Top Medical Assisting Associate Degree Programs
Earning a medical assistant associate degree prepares you for a career as a medical assistant, one of the fastest-growing professions in the nation. Medical assistants handle a wide range of tasks, including administering diagnostic tests and assisting doctors in patient examinations.
Click on the "request info" button next to an accredited school listed below to receive information on specific medical assisting associate degrees and programs.
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Earn Your Associates in Medical Assisting Online
The demand for all healthcare professionals is growing quickly, and none more so than the field of medical assisting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of medical assistants will grow by 31% through 2020, a pace that is much higher than the average for all occupations. That will result in almost 163,000 people entering the workforce as a medical assistant.
Medical Assistant Job Description
The description of job duties for medical assistants is varied because they work in every kind of healthcare facility – hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes and clinics for specialists such as podiatrists and optometrists. Many of the jobs that medical assistants handle involve working with patients. Those duties typically include taking patients’ history and vital signs and scheduling appointments. In some cases, they are also allowed to prepare blood for laboratory tests, give injections and assist physicians with examinations.
Job Duties for Medical Assistants
What medical assistants do depends on where they work. Some typical medical assistant jobs include: administrative medical assistants, who take patient’s information, code patient records, fill out insurance forms and oversee equipment and supplies; clinical medical assistants, who handle basic laboratory tests, sterilize medical equipment, preparing patients for tests like X-rays and draw blood; ophthalmic medical assistants and optometric assistants, who assist ophthalmologists and optometrists in teaching patients how to use and care for contact lenses; and podiatric medical assistants, who assist podiatrists in making castings for feet, developing X-rays and may even assist podiatrists in surgery.
How To Become a Medical Assistant
Typically, a medical assistant can begin their career with only a high school diploma and some training. However, more employers are beginning to prefer some secondary education or training. Certification programs are available at many community colleges and vocational and technical schools.
The latest trend, however, is an increasing number of universities offering medical assistant associate degrees. Coursework in such programs would include basic anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and ethics, and office operations and patient relations. Medical assistants also usually learn first aid and CPR in case of an emergency.