Those who find their interests lie in helping people but shy away from the demanding hours and back to back shifts of nursing have many other options: a degree in Medical Assisting is one of them. Medical assistants play an important role in both clinical and administrative tasks. There are several possible roads to this type of degree and the availability, convenience and flexibility of online study is highly recommended for aspiring medical assistants. The demand for those trained and certified as medical assistants is also growing out of the country and now offers opportunities for travel and relocation.
Becoming a Medical Assistant
Medical assistant training programs take an average of 2 years to complete. In addition to classroom assignments, completing this degree may also include lab studies, office internship, as well as hands on, “on the job” style training. Medical Assistant courses are geared to familiarize the student with all things needed for a successful career in a medical environment. Courses include and cover most of the following:
- Medical Terminology
- Medical Office Management
- Communication in Healthcare
- Medical Insurance and Coding
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medical Records and Correspondence
- Measuring Vital Signs
- Infection Control and Management
- Collection and preparation of bodily fluids and tissues
Although Medical Assistant programs are generally certificate programs or Associate level degrees, students can choose to obtain certification in specific departments. Here are just some of the certification programs available to those seeking to further their Medical Assistant training.
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
- National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
- Assistant Medical Practitioners (AMP)
The job outlook for medical assistants is promising and on the rise due to the aging population, increased patient load in physicians’ offices, and the work required to complete and maintain electronic health records. Today there are more medical assistants in the work force than ever before, with positions in hospitals, outpatient clinics, a variety of public and private medical facilities, and physicians’ offices. The Medical Assistants ability to work in both clinical and clerical capacities makes them even greater assets to all fields of the medical industry here in the US and ever increasingly overseas as well.