Medical assistant training programs aim to prepare students for a job that involves extending a helping hand to doctors. It is a mix of daily administrative tasks with clinical duties. Students need to be fast in making good decisions and be able to do several tasks at once.
Most assistants work directly under a professional physician. They are vital in the efficient accomplishment of the doctor’s tasks to give proper healthcare to the patient. Some of the tasks that they need to perform on a day-to-day basis include the following: scheduling, medical record keeping, patient billing, completing insurance-related documents and paperwork, preparing patients for laboratory tests, and direct patient contact.
Apart from those tasks, there are several states in the United States that allows these assistants to do blood work and perform x-ray tests provided that they pass several licensing exams. Medical assistants are important in the progress of every hospital and of every health-care service extended to the patient. They serve as the link between doctors and patients.
How to be a medical assistant?
Before you become an assistant in the medical industry, you need to undergo training to become registered and certified. This is the major requirement of most hospitals and clinics. It gives the protection for the hospitals, patients, and doctors. To become a certified medical assistant, you need to pass the CMA Certification Exam. The major requirement that will make you eligible to take the exam is that you should be enrolled in an accredited medical assistant program.
On the training program
There are many institutions that conduct training programs for those who want to become medical assistants. A major consideration is that the school must be accredited either by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
Most training programs include a mix of academic and clinical, some of the major areas of study include the following:
- First aid training
- Understanding medical terminology
- Related law and ethics to medicine
- Handling and solving patient relations and queries
- Office procedures and practices
- Medical administration
- Record keeping
- Medical coding
- Computer skills
These are just several things that the training program will tackle. Of course, there are some hands-on and laboratory classes that an aspiring medical assistant needs to complete. Usually, the training program will last for a year or two. There are some students who opt to finish a one-year certificate program while others prefer to finish the two-year associate degree.
Career outlook and benefits
Getting a job in the medical field translates to good benefits and competitive salary on the part of the applicant. The demand for skilled assistants in this field is very high, thus you will have a high chance of acquiring the said job post. Prepare yourself for long working hours, especially if you are just starting out.
An advantage of being a medical assistant is that you get adequate experience in the field of healthcare. Moreover, the profession serves as a good path towards other career opportunities in the said field.