Earning a medical assistant college degree can help you open doors to many opportunities in the medical profession. If you are passionate about science and also love helping people, becoming a medical assistant is a great fit for you. Medical assistants perform an important role in the overall healthcare of patients. There are three steps you must take before entering into a career as a medical assistant or nurse.
There are two different education routes you can take to becoming a medical assistant.
- You can find a doctor who will provide you medical assistant training. Most doctors prefer medical assistants with formal training; however, you might find some doctors who are willing to provide on-site training. If you find a doctor who is willing to do this, you will be able to get extensive hands-on training.
- The more common route is receiving formal education from a college, university or accredited program that offers medical assistant programs. You can earn a certificate or diploma in 9-12 months, or an associate degree in 18-24 months.
Accreditation and Certificates
Many healthcare agencies need medical assistants to be licensed to be able to practice. This accreditation implies that they qualify for basic positions. Accreditation is not required for every position; however, having accreditation increases job opportunities.There are several accreditation agencies for medical care professionals in the United States.
- Medical assistant courses are accredited through the Commission on Certification of Related Health Education Programs or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Training Colleges.
- American Association of Medical Assistants provides accreditation/certificate to medical assistants. In order to earn this certificate, you must pass an exam.
- The National Center for Competency Assessment is an agency that awards medical assistant licences depending on completion of medical assistant college courses as well as accumulating relevant practical experience. Possessing five years of working experience and/or excelling in an accredited medical assisting training program could make an individual qualified to become a licensed medical assistant.
The appropriate training can provide you with important experience as a medical assistant. Even though it is essential to have textbook knowledge on healthcare, being able to apply it to a patient’s treatment is more important. Most of the responsibilities of a medical assistant include: taking vital signs of patients, dispensing drugs, maintaining records, organizing the examination room, taking urine and blood sample, administering vaccines etc.
There are several unique jobs that medical assistants have qualifications for. They can find a job in an area that they want to concentrate on or where their expertise is. The most popular job for individuals with a medical assistant qualification is helping doctors in hospitals with normal tasks like measuring vitals and carrying out pre-examination preparation. Medical assistants may also get jobs working in clinics, emergency treatment centers, outpatient establishments, aided living homes etc.
If you are passionate about caring for people and helping out with their health and general well being, think about a career in the medical assistant profession. Medical assisting is one of the quickly growing career segments within the next couple years, with increased prospects being added on a regular basis.