Becoming a Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant Schools

Medical assistants are professionals working in the healthcare sector and their duties usually involve supporting physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Typically, the role of a medical is based in a clinical setting, including medical offices, ambulatory care facilities and outstation facilities.

Benefits of becoming a medical assistant

Given the quick rise in the number of clinics and with advancements in technology, demand for medical assistance is growing at a rapid pace.

Medical assistants can enjoy a highly rewarding career in a top healthcare setting. Serving as an integral part of the healthcare team, medical assistants need to perform a range of administrative and clinical duties. Medical assistants are largely responsible for efficient coordination and functioning of a healthcare facility.

Roles of a medical assistant

Medical assistants receive training to perform both clinical as well as administrative duties. Some of the clinical duties that medical assistants need to perform may include:

–          Maintaining medical histories

–          Preparing a patient for medical examination

–          Explaining of treatment procedures

–          Offering instruction to patients on diet and medications

–          Providing assistance to physicians

–          Performing tests in a laboratory

–          Collecting samples and preparing specimens in a laboratory

–          Changing medical dressings and sutures

–          Administering medications as per a physician’s instructions

–          Authorizing refills of prescriptions

Some of the administrative duties of a medical assistant include:

–          Filling out and updating medical records and insurance forms

–          Scheduling medical appointments

–          Arranging admissions to hospitals and laboratories

–          Responding to queries over telephone and use of computers

–          Greeting medical patients

–          Handling bookkeeping, billing and correspondence

How to become a medical assistant

In order to become a medical assistant, a certification needs to be obtained. While a large number of community colleges and junior colleges offer accredited programs for medical assistants, there are also many schools that provide online courses to receive certification.

A large number of people who are interested in becoming a medical assistant do not have the time or the money to afford traditional courses based in a campus. For such individuals, online medical assistant schools are an excellent option. By completing the program online, individuals can receive the same certification and benefits that a traditional campus based program offers.

How online medical assistant schools work

Online medical assistant schools offer training through interactive discussions, streaming of lectures and presentations, video tutorials and many other methods. Given that all content is offered online, these courses can be completed at one’s convenience from any location and at any time.

While completing the training course, students will also need to complete practical requirements. This can be done through any healthcare facilities in the vicinity of a student.

By completing the online course and finishing practical requirements successfully, students will be certified through accredited programs and can then proceed to start working immediately.

Courses offered by online medical assistant schools

Online medical assistant schools offer the same programs as one would expect to find in a campus based setting. These courses are well designed so as to offer the necessary education and expertise to students to perform clinical and administrative roles alongside physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Some of the typical courses to be offered by online medical assistant schools include:

–          Courses in medical terminology

–          Courses in physiology and anatomy

–          Courses in handling of office procedures

–          Courses in medical coding and medical billing

Types of programs offered by online medical assistant schools

Online medical assistant schools offer different types of medical assistant programs. These include the following:

–          Diploma: The most basic of medical assistant programs, diploma programs can usually be completed over 2 or 3 semesters. Programs include training in medical law, physiology and anatomy, medical terminology, clinical procedures, office management and administration. Diploma programs also involve basic exposure to practice in clinical settings.

–          Certificate: Certificate programs in medical assistance involve basic medical concepts, clinical practice, assisting physicians and nurses, administrative roles and also the legal and ethical responsibilities of working in a healthcare setting. These programs also include multiple options for gaining experience in a practical setting. Completing this program allows students to be eligible for a certified medical assistant examination.

–          Associate: Associate programs are the most detailed and in depth programs in medical assistance. In addition to medical assisting education, these programs also include other general courses in sociology, psychology, mathematics and English. Including practical experience across both administrative and clinical duties, associate programs cover in detail education in medical terminology, physiology and anatomy, laboratory procedures, medical billing and coding and many others.

Whatever type of program is completed by a student – diploma level, certificate level or associate level, a candidate is then eligible to work as a medical assistant professional in the healthcare industry. Most online medical assistant schools feature all of these and students can feel free to choose the program that suits them best.