Medical Assistant Training: The Path for You?

Read about a day in the life of a medical assistant

Are you hoping to start a new career? Are you curious about becoming a medical assistant? If you are considering medical assistant schools in Orlando, FL, then look no further than the American College for Medical Careers. Located south of downtown Orlando on Lake Ellenor drive, ACMC is easy to get to and convenient to all major roads.

What is a medical assistant?

According to the National Healthcareer Association, a medical assistant is “a multi-skilled allied health care professional” who specializes in procedures commonly performed in outpatient settings, including medical offices, clinics, or urgent care centers. Medical assistants are often responsible for:

  • Checking in patients
  • Taking patients’ vital signs
  • Helping physicians with patient exams as needed
  • Administering EKGs
  • Administering injections
  • Drawing blood for testing
  • Scheduling appointments and handling phone calls
  • Handling lab procedures
  • Updating Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

How do I become a medical assistant?

Enrolling in medical assistant training in Orlando could be within your reach. To apply to ACMC, you simply need to have your high school diploma (or equivalent, like a GED). You’ll need to come by our office to fill out our application materials and talk to our financial aid advisors about your options.

Once enrolled, you will be introduced to the key concepts in medical assisting. Don’t worry—you don’t need any previous experience. Our instructors will start from the beginning and walk you through each step of the way. Your courses will include topics such as:

  • Medical office procedures
  • Clinical procedures and quality control
  • Applied diagnostics and phlebotomy (blood drawing)
  • Computerized billing
  • Healthcare communications
  • Pharmacology
  • Electronic health records (EHR)

Can I take night/evening classes?

One of the many great things about enrolling at ACMC is our schedule. You can choose between our daytime program and our evening program, giving you the option of keeping your current day job while you are in school. This flexibility can also be helpful for people who are juggling family responsibilities, such as dads or moms who are going back to school while raising young children, or older students who are taking care of aging parents. Being able to take evening classes in our part-time evening program can be a real benefit when it comes to deciding on career training schools.

What is a day in the life of a medical assistant like?

A typical work day for a medical assistant will begin before the medical office officially opens. This gives the medical assistant time to make sure everything is set up for the day, before patients begin to arrive. Exam rooms need to be re-stocked with the right supplies for the day’s appointments, and the morning is also a good time to log into email to see if any important messages have arrived.

Patient Appointments. As patients begin to arrive, the medical assistant is usually responsible for calling patients back to the exam room and conducting a preliminary discussion of the patient’s history. This may include questions about medications, history of illness, history of surgeries, and any recent changes to the patient’s health. Keeping this information up-to-date in the patient’s Electronic Health Record is important, because it gives the doctor key health information which may be useful when making a diagnosis or recommending a treatment.

Next, the medical assistant will measure the patient’s vital signs. This typically includes weight, blood pressure, temperature, and pulse. Why are vital signs important? Vital signs can alert the doctor to changes in health that may be concerning. For example, high blood pressure can be a risk factor for heart disease. Or a dramatic change in weight can signal to the doctor that there is a potential health problem.

In addition to these intake procedures, the medical assistant may help the doctor with other minor procedures, such as administering an injection, processing blood or urine specimens for the lab, or administering an EKG.

Medical assistant administrative duties. As the day continues, more patients are seen, and the process continues. Medical assistants may be asked to handle office tasks such as scheduling appointments, processing insurance information, taking phone calls, and calling pharmacies. Handling these duties in an efficient way can help to keep the patients on schedule throughout the day.

By the end of a busy day, the medical assistant has contributed a great deal to helping patients get the medical care they need. It’s a job to be proud of!

Benefits of becoming a medical assistant

What are the reasons people are choosing to enroll in medical assistant training? Depending on your skills and interests, you may find these benefits would make sense for you:

  • The job training takes only about one year (if enrolled full-time)
  • Most jobs are in outpatient settings, which typically have more daytime hours than hospital shift work
  • You get to interact with patients and get to know them as the years go by
  • You know you are in a helping field that makes a difference in the lives of others

In addition to these benefits, the future job outlook for medical assistants is positive. According to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.” This is one reason why people are choosing to study this field.

How much do medical assistants make?

“How much do medical assistants make” is often one of the first things you might ask when considering a new career field. In a recent survey about the earnings and benefits of medical assistants, the American Association of Medical Assistants compiled data about the wages people are earning in this field. This survey also indicated that most jobs in this field (roughly 95% of the survey respondents) are full-time jobs with some level of benefits, such as vacation and insurance coverage. These are other benefits to consider when thinking about this job field.

What organizations support professional medical assistants?

If you choose to become a professional medical assistant, you will find several professional organizations that support medical assistants. Some examples are the American Association of Medical Assistants and the National Healthcareer Association. You may decide that you want to become a member of one of these professional associations to help enhance your career.

Where can I get more information?

For more information about becoming a medical assistant, try these posts:

We hope this article has helped you better understand the medical assisting career path. ACMC offers a medical assistant training program in Orlando that prepares students with the knowledge and skills they need to begin entry level work in this field. For more information, reach out to us!

It’s easy to get started. Just call us at 407-738-4488 or sign up for a tour. We would love to show you around our campus. Or simply take a minute to fill out our info form and a representative will get in touch with you. We hope your next step starts at ACMC!