Let’s face it: having a job in the medical field is a great way to help people and make money. I know because I’m a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and have been working in this exciting field for almost 10 years now! Becoming a Medical Assistant can be challenging but rewarding, especially if you’re willing to put in some extra time and effort. There are many different types of training programs available today, including both on-campus options as well as online classes that bring the classroom right into your home. In this article we’ll go over what becoming a medical assistant entails, including how much education is needed before starting work as one.
What is a Medical Assistant?
If you’re still wondering what a medical assistant does, here’s the gist: Medical Assistants help doctors and other health care professionals by performing administrative and clinical duties. They often work in a medical office, hospital, or other medical setting.
They have many different job titles — including medical assistant, clinical assistant, phlebotomist, and medical office assistant — but their training is similar no matter what they call themselves on their resume.
What are the duties of a Medical Assistant?
The duties of a medical assistant vary depending on the state where you live, but in general, they perform administrative and clinical tasks. Administrative duties include taking vital signs (temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate), preparing patients for examinations and procedures such as blood tests or x-rays, explaining treatment options to patients and their families, filing patient records, scheduling appointments and maintaining medical office records. Clinical responsibilities include preparing equipment used during examinations and procedures; assisting healthcare professionals during examinations; preparing patients for surgery; helping in operating rooms by passing instruments; collecting specimens (blood samples) from patients for laboratory analysis.
Medical assistants help doctors with clinical tasks such as obtaining histories from patients about symptoms or injuries that may help determine diagnoses/treatments. They also record information about these conversations into charts or computer databases so that any changes can be made to treatment plans if necessary.
How do you become a Medical Assistant?
Becoming a medical assistant is a great choice for someone who wants to work in the healthcare field. In order to become a medical assistant, you will have to complete training and education programs. The length of time it takes to complete these programs varies depending on what type of program you choose. Many people choose to take an associate degree or certificate program in medical assisting so they can be eligible for employment as soon as they graduate.
Certification is another way that people can increase their employment opportunities after graduating from an educational program. Certification may be required by employers in some states or jurisdictions, but it’s usually recommended because it makes you more desirable as an employee and helps you get hired faster than those without certification. If possible, try to get certified before starting your job search so that when companies see the credential on your resume or application form they’ll know right away that you’ve reached a certain level of education about the field—and might even offer better pay!
How can I become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)?
The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential to those who pass its examination and meet the association’s standards for education, training, and professional experience. The CMA exam is based on the standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
The exam covers medical terminology; anatomy and physiology; medical law and ethics; clinical procedures; and medical office management. In addition to knowledge of basic information about each topic, test-takers must also demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge in practical settings that reflect real-life situations.
What diploma programs are available to become a Medical Assistant?
If you’re looking for a program that will get you into the medical field as soon as possible, a diploma program is an excellent choice. In most cases, this means that it’s much less expensive than its certificate counterpart. The length of a diploma program also tends to be shorter than that of a certificate program; this can make it easier to work around other commitments while still getting the most out of your education. Diploma programs are often more focused and less expensive than their counterparts—and they tend to have higher completion rates as well!
If any of those sound like something that would appeal to you, keep reading about how we’ve helped other students find the best online options for getting started with their careers in healthcare fields today!
How long does it take to get a certificate in Medical Assisting?
How long does it take to get a certificate in Medical Assisting?
Certificate Programs, like associate’s degrees and diplomas, provide students with valuable career training. They can be completed at your own pace, so you can find time to work and learn on your schedule. With some schools offering online courses, getting your certificate online is even more convenient than ever! The average cost of tuition for medical assisting programs is between $1,100 – $3,000 per year.
- How long does it take to get a certificate in Medical Assisting?
Depending on the school and program you choose for your medical assisting degree or diploma program, you may find yourself completing the coursework within just one year or taking anywhere up to two years before earning that piece of paper that says “certified medical assistant!”
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Getting your certification as a Medical Assistant is an excellent choice.
Getting your certification as a Medical Assistant is an excellent choice. Certification is a good way to start your career, it will be beneficial for your resume and can help you get higher paying jobs.
Certification is required by many employers and can help you get a promotion in the future.
How to Apply for Medical Assisting Programs Online
Gather your information
When you are ready to apply for a medical assisting program online, gather your information. It will be important to have your high school transcripts or GED scores, any college-level courses you have taken, and any essay or recommendations from a teacher or employer. You may also need an official transcript from previous schools if requested by the college or university offering the program.
Get your high school transcripts and college credit or GED
- Get your high school transcripts. If you don’t have a high school diploma, get your GED.
- Get your college credit or GED. If you do have a high school diploma, but did not take the ACT/SAT and get enough points to be able to qualify for medical assistant programs online without any college coursework under your belt (which is rare), then apply as an adult beginner with some limited transferable credits.
- Also get any college transcripts or certificates of completion if applicable.
Organize your documents
When you are ready to apply, you will need to supply the admissions office with a copy of your high school transcript. If you do not have one, or if it has been so long since graduation that it is no longer valid, then the next option would be to take either the GED or SAT exam (depending on what state you live in). The admissions office will need to see a copy of your score report for either of these tests before they can determine eligibility for admission into their program.
Finalize your admissions application online.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the last step of your application process. Now you just need to review your application and make sure it’s complete. Check that all the required documents are attached, and then submit your online application for review. Your response will take 24-48 hours from submission.
