The Best Medical Assistant Degree Programs Online

Don't miss out on an exciting new career as a Medical Assistant! Medical assistants (MAs) and the field of careers in medical assisting are projected to increase by 23 percent by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a much higher growth rate than the national average for other fields, likely due to the needs and demands of aging population demographics. Online medical assistant programs can train medical assistants to perform both administrative and clinical tasks in a variety of healthcare settings. While it is dependent on the specialty and location of the practice, in general, the duties and responsibilities of medical assistants include assisting with examinations, measuring vital signs, administering injections and performing administrative functions. The top three medical assistant degree programs online include Purdue University, Herzing University, and Keiser University. Ask these questions when pursuing a medical assistant program.

What is required to become a medical assistant?

Employment as a medical assistant typically requires either a certificate or associate’s degree in medical assisting from an accredited institution. The top three medical assistant online programs are offered by Purdue Global University, Liberty University, and Kaiser University. Here are the most frequently asked questions about a medical assistant career. 

What responsibilities do administrative medical assistants perform?

While duties may vary from office to office, they may include: answering telephones, using computer applications, greeting patients, scheduling appointments, coding and filling out insurance forms, updating and filing patient records, handling billing, bookkeeping, and correspondence, and arranging for laboratory services and hospital admissions. 

What is the difference between a medical assistant and a physician assistant?

A medical assistant performs clinical and administrative tasks under the direct supervision of a physician. A physician assistant examines, diagnoses, and treats patients through collaboration with a licensed physician, who may or may not be on the premises. 

What clinical tasks do medical assistants perform?

While clinical duties may vary from state to state, they may include the following responsibilities: Preparing patients for examination, taking medical histories, assisting the physician during exams, explaining treatment procedures, drawing blood, collecting and prepping lab specimens, removing sutures and changing dressings, performing basic lab testing, educating patients about medications, health and special diets, and administering or transmitting prescriptions as directed by a physician. 

How long does a medical assisting training program take?

The length of time a training program takes will depend on the level of education involved. For example, a certificate or diploma can be earned in less than a year while it typically takes between 18 months to two years to complete an associate’s degree program. 

What is certification, and how do I get it?

CMA (AAMA) certification offers proof to your potential employer that you have achieved the highest standard of education, training, and credentialing in the field of medical assisting. Only medical assistant graduates of medical assisting programs accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) are eligible to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. The certification test is not easy, but it should be no problem for candidates that study and are prepared. The exam includes questions about physiology and anatomy, bookkeeping, office management procedures, phlebotomy, medical procedures, pharmacology, insurance processing, diagnostic testing, patient examinations, and medical terminology.

Is medical assisting the right career for me?

Medical assisting takes a certain set of skills and may not be the best career choice for everyone. A good medical assistant will have strong communication skills, be able to handle high levels of stress, be dependable, and be highly empathetic to patients and others. They also need to have excellent visual acuity, pay attention to detail, and have exceptional manual dexterity. In addition, medical assistants must have self-control, a strong level of integrity, and the ability to be courteous at all times. 

What types of medical assisting are there?

There are three basic types of medical assistants: administrative, clinical, and general, which covers both administrative and clinical. Medical assistants can choose the option of working without credentials or to become registered or certified. 

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