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Medical Assistant Programs Link Grads to Industry Boon

By Amy Russell Subscribe to RSS | February 29th 2012 | Views:

Medical assistant programs rate as one of the hottest tickets in town. The high demand for medical assistants keeps colleges busy training students to enter the medical field. If you are interested in a challenging career combined with job security, a career as a medical assistant might be the perfect fit. Before you commit to a program, think about the personal nature of the job.

You should enjoy helping others and working in a team environment. You should be able to multi-task, understand directions, treat others with respect and maintain a business-like demeanor. You will need to maintain confidentiality and follow strict privacy policies. As a medical assistant, you will play an important role often serving as the communication link between the patient and the doctor or nurse. They depend on your written and verbal feedback as part of their patient assessment.

Potential Employers

A large number of medical assistants work in a clinic or hospital setting for medical doctors while others work in private offices. Chiropractors, dentists and laboratories employ medical assistants. School systems, large corporations, day care centers, senior centers and other companies offering a sick bay or urgent care service hire medical assistants.

General Classes

Medical assistant programs vary from school to school but all involve math and science. Students are also expected to master job-related software, medical jargon and be able to use basic office and medical equipment. Standard classes in a typical 12-month program could include anatomy, physiology, phlebotomy, office and/or medical procedures, Microsoft, and laboratory procedures. Typical courses for a 24-month program include additional classes such as medical coding, pathophysiology, pharmacology, radiography, pharmacology, insurance billing and ethics.

It’s important to note most colleges set up medical assistant programs in chronological order. The first step on the way up the career ladder is earning a diploma as a Certified Medical Assistant. The next step is gaining an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting, Associate Degree in Science or a similar title.Many candidates opt to stay in the field as medical assistants while others continue school to upgrade their careers. Some eventually earn a bachelor's or master's degree. It all depends on your personal goals.

Job Description

Medical assistant jobs break down into clinical and administrative duties. Medical assistants hired for administrative purposes usually focus on office procedures. You might be responsible for updating files, submitting insurance claims, organizing schedules or admitting patients. You could handle the same duties of a general administrative assistant but the terminology and setting deal with the medical field. Clinical medical assistants usually work directly with patients. Charting information such as patient vitals and recording written observations to share with supervisors could be part of your job. You might be responsible for setting up medical equipment or assisting with basic tests.

Bottom Line

If you have a genuine interest in the medical profession, medical assistant programs can hook you up with an entry level job in a high demand market. At that point, it’s up to you to determine your own definition of job satisfaction.

Amy Russell - About Author:
Amy Russell is an independent college counselor who enjoys helping others achieve their education goals. Recently, she has seen many students interested in medical assistant programs to later purse a healthcare profession. Being a South Florida local, she tends to refer students in the area looking for schools nearby to

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