The application process to enroll in a medical assistant program online is relatively straightforward.
The application process to enroll in a medical assistant program online is relatively straightforward. Applications are usually available on the school’s website, and you can complete them from your computer, tablet or phone. Online applications are typically easy to use and save your work as you go, so if you get interrupted for some reason (like a phone call), it will be easy to pick up where you left off without losing any data. Additionally, many schools offer online support services such as live chat windows where students can seek help or clarification with their applications. This makes applying even easier!
The specific application requirements for each online medical assistant training program will differ, but typically, you will need to submit your high school transcripts or documentation that you have your GED. You’ll also need to provide information about any college-level courses you have taken. Finally, you may need to submit an essay and recommendations from a teacher or employer.
Most schools require at least one letter of recommendation from someone in the medical field. Typically this is a physician or nurse practitioner, who can attest to your skills and knowledge base as it relates to medicine and healthcare. If applicable, other letters of recommendation can come from teachers or employers who can discuss how well you work with others in a professional setting.
Some programs require an essay based on the application questions provided by their admissions department (such as “Why do I want to be a medical assistant?”), while others ask applicants simply to fill out forms with basic demographic information such as age and ethnicity.
Wait for acceptance
Once you’ve finished the application, you’ll have to wait for acceptance letters. If you’re accepted into an online program, you’ll receive a letter in the mail with instructions on how to register for classes and other important information. If you are denied from a program, the letter will tell why your application was denied and what steps you can take next.
In some cases, being rejected from one school doesn’t mean that all schools will reject your application too; however, if this happens to be true for your case (and it’s possible), then there may be no need for reapplication if another school accepts your application later down the road.
If you are applying to an accredited program, it may be possible to use the credits you earn toward a bachelor’s degree. Accredited programs will have the same curriculum as a traditional program and you can use financial aid in your medical assisting coursework. If you are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree with your medical assistant training, it is important to ask about this before enrolling in any courses or paying for tuition.
Before applying for a medical assisting program online, find out what documents and information you will need to complete the process.
Before applying for a medical assisting program online, you need to gather information about your past academic accomplishments.
- If you have taken college courses or earned an associate degree, make sure that all transcripts are sent directly from the school.
- If you took high school courses through virtual or online schools, ask them to send official documentation verifying your eligibility to complete those classes. This can include diplomas and/or transcripts of completed work.
- Additionally, if you have earned any GED certificates or scores below 500 (the passing grade) in any required subject areas (math, writing), make sure that these are included as well. These documents can be submitted via mail or fax at any time during the application process so it’s best not to wait until they’re needed before gathering them together in one place.
Universities offering Medical Assisting Programs Online
Rasmussen College is a private, for-profit college with campuses in Minnesota and Florida. It offers Medical Assisting programs.
Rasmussen College has been accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). ACICS accredits schools that prepare students for associate degrees, so you can be confident that your Rasmussen College degree will be recognized throughout the country.
If you are looking for a medical assisting program that is approved by the National Healthcareer Association and offered in an online format, MedCerts is a good choice. MedCerts is offered by the American Institute of Health Careers, which has been training healthcare professionals since 1976. The program consists of 120 hours of on-demand video lectures, quizzes and tests, as well as 20 hours of hands-on learning with an instructor.
For those who want to work in a clinical setting or practice as an independent medical assistant, this program will help you get there.
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University offers online programs in medical assisting. The university also offers other online degrees, so you can find a variety of programs available to you depending on your career goals.
The following are the requirements for admission:
- A high school diploma or GED
- At least one year of clerical or administrative experience in an office environment (or military equivalent)
- Minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
Penn Foster College
Penn Foster College offers a medical assisting program. Penn Foster is a private, non-profit online university that focuses on career training. The school is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education to offer federal financial aid to its students.
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Northern Wyoming Community College District
The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Medical Assisting is offered by the Northern Wyoming Community College District. This is a two-year school that offers programs at multiple locations throughout Wyoming, including Casper, Dubois, Elk Mountain and Torrington. The school has been around since 1964 and is one of the oldest community colleges in the state.
The curriculum covers concepts related to medical assisting such as ethics, communication skills and documentation techniques. Students will also learn about anatomy and physiology; including body systems such as cardiovascular, renal/urogenital and digestive/metabolic systems through lectures as well as labs where they can practice skills like taking blood pressure readings or conducting electrocardiograms (EKGs).
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University is one of the many online institutions that offer a medical assisting program. The
program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and has also been approved by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). This means that if you decide to work in Colorado or any other state with CAAHEP-accredited programs, your degree will be accepted as valid by employers.
Everest University / WyoTech Online
You may be familiar with Everest University, a for-profit university that offers online programs in fields such as business and health care. The university is owned by Corinthian Colleges, which also owns WyoTech schools. These career colleges offer programs including medical assisting, dental assisting, medical office administration and paralegal studies.
The Health Sciences program at WyoTech includes courses such as Medical Assisting I & II (10 credits), Anatomy & Physiology I & II (12 credits each), Personal Development & Professionalism (3 credits) and Laboratory Procedures (1 credit). The program is entirely online; however, some states require students to complete an on-campus clinical internship to receive their certificate or diploma from the college.
We know that this is a lot of information to take in, but we hope that you find it useful. If you have any questions about medical assisting programs online or would like more information on becoming a certified medical assistant, please contact us at our office. We’d be happy to help!