Communication Skills for Medical Assistants: Strategies for FASD Prevention

Pregnant patient consulting a doctor

Course Overview

Medical assistants play key roles in promoting behavioral health

Medical assistants play an important role in promoting behavioral health among patients. As part of a larger medical team, MAs are vital ingredients in a health system designed to identify patients at risk, exchange information, and draw out and consolidate commitment to change.

While medical assistants may help patients with an array of behavioral health issues, including sedentary lifestyle, healthy eating, smoking cessation, medication adherence, and treatment compliance, they can also be an important part of FASD prevention.

These roles can include FASD prevention

Medical assistants can serve varying roles in this, from identifying patients at risk by administering the standardized screening instruments, exchanging relevant health information, providing warm hand offs to other health care professionals, and educating others in their office about the importance of engaging in FASD prevention.

Female nurse talking to female patient

Communication strategies matter

No matter what your role in promoting behavioral health and preventing FASD among patients, the way in which you communicate with patients and colleagues can have a significant impact on the likelihood that change occurs. When it comes to communication strategies, there are clear winners and losers, with some strategies clearly outperforming others, in terms of impacts on patient health. Effective communication can be even more important when talking about stigmatized behaviors, such as alcohol consumption and reproductive health.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this training, you will be able to

  • Identify and differentiate helpful and unhelpful communication strategies
  • Apply helpful communication strategies to discussions about FASD with patients and colleagues
  • Recognize the importance of communication skills when engaging in FASD prevention activities
  • Describe helpful and helpful communication strategies
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