Medical assistants perform routine clinical and clerical tasks at physicians’ and other health care practitioners’ offices. Some medical assistants are trained on the job, but most complete certificates or online associate medical assistant specialist degrees. If you enjoy working closely with others, have strong organizational skills, and are eager to work in the growing field of health care, medical assisting could be a rewarding field for you. Students enrolled in a medical assistant training program can expect to take courses in medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, medical law, health care ethics, medical office procedures, keyboarding, computer applications, and business communication. In addition to classroom instruction, many programs also incorporate supervised clinical training courses. Online bachelors medical assistant specialist degrees are also available for those interested in more flexibility. Graduates can pursue entry-level assistant positions in doctors’ offices and other health care facilities. However, online masters medical assistant specialist degrees and other, higher degrees are rare.
Classes and Assignments of a Medical Assistant Specialist Major
Students in a medical assisting program can expect a curriculum which includes both classroom and clinical instruction. Classes commonly cover medical terminology, human anatomy, physiology, clinical procedures, medical office procedures, medical records, medical law, health care ethics, pharmacology, keyboarding, computer applications, and business communication. Assignments may include quizzes, exams, and clinical exercises. Some classes may also have a writing component, depending on the professor and the school’s curriculum requirements. Degree Levels for a Medical Assistant Specialist Major
- Certificate. One-year programs typically award a certificate or diploma. These programs prepare students to perform routine administrative and clinical procedures in doctors’ offices and other health care facilities. Graduates may choose to become certified by a nationally recognized agency such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the Association of Medical Technologists (AMT). While not required, many employers prefer to hire certified medical assistants.
- Associate. Classes in an associate program cover medical terminology, human anatomy, physiology, clinical procedures, medical records, medical law, health care ethics, computer applications, and business communication. An associate degree in medical assisting is one of the best college degrees for those looking to work in a specialty, such as ophthalmology or podiatry, or for those who feel they need more preparation to pass a certification exam. Graduates are eligible to fill positions in physicians’ offices and other health care facilities. Please note, some employers may prefer to hire only certified medical assistants.
A Future as a Medical Assistant Specialist Major Graduates of a medical assistant specialist training program are qualified to fill positions in physicians’, chiropractors’, podiatrists’, and other medical offices. Medical assistants may work in an administrative or clinical capacity. Others may work in a specialty, such as podiatric or ophthalmic medical assistants. In 2008, medical assistants earned a median annual income of $28,300 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Medical assistant who worked in general medical and surgical hospitals earned the highest salaries at a median of $29,720, the BLS notes. It is important to keep in mind, though, that actual salaries can vary based on your level of experience, location, the type of employer, and the demand for medical assistants in the industry. Students with a degree in Medical Assistant Specialist are considered well prepared for becoming Veterinary technologists and technicians.