Such schools can provide you with the ability to perform the numerous tasks that you will be expected to perform in a medical office, while at the same time provide you with the qualifications that you need to be certified as a medical assistant.
In fact, without attending a medical assistant school, it is impossible to be certified as a medical assistant with the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Since certification is becoming increasingly important to finding a job in the medical assistance field, picking the right school is important. Be sure that any school that you attend is certified either by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). There’s no way to be sure without directly asking, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Medical assistant schools provide either certificates or associate’s degrees. For the most part, they are offered at community colleges or at technical university, but occasionally a program will be offered at a standard university, allowing you to take a wider range of courses. Programs are usually one-year degrees, though there are two-year degrees available. The number of years of your program will not affect your overall qualifications, but you might find passing the certification exams easier if you have done more course work.
At a medical assistant school, you will take a combination of medical and administrative courses, providing you with two different skill sets that will be needed in a medical setting. There are basic courses in the structure of the human body, and you will take courses in human anatomy and physiology. You will also take a course in medical terminology, preparing you for the new language that is learned in the medical world.
You will also learn about appropriate practice in medicine, studying basic medical law, so that you can be familiar with the kind of responsibilities and limitations medical personnel have. You will also study bioethics, introducing you to some of the medical issues that you will face. Finally, you will study laboratory techniques, including basics such as laboratory cleanliness and safety, as well as individual tests if they are performed by medical assistants in your state.
On top of these medical topics, you will also learn administrative assistant skills that will be needed in your broader role as a medical assistant. Most medical assistant schools include a typing course, helping you improve your typing speed and accuracy, which will be highly valuable as a medical assistant (or in any assistantship). You will also study transcription, learning how to write out what is said, written or is presented by computer software.
You will also learn some specialized administrative skills. You will learn about proper medical record keeping, both so that you can access the records, but so that anyone working or needing access to your office will be able to find the record. You will also learn about accounting and insurance processing. American medical insurance is one of the most complicated forms of insurance in the world, and you will take courses that enable you to communicate with insurance companies learning form.
Medical assistant schools provide you with just the right training for a career as a medical assistant, and prepare you for medical assistant certification. There are programs in every state and you can be ready for this exciting career in as little as a year.