MEDICAL ASSISTING – THE VOYAGE AWAITS.
Ever wondered what the fuss about medical assistant programs is? You are about to discover it. A medical assistant is a health professional responsible for carrying out administrative and clinical tasks/duties alongside other healthcare professionals. Medical assistant programs prepare individuals for the duties/tasks they will carry out as medical assistants.
Why choose a career in this field?
In the world today, medical assistants are highly sought after, as they serve as a third arm to the medical team. The requirements for becoming a medical assistant are minimal as one does not necessarily need a years college to apply. Some medical assistant programs enable you to work and learn at the same time. It is pertinent to note that while choosing a medical assistant program, the applicant must take into cognizance the intended prime role which he/she intends to play, whether it be administration inclined or clinically inclined.
Administrative duties may include (but are not limited to) updating, filling and keeping medical records, filling out insurance forms, scheduling appointments and answering telephones.
Clinical duties may include (but are not limited to) taking medical histories, preparing patients for procedures, drawing blood, administering medications, checking vital signs and collecting laboratory specimens.
How can one become a medical assistant?
There are different types of medical assistant training programs available. These include on-the-job training programs, online training programs, on-campus training programs and hybrid training programs (partly online and partly on-campus).
Selecting the most suitable type of medical assistant training program for you depends on your preference, the duration in which you wish to finish the program, on whether or not the medical assistant program is accredited in that institution, on your future goals (whether you wish to continue with college after working as a medical assistant) and on the cost of the program. It is worth noting that some schools have prerequisites that have to be met before one can apply for the medical assistant program.
The duration of the program ranges from nine (9) months to two (2) years, during which the skills needed to effectively carry out the job will be learned/attained. The medical assistant course content includes basic sciences (like anatomy and physiology), medical terminologies, clerical courses, minor clinical procedures and other specialized courses (like first aid and laboratory techniques). The program will be divided into lectures (where the student is expected to listen and take down notes) and laboratory work (where students will apply what they learned during lectures).
On completion of the program, the student is expected to go for a clinical internship which lasts for a few weeks. During the internship program, the student works under the guidance and supervision of other health care professionals (doctors and nurses) where he/she carries out duties specific to a medical assistant.
After completing the internship program, the student may choose to get professionally certified by taking a certification test. For a student to be eligible to sit for this exam, he/she must have undergone the medical assistant program in an accredited institution.
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