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What is a medical assistant?
Medical Assistants are vital in the day-to-day work of most healthcare facilities such as doctors’ offices, immediate care facilities, nursing homes, clinics and hospitals. These professionals perform both hands-on patient care (such as taking blood pressure and drawing blood) as well as taking a patient’s medical history. In addition, they handle administrative and clerical duties, including answering the phone and scheduling appointments .
Opportunities and career growth will be best for those with the right education and certification.
Do you have the flexibility to provide both clinical and office support?
Medical assistants have both administrative duties as well as hands-on clinical responsibilities. They have to be flexible and willing to not only assist physicians during examination and prepare laboratory specimens but also be able to file patient records, make appointments and keep the examination rooms clean and neat.
A medical assistant online or on-campus education may be right for you, if you:
- Are good at listening to others
- Can juggle several tasks at one time
- Are good at working with your hands
- Are compassionate and supportive
- Work well as part of a team
- Are good at following detailed instructions and rules
- Have good communication skills
- Do not get queasy at the sight of blood or wounds
- Have a pleasant and friendly personality
Medical Assisting Career Paths
Medical assistants can choose employment that best suits their strengths. For medical assistants who excel at clerical duties (or find they do not enjoy working around blood), an administrative role would make use of their organizational, detail-oriented and computer skills. For those who wish to provide direct patient care, a clinical role would be the best path as they may collect lab specimens, explain medical procedures and medications to patients, and record vital signs (duties vary according to state law). Or, the medical assistant may wish to incorporate both clinical and administrative duties into their daily work routine and therefore choose to work in a smaller office that requires a medical assistant who can perform both functions. Position titles for medical assistant program graduates include:
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Records Clerk
- Medical Office Assistant
- Medical Secretary
- Medical Administrative Assistant
- Medical Clerk
Medical assistant careers typically include a 40-hour work week with full benefits (such as 401(k), paid vacation, and medical/dental insurance), although part-time and weekend shifts are often available. About 73% of medical assistants build careers in general practice or specialty physicians’ offices while 12% work in hospitals; the remainder are employed by other patient-care facilities such as long-term care homes and outpatient clinics.
Herzing University provides medical assistants graduates with the skills and capabilities needed to work in a private medical practice, public clinic, nursing home, and critical care facility as well as at a hospital and immediate care facility.
Medical Assisting Services Program Curriculum
*Average number of months for students to complete program
Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management
Designed for future career growth, this program gives graduates the business and management skills required for a leadership or management position in healthcare. For specific advancement opportunities, students may transfer in healthcare-related courses completed as part of diploma or certificate programs in specialties such as medical coding, medical assisting or medical office administration and others. View Program Course Sheet
Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting Services
This program adds the general education courses that are required for an associate degree to the diploma program’s curriculum, which will give most graduates greater advancement opportunities. View Program Course Sheet
Diploma in Medical Assisting Services
This program is the first step in becoming a medical assistant. It provides the basic capabilities needed for entry-level positions in both doctor’s offices and hospitals. View Program Course Sheet
What certification/licensure does this program prepare you for?
Registered Medical Assistant
Graduates of Medical Assisting Services programs at Herzing Online, Herzing University Kenosha, New Orleans and Toledo locations are eligible to take the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam offered by American Medical Technologists.
Certified Medical Assistant
Graduates of Medical Assisting Services programs at Herzing University locations where the Medical Assisting Services program is specially 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 Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants. View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals