Medical assistant Training

Medical assistant (MA) is a key profession in the world of medical healthcare. Be it in a public or private hospital, medical assistants are important personnel who keep the medical office running smoothly. When they interact with patients, they need to show compassion and empathy whilst also possessing great organizational skills when doing the administrative tasks.

As regards to the number of hours, they generally work a 40 hour week. However, they can also work part-time if they choose to. In hospital settings or urgent care clinics they will also have to work in the evenings or weekends. Most of the time, working beyond business hours entitles them to receive incentives. But this will depend on the facility they are working for.

This job position has a great mix of duties. Some of them are listed below:

  • Filling out insurance forms
  • Registering new patients
  • Filling patient records
  • Handling bills
  • Arranging hospital admissions
  • Taking laboratory tests such as x-rays
  • Bookkeeping

Because they do not need to be licensed, their clinical duties are dictated by the state law. They are prohibited to provide medical treatment without the supervision of a licensed medical doctor or other health care professionals. Generally, they cannot carry out procedures or tasks that require a license. They always work under the direct supervision of a licensed doctor.

Medical Assistant Training Programs

Before you can take the certification examination to become a certified individual in this area, you will need to complete an education program. This is one of the requirements for taking a certification examination. Some medical assistant training programs are offered online, but do ensure that the one you choose is accredited. This is key for your certification. You can also opt to do the courses through distance learning, many private institutions offer this choice. Training for medical assistants takes anywhere between 1 to 2 years. Once formal training is completed, you then need to get on the job training before applying for medical assistant certification.

How to choose the right training program?

Medical assisting training
Enroll in an accredited institution. When choosing the right school to complete an education program, you should look for an institution that is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation on Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Choose a program that teaches administrative and clinical curriculum
. This is to help you learn the different roles of this occupation. Keep in mind that employers want their medical assistants to be well-rounded. In other words, they can be rotated from the front office to the back office. Typical programs will include the following courses:

- Anatomy
- Physiology
- Pharmacology
- Radiology
- Microbiology
- Medical insurance practices
- Endocrinology
- Medical administrative skills.

To further prepare you to work in this field, you will need to participate in a clinical externship. In this program, you will work for a certain number of hours in a medical facility. You will carry out the job duties and responsibilities as if you were a fully employed medical assistant. But you will be working under the supervision of a doctor or other healthcare professionals. This program may usually last 160 hours.

Medical Assistant Certification Requirements

Medical Assistants are not licensed. They are also not required to take a certification. However, doctors and other healthcare practitioners favor those job applicants who are certified. There are plenty of benefits of obtaining a certification program:

Offers a competitive edge. Because it demonstrates your commitment to the job duties and responsibilities of MA, you are opening doors to more job opportunities.

Shows level of competency and knowledge. You do not have to prove it to your employer that you are better than those non-certified medical assistants. Before you can obtain a certification, you will need to undergo strict training to hone your skills so that you can effectively perform in this medical profession.

Leads to better job opportunities. Apart from the fact that it can offer you more job opportunities, a certification also opens the door for promotion. As a result, you will be receiving higher salary package.

Receives valuable benefits. As a certified medical assistant, you will enjoy the valuable benefits that are not offered to those who are not certified.

References: Bureau of Labour Statistics