How To become a Medical Assistant:

A medical assistant performs a variety of administrative and clinical tasks like taking vitals, completing medical histories etc. The Bureau of Labour Statistics expects employment in the medical assistant field to grow by 31% from 2010 to 2020. The employment opportunities are expanding.

Steps to becoming a Medical Assistant

  • Determine if this career option is Right For You
  • Find a Doctor Who Will Train You
  • Search the Medical Assistant School in your area

Find Schools In Your Area

Make sure that the school you attend is qualified by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). A Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) assists nurses and physicians with a variety of administrative and medical tasks. Most medical assistants work in a doctor’s office. Some work in hospitals also. There are different types of medical assistant jobs available. It is a versatile career choice.

Some schools offer a one year certificate course. You may complete a two-year associate’s degree from an accredited school. The coursework for medical assistants includes medical terminology, first aid, medical billing etc.

Top Medical Assistant Schools

The ITT Technical Institutes offer programs in some of today's hottest technical areas. With over 100 locations nationwide and several online programs available, the ITT Techs are one of the leading providers of technology education. Each ITT Tech offers convenient class schedules and Career Services are offered to help you find a job.

Programs:

  • AS - Medical Assisting and Administration
Animal Behavior College offers affordable, flexible programs for busy professionals interested in animal careers. We offer hands-on experience in over 400 locations nationwide.

Programs:

  • Veterinary Assistant

Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.

Programs:

  • AA: Medical Office Assistance
  • MA Human Services: Health & Wellness

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*

Programs:

  • BS in Heath and Wellness
  • Associate of Science in Health Science (Military Only)

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

Programs:

  • Allied Health Science (AS)
  • Specialization in Nurse Educator (MSN)
Penn Foster offers affordable, self-paced career-focused distance education programs in fields like business, criminal justice, health services, technology, engineering, paralegal studies and more.

Programs:

  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Medical Transcriptionist
  • And more...
Balance your personal and professional commitments while earning a respected Ph.D., master's degree, or bachelor's degree online at Walden University. Programs offered in management, education, psychology and health and human services.

Programs:

  • B.S. in Health Studies - Health Management
  • B.S. in Health Studies - Health Communication
  • B.S. in Health Studies - Self-Designed
  • And more...

Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs that can be completed 100% online. Degree programs are available in the fields of education, nursing and health sciences, business, fine arts and production, and liberal arts.

Programs:

  • B.S. in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care

Grantham University's 100% accredited online degrees are convenient, portable and designed so you can fit education into your life instead of arranging life around your education. 

Programs:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Medical Coding and Billing

Certification for Medical Assistants:

After completing the program, medical assistants can sign up to take the certification exam to become a CMA. The course is offered 3 times per year by the American Association of Medical Assistants. The certification needs to be renewed every five years.

Duties and Responsibilities:

A Medical Assistant helps with a variety of tasks such as taking vital signs, medical record keeping etc. Medical Assistants also may give shots. Medical assistants help with medical billing and insurance coding.

The administrative knowledge that you gain during your training will teach you how to assist in operating a well functioning office. You will have to perform many administrative duties.  A Medical Assistant school will provide you with an understanding of those particular duties.

Work Schedule:

Most medical assistants work about 40 hour week. However, additional hours may be required unless there is a separate weekend personal.

Certification also offers assurances to patients. It is a good step towards building a successful medical assisting career. Students of certified medical assistant can realize getting the certification is a step in the right direction. The certification implies a person is well trained and qualified to assist other professionals in health care issues.

Benefits:

Many medical employers across the country rely on training medical assistants to perform daily tasks like administrative work, tending to the needs of patients, taking blood samples, handling insurance forms etc. Medical assistants can perform a variety of roles whether their employment venue is a large or small office or a larger health institution.

Today, the job market is competitive. It is important to make sure that the school you choose prepares students for certification either as a certified medical assistant (CMA), or an (registered medical assistant (RMA). A CMA certification can usually be obtained immediately after successfully completing a Medical Assistant Program.

A medical assistant training will include taking vitals, collecting specimens, getting patient histories and getting patients ready for procedures. Others duties can entail drawing blood, giving injections, administering EKGs, dressings etc. Many medical assisting training programs will also include an externship. It provides direct real-world experience.

Clinical Medical Assistant

A Clinical Medical Assistant will help the physician carry out procedures, perform simple lab tests, administer medications and care for patients. The Clinical Medical Assistant works in a doctor’s clinic. This course combines 134 hours of classroom instruction, including electrocardiography (EKG), with a 160 hour externship.

Medical Assistants perform routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep the clinics of physicians, chiropractors, optometrists running smoothly. Medical assistants must not be confused with physician assistants who examine and diagnose under the direct supervision of a physician.

The duties of the Medical Assistants vary from office to office. In small practices, Medical Assistants are usually handles both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager or physician. In large practices, they tend to specialize in a particular area under the supervision of department administrators.

Medical Assistants perform many administrative duties. They greet patients, update and file patient medical records, handle insurance, schedule appointments, arrange laboratory services, handle billing etc.

Clinical duties vary according to State law. It also includes taking medical histories, recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients etc. Medical assistants instruct patients about medication and special diets, prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician, authorize drug refills as directed, prepare patients for examinations, change dressings etc.

Administrative Medical Assistants

As an administrative medical assistant you will provided with a challenging work environment and a nice salary. The purpose of the medical assistant is to provide the highest level of care to patients. An Administrative Medical Assistant is responsible for running the front desk operations of a hospital. In large facilities, the Administrative Medical Assistant is part of a team. An administrative medical assistant deal with multiple phone calls and patients at once.

Administrative Medical Assistants are trained professional who provides efficient customer service.  They support the other facility staff. Administrative medical assistants also have to be current on all current regulations and policies regarding the collection and dissemination of sensitive patient healthcare administration data.

Administrative Medical Assistants are responsible for many duties such as answering communications, filing insurance claims, scheduling appointments, performing accounting, managing billing etc. They are responsible for making sure information is kept accurate.

Administrative Medical Assistants will involve interacting with others in the largest part of their day. He or she must remain calm and professional. They may have to deal with the irate patients, or uncompromising insurance companies etc.

An Administrative Medical Assistant must be adept at multitasking because there are so many duties involved in this career. The assistant will have to remember the massive amounts of information and handle multiple tasks at once most of the time. Success in this career depends greatly on the assistant’s ability to stay calm and clear headed under pressure.

The ability to handle stress is a necessity in this career as the assistants work with people who are stressed, sick or dying. Assistants must have coping mechanisms for releasing stress and calming themselves after the day ends to be successful. Besides Medical Assistant education, there are so many other profession which can help you get more pay packages. Best among them are Dental Assistant and Ultrasound Technician. Find out to know more about them.

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