If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant, you’ll first need to complete one of the many medical assistant programs available. Medical assistants frequently work to help keep a doctor’s office running smoothly. These professionals help doctors by organizing paperwork, preparing patients for medical procedures, and taking care of details so that doctors and nurses can focus on on-hands patient care. Medical assistants grease the wheels of doctors offices and hospitals throughout the country, keeping things organized, helping patients understand medical procedures, and making sure that the office runs smoothly.
Before you decide on a school or certification program, however, it’s important to take the time to consider several main points. First, you’ll need to decide whether you’d prefer to focus on clinical duties or administrative duties as a medical assistant. Secondly, you’ll need to decide whether you’d rather complete a one year or two year program before testing for your certification. These details will affect which school or program you opt for, so it’s important to take the time to ponder them. Your choice may help determine where you’re eligible to work, as well as your rate of pay, so take your time.
There are two main types of medical assistants, clinical and administrative. Clinical assistants help doctors and nurses in the practice with hands on patient care, performing duties such as taking vital signs, prepping patients for medical procedures, administering medications and vaccinations, and other bedside duties. Administrative medical assistants, on the other hand, help with medical paperwork, medical billing, insurance coding, collecting payments, and other clerical tasks.
Both types of assistants are extremely important to the medical profession, but you’ll need to complete different coursework for each type of career. For example, a clinical medical assistant might need more anatomy courses, while an administrative medical assistant might need more courses in medical terminology or medical billing. If you decide which type of career focus you’d prefer, you can adjust your college or advanced coursework so that you’re better prepared for the job you plan to apply for.
In addition, you’ll need to decide if you plan to complete a two year associates degree, or if you’d prefer to take a one year certification program and then test for your medical assistant’s certification. Both programs will provide you with the basic information you’ll need for the exam, and neither is required in order to sit for the test. If you plan to stay in the medical field and plan to eventually advance, however, you might choose to take a two year degree program that specializes in the specific tasks you’ll be performing. In addition, you may be able to command a higher rate of pay as a medical assistant if you hold an associates degree from an accredited university.
If you plan to work in the medical field, but don’t want to take the time to study to be a doctor or nurse, a medical assistant certification may be right for you. This certification opens doors and helps you find a place in the medical field, but doesn’t require the time investment that is often necessary to study for a nursing program. Sitting for the medical assistant exam allows you to enter the job market quickly and start working towards career advancement.