Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Closing Comments

April 11, 2024

Closing Comments

Patient Coaching

When working with dermatology patients, it is important to make them aware of the possible risks of skin cancer. The American Cancer Society has developed the acronym ABCDE to evaluate moles, birthmarks, or any skin changes. This is a great tool for patients. Any of these warning signs should be reported to the provider immediately. Early detection and self-examination are crucial to cancer survival.

Asymmetry: one area of the mole is changing
Borders: moles are becoming irregular
Colors: changes or uneven pigmentation
Diameter: increasing size more than 6 mm or one-fourth of an inch
Elevation: a mole that once was flat against the skin is now raised and elevated.

Legal and Ethical Issues

While working in dermatology, you will hear many patients express concern about skin disorders. Allow patients to express their concerns. Use therapeutic listening techniques but be careful when offering encouragement about the course and outcome of treatment. The improvement made with the treatment of a skin disorder may be slow and gradual. Keep encouragement on a positive level. Help the patient recognize small improvements, but remember that it is the provider’s role to explain potential treatment outcomes. Making promises about outcomes could lead to a lawsuit.

Patient-Centered Care

The medical assistant must develop the ability to interact therapeutically with patients, families, co-workers, and other members of the healthcare team. When interacting with patients in a dermatology practice, the medical assistant needs to be especially sensitive to the patient’s nonverbal behaviors and emotions. Many of the conditions seen in a dermatology practice affect how patients look and view themselves. Sensitivity to the importance of appearance, especially when skin conditions or treatments might alter a patient’s appearance, is a crucial trait for healthcare professionals working in a dermatology practice.

Professional Behaviors

Patients with dermatologic issues are often embarrassed by the appearance or location of those issues. As a medical assistant working in dermatology, it is important to remain professional. To help put patients at ease, be sure to protect their privacy by using proper draping techniques to expose only the necessary areas and keep the exposure time to a minimum. Maintaining a calm and empathetic demeanor will help your patient feel more comfortable discussing and revealing the problem areas.