Did you know that medical assisting is one of the nation’s fastest-growing careers? With growing technological advances in the medical field, combined with a growing population of elderly individuals in need of medical care, the need for trained medical assistants is higher than ever before. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 20 percent increase in medical assistant jobs between 2012 and 2022. Most of these jobs will be available in physicians’ offices, hospitals and clinics.
The medical assistant is considered one of the most versatile medical career fields, with professionals performing a variety of clinical and administrative functions. These functions range from the coding of insurance forms to the collection of laboratory samples and may include:
- Greeting patients and answering telephones
- Scheduling appointments
- Taking medical histories
- Preparing patients for examination
- Drawing blood
- Taking electrocardiograms
- Removing sutures
Students learning how to become a medical assistant will learn all of the above job functions at medical assistant schools such as the American College for Medical Careers. Here, students take the first step towards a rewarding healthcare career by earning either a diploma or Associate of Science degree in medical assisting.
The Curriculum of Medical Assistant Schools
At medical assistant schools in Florida, students learn how to become a medical assistant through a combination of instructor-led seminars and hands-on training. At the American College for Medical Careers, for example, this education begins in the classroom, with students learning the theoretical principals behind each component of the program, such as anatomy, medical practice management and infection control. These principals are then put to work in the school’s clinical laboratory – a real-world environment where students are able to practice the administrative and clinical job functions they’ll perform in the field.
This program lasts approximately nine to 18 months depending on whether the student attends classes full time, and whether the student is pursuing a diploma or associate’s degree. At the completion of the program, students will be well prepared to take their certification exams and apply for entry-level job opportunities.
Although this certification isn’t required, graduates who go through the certification process will find themselves in higher demand among employers who are seeking the most qualified professionals to join their healthcare organizations.