Medical Assistant Schools
Medical Assisting is the fastest growing career in the field of health care. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects continued employment growth through 2016. With the looming recession amongst us, this is an excellent time to attend a medical assistant school and gain the formal education needed to pursue a medical assistant career.
Become a Medical Assistant
- Career Plan: How to Become a Medical Assistant
- Find Schools by State
- See a list of Online Medical Assistant Degrees
Medical Assistant Resources
Presently the trend in medical assisting is to attend accredited medical assistant schools where a formal education is provided. In the past, on the job training was an acceptable way to become a medical assistant. Though on the job training provides valuable hands on experience and has produced many well qualified medical assistants, employers have moved in the direction of hiring formally trained medical assistants (MAs). Many of these MA's have also passed national certification exams such as the Certified Medical Assistant exam, given by the American Association of Medical Assistants or the Registered Medical Assistant exam, offered by the American Medical Technologists. Such medical assistant certification is recognized in all states. [Learn more about the Certified Medical Assistant pathway]
Formal medical assistant training programs include certificate, diploma and associate degree programs. A formal education in medical assisting often translates into higher wages and greater career advancement opportunities. Generally, medical assistant schools offer certificate or diploma programs, which can take 2-12 months to complete. Many schools also offer medical assistant associate degree programs that can usually be completed in 18 to 24 months.
Typical Medical Assistant Courses
Students will take courses that prepare them for physician, staff and patient interaction, typical office practices as well as clinical duties expected of a medical assistant on a daily basis. Medical assistant courses often cover patient interaction topics such as, taking vital signs, patient assessment, patient history, patient education, bedside manner and HIPPA privacy laws. Pharmacology courses will cover branded and generic drug nomenclature, drug/drug interactions, indications, drug reference resources, calling in prescriptions, authorizing refills, prior authorizations and related topics. Laboratory courses will cover instrument and equipment use/safety, specimen collection, phlebotomy (drawing blood), urinalysis and related lab procedures. First aid is also taught in most programs and is often a job requirement.
What to Consider When Choosing a Medical Assistant School
Medical assisting education training programs are offered as online programs or as campus based programs, so whether you need the flexibility of taking classes at your own pace or you learn better in a structured classroom environment, our medical assistant schools will meet your needs and formally prepare you for certification exams and beginning or advancing you career in medical assisting. Learn more about becoming a Medical Assistant.
One of the most important considerations when choosing a medical assistant program is accreditation. The two primary accrediting institutions of medical assisting schools and programs are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This site features a number of accredited medical assistant schools offering certificate, diploma and associate degrees programs including online/distance learning options. Online medical assistant training programs are worth considering for full or part time employees or those looking for a flexible medical assistant education.