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What is Required to Become a Medical Assistant?

Majors Overview February 21, 2014

Those interested in working with nurses and doctors to treat and monitor patients should look into the medical assistant field. The first step to joining this field is a medical assistant Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree. Students will learn the skills to carry out clinical and administrative tasks, including taking vital signs or patient histories.

A.A. Programs for Medical Assistants

Schools commonly offer Associate degree programs in medical assisting as an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Arts that is suitable for a person who seeks to enter the workforce immediately faster they graduate. Students enrolled in these programs can expect to become adept in subject areas such as general office practices, medical transcription, pharmacology, examination room procedures, and medical laboratory testing. Clinical training academies affiliated with hospitals, technical schools or community colleges typically offer these two-year programs.

Program Requirements

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Students enrolled in some programs are required to satisfy additional norms such as submission to a medical exam, supplying of immunization records and earning a CPR certification before they are allowed to enroll or participate in specific practicums or courses.

Coursework

Coursework includes classes in and medical office procedures, pharmacology, record keeping, computer applications, and medical terminology. Supervised clinical training is imparted to students through externships, internships or labs. Coursework may also include topic areas such as:

•Medical law and ethics
•Lab procedures
•Human body systems
•Medical accounting
•Allied health informatics

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth of 29% has been predicted for medical assistants during the decade from 2012 to 2022, making it one of the fastest growing occupations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The fact that these professionals can handle both clerical and administrative duties makes medical secretaries coveted assets in the field. In 2012, medical assistants took home an average annual wage of $29,370 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who graduate from the program can choose to join the workforce immediately or opt for continued education. Experience augmented by training can help these professionals seek teaching jobs aimed at training prospective medical assistants. Associate degree graduates could also look for careers in health information technology or nursing with suitable training that covers an eclectic mix of medical procedures and topics. While certification and licensure are not mandatory, volunteering for professional certification will help medical assistants demonstrate their skills and knowledge in the field to potential hirers who often show a preference for individuals with certified credentials (American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)).

Passage of a written exam will suffice to obtain professional certification from both the AAMA and the American Medical Technologists (AMT). Interested individuals can seek Medical assistant specialty certification through various credentialing agencies organizations including the Specialty Certified Medical Assistant that awards certification in a variety of disciplines, such as women’s health, pediatrics, oncology and cardiology.

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  • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current and relevant.
  • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
  • ABHES-accredited:  An  advantage upon graduation
  • Short-term education:  Programs range from 10 months to 2 years
  • Blackboard Learn mobile allows students to complete assignments on the go.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Do you aspire to fulfill an evolving healthcare role as a highly-qualified nursing professional? GCU is the place for you.
  • RNs, pursue your BSN or MSN conveniently online, backed by the legacy of GCU's traditional campus.
  • GCU's bachelor's and master's programs prepare students to fill roles in direct care, management, health education and administrative disciplines.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Develop with hands-on practice, online and lab simulations and in depth peer discussions exploring best practices.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
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