working and communication within a team
  • Communication, negotiation and conflict management skills
  • Mentoring and being mentored.
  • Assertiveness skills
  • Error reporting
  • Recording drug reactions
  • Attending meetings
  • Child protection
  • Data protection and confidentiality.
  • Diversity training
  • Supporting quality improvements, innovation and managing change

How do the MAs learn? At Collaborat-Ed we believe in learning through doing, so, importantly, we aim to create a safe, yet dynamic, high energy environment relevant to practice. Consequently, the MAs learn through participating in activities such as learning to read clinical letters critically, discussing their understanding and taking appropriate action. Clinical ideas are learned through interactive quizzes and collaborative discussions. We encourage MAs to share their learning with one another and within their practice teams.

Why do MAs need the support of their mentors, practice manager and practice team? Like any skill the most important thing is to embed learning in practice. We suggest at least two hours with their mentor every week with additional protected time of at least two hours a week for self -directed learning. As with any educational and training endeavour investing time early on in the process will reap solid results in the future.

How do we know what MAs are learning? We are currently creating an online repository to share materials with mentors and practice managers.

The course is evaluated by Collaborat-Ed from an educational perspective. This course is robust and our assessment process is rigorous. The MAs undertake three assignments:

* A timed speed test reading and actioning letters.

* Orally in a simulated meeting scenario

* A reflective portfolio including a quality improvement project.

The MAs receive detailed feedback on how to improve going forward in all three aspects of assessment. Tutors support and advise them through any personal difficulties. Previous feedback from MAs has cited this course as “exceptional” and “transformational”.

Evaluation within the workplace. Understandably we cannot measure the impact upon your practice because this is dependent on how well the role is supported and integrated by the mentors and practice team. We can encourage MAs to audit their work and maybe this can be done in collaboration with the practice manager. We would encourage you to measure the MAs success not only by numbers though. The bigger picture is a more productive, confident, capable and motivated member of the team.