Anything worth doing is not always easy. Becoming a medical assistant is no different but this healthcare role can be challenging and rewarding. By focusing on your studies, performing lab exercises, and asking questions of your instructors, you will find that medical assistant school is easier than you may think.
What Do Medical Assistants Do?
Medical assistants work in outpatient and clinical facilities like doctor’s offices or walk-in clinics. They have a dual role, working both in the clerical and clinical office setting. They work directly with patients and support the administrative staff when needed. On a day-to-day basis, a medical assistant will do the following:
- Welcome patients into the facility
- Take patient vital signs
- Record patient medical histories
- Prepare and perform basic lab procedures
- Answer the office phone
- Make appointments for patients
- Assist with insurance forms
- Administer electrocardiograms.
Not only do medical assistants help patients prepare for procedures and treatments, but they also help them stay comfortable during their visit to the doctor’s office. Medical assistants are often considered the face of a healthcare team because they work directly with patients and act as their liaison. So, it’s important that medical assistants make patients feel at ease with a friendly bedside manner.
Why Consider a Healthcare Profession?
There are many reasons to become a healthcare professional. From helping others to a chance for continuous learning, as a healthcare professional you get to join the frontlines and make a difference in your community.
The Opportunity to Help Others
The main role of all healthcare professionals is helping others. Every day, healthcare workers save the lives of thousands of people, and improve the quality of life of even more. Medical care is essential for every society, and we need workers in the medical industry to take care of our community.
Medical professionals work in a fast-paced environment that is constantly changing, so they are life-long learners that adapt to new workplaces and practices. Also, the work you will encounter requires problem-solving which can also make you grow intellectually. Continuous learning can be one of the many perks in becoming a medical assistant.
Join The Frontlines
The most recent pandemic has made us realize that we need more healthcare workers on the forefront to help save lives. Though COVID-19 won’t be around forever, we still need more healthcare workers to take care of the aging population. Medical assistants are in demand more than ever and now is a great time to join the frontlines.
Job Flexibility and Satisfaction
Medical professionals experience job satisfaction because they do what they love, helping others, and have the flexibility for a positive work/life balance. Medical assistants can take pride in what they do and still have time for personal responsibilities outside the office.
What Will You Learn in a Medical Assistant Program?
Medical assistant programs are designed to teach you the essentials you will need to properly perform your duties as a medical assistant. Many of the classes focus on:
Anatomy and Physiology
Anatomy and physiology are important topics for any healthcare professional to learn. For medical assistants, these courses focus on the basics of the structure and functions of the human body. Learning this can help with taking vital signs and other tasks that a medical assistant will perform during their duties.
Medical terminology is a language that describes medical procedures, processes, and treatments. This medical terminology is universal and used by all healthcare professions to share and understand a patient’s treatment plan, from one professional to the next. Instead of rope memorization, you will be taught about suffixes, prefixes, and root words. With this knowledge you will be able to break down any word into its parts. During a medical assistant program, you will also learn ICD-10, HCPCS and CPT protocols to better communicate with other medical professionals and to facilitate medical billing.
Introduction to Pharmacology
Pharmacology is the study of medicine and how they affect the human body. Of course, pharmacists are often the experts on pharmacology, but it’s also important for medical assistants to know the general basis of pharmacology to assist other professionals in administering medications. Also, part of the curriculum will focus on medicine dosages, drip rates and other mathematics behind medicine administration.
Perhaps one of the most important courses a medical assistant attends is about patient communication. Medical assistants work one-on-one with patients so it’s important for them to properly speak with patients in a way that makes them feel comfortable. It’s also important for medical assistants to “translate” the medical terminology they learn into words and phrases that patients can understand; that way, patients are active in their own healthcare decisions and treatments.
Medical Office Administration
During this coursework, medical assistants learn how to manage phone calls, plan out schedules, assist with insurance billing and support the office if the need arises. Although most medical assistants are patient facing, they may also need to pitch in and help out around the office when they are in need.
Lab Procedures and Clinical Procedures
Lab and clinical procedure courses offer hands-on experience that teaches medical assistants how to perform healthcare procedures. These courses provide real world experience and mimic the real work medical assistants do on a day-to-day basis. You will learn how to sterilize equipment, take a patient’s vital signs, prepare patients for examinations, administer medications, and draw blood.
Why Should You Attend a Vocational School Medical Assistant Program?
Vocational schools are a great choice for anyone seeking a career as a medical assistant. They offer small class sizes so you can get individualized training experiences, and one-on-one training with instructors. Vocational schools are great for those that want access to career services and externships that help them prepare for their future as a medical assistant.
How Long is a Medical Assistant Program?
Medical assistant programs at ATA College can be completed in as little as 8 months attending full time. This including an externship of 160 hours in a medical setting under the direct supervision of the facility administer where you will receive hands-on application of your recently acquired medical skills and will develop the confidence to secure a position in medical field.
Our program is designed to teach you the administrative and clinical skills necessary to work as a medical assistant in a physician’s office. Learn more about becoming a medical assistant and join the frontlines of healthcare today.
Medical Assistant Diploma
The Medical Assistant program is designed to teach you the administrative and clinical skills necessary to work in both back and front office settings of a doctor’s office or similar setting.
After completing the diploma program at this El Cajon | San Diego Medical Assistant School, you have the option to continue in the Medical Assistant, Associate of Applied Science program. The associate degree can be completed in an additional 6 months and contains general education courses, along with advanced medical assisting courses and classes in electrocardiography and phlebotomy.
Contact us today to learn more about medical assisting career opportunities offered at ATA College.