Beyond Surface Care – Psychology Behind Medical Assistance

Psychology studies the human mind and behavior. It is a relatively young science, with its origins in the 19th century. However, psychology has already significantly impacted our understanding of the human condition.

One of the most influential figures in psychology is Sigmund Freud. Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis, a therapy method that explores the unconscious mind’s role in shaping our behavior. Freud’s theories have profoundly impacted our understanding of the human psyche.

Another influential figure in psychology is Carl Jung. Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist who founded the school of analytical psychology. Jung’s theories helped to expand our understanding of the human psyche. He is also credited with introducing the concepts of introversion and extroversion.

Psychology has come a long way since the days of Freud and Jung. However, their work continues to be highly influential in our understanding of the human mind. Psychology plays an essential role in medical assisting and is a part of many certified medical assistant programs. 

Medical assistants must understand and empathize with patients and communicate effectively with doctors and other medical staff. This subject will help future medical assistants handle stress and remain calm in difficult situations.

Behavioral Theories

The certified medical assistant program includes two main behavioral theories: Maslow’s and Erikson’s. The former is based on the hierarchy of needs, which states that people are motivated to meet basic needs such as food and shelter before focusing on higher needs such as self-actualization. This theory can be applied to medical assistants by understanding that they need to feel safe and secure in their job before focusing on providing quality patient care.

Erikson’s theory is based on the principle of trust vs. mistrust and states that people must develop a sense of confidence to have a positive outlook on life. This theory can be applied to medical assistants by understanding that they must establish trust with their patients to provide quality care.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has five levels of need in the hierarchy, with the most fundamental level at the bottom of the pyramid of needs. This level is called the physiological need level and includes the need for food, water, shelter, and sleep. The second level is the safety and security need level which consists of the need for safety, security, and order. 

The third level is the love and belonging need level, which includes the need for love, affection, and belonging. The fourth level is the esteem need level which consists of the need for self-respect, self-esteem, and achievement. The fifth and highest level is self-actualization, which includes the need for self-fulfillment and self-actualization.

Erikson’s Life Stages

Erikson’s hierarchy of needs is a well-known theory that outlines eight stages of human development. This theory is widely used in psychology and has influenced education, management, and parenting.

The hierarchy of needs by Erikson follows a person through their life, from infancy to adulthood. It is based on the belief that humans are motivated by different needs at different stages of their lives. The eight stages of development in Erikson’s hierarchy of needs are:

  1. Infancy: Hope
  2. Early childhood: Will
  3. Play age: Purpose
  4. School age: Competence
  5. Adolescence: Fidelity
  6. Young Adulthood: Love
  7. Middle Adulthood: Care
  8. Late adulthood: Wisdom

Each stage is characterized by a different need to be met for a person to develop correctly. For example, a baby’s need for love and security during infancy must be met to establish a sense of hope.


Psychology is included in a certified medical assistants program for several reasons:

  1. Psychology is essential for understanding human behavior, which is vital in providing quality patient care.
  2. Psychology can help medical assistants communicate effectively with patients and families.
  3. Psychology can help medical assistants deal with the stress and demands of the job.

Do you want to delve into this subject further? You should contact Northwest Suburban College for their certified medical assistant program. We provide a comprehensive curriculum to prepare our students for their future. So, call us now for more details!

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