Medical Assisting degrees give students valuable hands-on and theoretical experience, which allows them to learn clinical skills, such as taking patient history, administering medication, and delivering patient care. If you are interested in becoming a Medical Assistant, then do read this article. It will discuss the coursework and admission requirements for different Medical Assisting Degrees, and will also shed light on the career prospects in this field.
What Is Medical Assisting?
Medical Assistants work alongside physicians, mostly in ambulatory care and outpatient facilities, such as clinics and medical offices. The job duties of Medical Assistants include recording patient’s personal information and history, giving patients medications or injections under the physician’s direction, measuring vital signs, and providing assistance during patient examinations.
This field is a high growth field, which provides decent job prospects. Medical Assistants who are familiar with electronic health records and have relevant certifications may have the best job prospects. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical Assistants are expected to experience an employment growth of 23%. This job growth can be attributed to a number of factors which include the following:
- A growing older population that requires medical attention and treatment.
- A surge in the number of outpatient care facilities and physicians’ offices.
What Can You Do with a Degree in Medical Assisting?
After completing a Medical Assisting program, you can work as a Clinical Medical Assistant or an Administrative Medical Assistant. If you want to explore some other career options, then you can also work as a Ward/Unit Clerk or a Phlebotomy Technician. Now let’s take a look at the employment statistics for some of these positions.
These professionals complete clinical and administrative tasks in offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Some of the tasks they perform include preparing blood samples, answering phone calls, and scheduling appointments.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$34,800|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||23%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$35,720|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||California||96,850|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||Alaska||$45,630|
These professionals draw blood for donations, research, transfusions, and tests. They mainly work at doctor’s offices, blood donor centers, diagnostic and medical laboratories, and hospitals.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$35,510|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||23%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$36,480|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||California||12,860|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||California||$45,940|
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
These professionals are responsible for maintaining patients’ treatment and medical histories, and categorizing patient information for registries and databases. They are employed at hospitals, nursing facilities, and physician’s offices.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$42,630 (Medical Dosimetrists, Medical Records Specialists, and Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other)|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||11%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$46,590 (Medical Dosimetrists, Medical Records Specialists, and Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other)|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||California||40,900|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||District of Columbia||$59,450|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
What to Expect from a Degree in Medical Assisting?
A Medical Assistant Certificate program can be typically completed within 18 months. The program curriculum incorporates a number of topics such as Foundations of Medical Assisting, Medical Terminology, Administrative Medical Assisting, and Holistic Healthcare.
An Associate’s degree in Medical Assisting typically incorporates hands-on medical training and classroom lectures. This program will teach you how to perform routine tests, how to collect laboratory specimens, and how to monitor and measure vital signs.
You will be taught courses related to healthcare law and ethics, pharmacology, and anatomy. Moreover, you will be required to complete a clinical externship which will help you to gain real-world experience. During the externship period, you will be involved in gathering patient information and carrying out medical procedures.
How to Choose a Medical Assisting Degree?
Before choosing a Medical Assisting Degree, you should look at its accreditation status. You should pick programs that are accredited by reputed bodies, such as the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Apart from the accreditation status, you should also take into account other factors such as distance learning options, fee structure, and the course content.
Medical Assisting Degree Admission Requirements
In order to enroll in a Medical Assistant Certificate program or an Associate of Science in Medical Assisting, you will have to complete your high school education. In order to complete the admission process, you will be required to submit a completed application form, official transcripts, and an application fee. Since the admission requirements usually vary from one institute to another, therefore you should check each college’s website for specific admissions related information.