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Degree Overview: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Medical

Majors Overview June 23, 2014

Those seeking entry-level jobs in allied health should look into an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in the medical field. These programs focus on medical assistant and office administration course topics.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree Programs in Medical

Students enrolled in Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Medical degree programs are trained to seek entry-level jobs involving administrative and assistant roles in the medical industry. These degree programs are offered by technical schools and community colleges under various nomenclatures, including medical office administration and medical assisting.

The name notwithstanding, these programs mainly provide students with knowledge and skills through a combination of classroom lectures and laboratory studies. It takes 15 to 24 months to complete these degree programs. Graduates are trained to seek entry-level jobs in the medical industry, pursue continued education in the field, and acquire professional certification through the passage of certification exams aimed at boosting their career prospects.

The best career opportunities will be available to students that complete programs that carry the accreditation of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria in an A.A.S. Medical degree program require applicants to hold at least a GED certificate or high school diploma. They are also required to complete college-level courses in communication, math, and English composition. Students enrolled in some programs are required to complete core introductory coursework before they can take courses relating to their choice of major.

Coursework

Coursework in Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree programs in medical fields includes medicine-based classes devised to help students develop computer and office skills as well as knowledge of medical procedures and terms. Coursework may commonly include the following classes:

•Medical transcription
•Laboratory procedures
•Medical terminology
•Database administration
•Anatomy and physiology
•Human disease and billing
•Health office management
•Healthcare ethics
•Business communication

Job and Wage Outlook and Career Choices

An optimistic job growth is predicted within the healthcare industry in the foreseeable future with medical assistants expected to enjoy a job growth rate of 34% during the period of 2008 to 2018 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). The growth projection is based on the assumption of a broadening of services in the medical industry complemented by an aging population.

Graduates of an A.A.S. degree program in medical office administration, medical assisting, or a related specialty that seek entry-level occupation in the business will be able to choose from many work options:

•Billing and coding representative
•Medical office administrator or manager
•Medical information specialist
•Medical assistant
•Accounts and records clerk
•Medical transcriptionist

Continuing Education and Certification Choices

Graduates of A.A.S. Medical degree programs can choose from various career options, including many that need candidates to hold professional certification as offered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity, the American Association of Medical Assistants, or the American Medical Technologists, including some general credentials:

•Certified Medical Administrative Specialist
•Certified Medical Transcriptionist
•Certified Medical Assistant

Students enrolled in A.A.S. Medical degree programs can seek continued education by enrolling in a baccalaureate degree program. They can choose from a range of healthcare-related degree programs, including healthcare management and registered nursing. Advanced education combined with certification is sure to boost their career opportunities and lead to financial gain in the ever-expanding healthcare field.

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