In any career there is no substitute for good education and training. The medical assisting field is certainly no different. Whether you are just starting out, wanting to advance your medical assisting career or looking to change your career, you will need the right medical assistant training to reach your goals.
The absolute minimal education for medical assistants is a high school diploma or GED equivalent. While some may find job opportunities that will provide sufficient on-the-job training to succeed in the field, this is becoming more and more difficult.
Technical or Vocational Training Programs
While some succeed with just a high school diploma and on-the-job training, there is ample opportunity for further education. There many technical and vocational programs that offers one year medical assisting programs. Completing these programs gives you a certificate or diploma.
These one year programs take less involvement in time and because they are just one year in duration will cost less than a two year degree program.
Associate’s Degree Program
Many schools will offer a two year program where you will receive and Associate Degree upon completion. These programs provide ample preparation for taking the certified medical assistant (CMA) exam as long as the programs are accredited.
You want to make sure that any program you enter is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
These accredited programs will often give you the opportunity to serve an externship giving you some experience in actual physician practices, hospitals or other healthcare facilities. Look for programs that offer this. It will be invaluable as you start your job search.
Medical Assistant Courses
Accredited medical assistant training programs can be expected to offer courses in the following:
- Medical Terminology
- Record keeping
- Insurance processing
- Laboratory techniques
- Clinical and diagnostic procedures
- Pharmaceutical principles
- Administration of Medications
- First Aid
- Office practices
- Patient relations
- Medical law, and
Programs with these comprehensive curricula are what you want to properly prepare you for a medical assisting career and the taking of the certification exam. Don’t forget, a medical assistant can be involved in a wide variety of duties depending on the institution you will eventually work at.
Medical assisting is a broad field. Good training and preparation will make you successful in whatever setting you find yourself in the future. It will prepare you for job opportunities in a variety of settings. The proper training will also get you higher paying jobs with better benefits.
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Knowing what to look for in a good accredited training program will help you evaluate potential educational opportunities. Start your search for schools in you area. Select the one that best meets your personal needs and situation and amply to the program.
Doing that will get you started on a great career choice.