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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Medical Assistants with an X-ray Component

Majors Overview February 21, 2014

Receive information about an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in medical assistants with an x-ray component and its coursework, job and wage outlook, and certification and continuing education choices.

A.A. Programs in Medical Assistants with an X-ray Component

Students enrolled in an Associate degree program for medical assistants with an x-ray component are trained in the performance of clinical and clerical tasks in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals and physician’s offices.

Some tasks included are drawing blood, bookkeeping, billing, lab testing and medical records management. When a limited scope x-ray component is included in a medical assistant program, students may learn about operating a basic x-ray machine. After they gain experience, they may aim for state certification related to operating such equipment. It takes about two years to complete these programs whose admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Apart from gaining hands-on skills and preparing for certification through working with x-ray technology equipment, students are taught topic areas that cover medical operations in administrative and clinical settings. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Office administration
•Phlebotomy
•Healthcare ethics
•Anatomy
•Medical terminology
•Business communication

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth of 29% has been predicted for medical assistants during the decade from 2012 to 2022 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The optimistic prediction is based on the assumption that growth in the industry will be driven by the healthcare needs of an aging population and augmented by technological advancement in the field. In 2012, medical assistants earned an average annual wage of $29,370 (BLS).

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Those who graduate with medical assistant associate degrees may pursue continued education and use their rudimentary medical knowledge in various fields, including healthcare administration or nursing. Interested candidates may enroll into a bachelor’s degree program in a related field.

Medical assistants interested in operating x-ray machines can seek certification in some states to boost their employment opportunities. Voluntary certification may be sought by these professionals through credentialing agencies such as the American Association of Medical Assistants or the Association of Medical Technologists to showcase their skills and knowledge in the field to potential employers.

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