If you have decided upon a career with the medical field and you are unable to or don’t wish to attend a college, school or university, you are able to do medical assistant training online. Unlike other positions within the medical profession that can prove stressful and entails long hours, becoming a medical assistant is not such a position.
What Does A Medical Assistant Do?
A medical assistant has a wide range of duties, these include:
- Recording patient medical history
- Measuring vital signs
- Aiding physician with patient examinations
- Administer injections under supervision from the physician
- Booking appointments
- Preparing bloods for laboratory tests
- Answering calls
All medical assistants work closely with other hospital administrative and laboratory staff throughout their work. Duties do vary however depending on the practises location and size. In some larger clinics and within certain states you may also be given even more responsibility, including
- Running basic lab tests
- Disposing of contaminated supplies
- Providing advice to patients regarding medications or any special diets
- Preparing patients for x-rays
- Removing stitches
- Taking bloods
- Changing dressings
There are also specialized medical assistants who have addition responsibilities to their basic administrative position. They may be required to complete insurance forms or to code the patients’ medical history notes. Medical assistants also work alongside ophthalmologists, advising patients regarding inserting and removing, and the care of their contact lenses and may be asked to assist in surgery. Podiatrists require the help of medical assistants too, they can aid in surgical procedures, making castings of patients feet and exposing and developing x-rays.
Can I Do Medical Assistant Training Online?
In the US there are many accredited medical training online that you can choose from. This can be an ideal option if you are unable to attend a classroom based program through the many community colleges, technical or vocational schools and universities that provide medical assistant training.
Online training programmes are based on the student obtaining credits through several units so study. These online courses can usually be completed with 9 months to a year and the student will qualify with an associate degree. Subjects that students cover through their online training programme include:
- Medical terminology
- Medical ethics and law
- Infection control
- Inventory management
- Even have xray technician degrees
It is advisable though, in conjunction with your online training course that you also find some hands-on training through either an internship or externship so that you gain all the relevant experience that you need to become a medical assistant. Things that will be covered will include laboratory training, taking and developing x-rays and how to give injections.
Costs of medical assistant courses
It can be expensive to undertake medical assistant training, even with an online programme. Prices of these can vary from $12,000 to $19,000. There are scholarships and financial aid available however, should you meet their requirements.
Do I Receive Certification?
Online medical assistant training programmes work in two ways. One offers certification immediately after completion of the course, others require one final test to be passed first. There are five different certifications that you can train for that have been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agents. These are:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) through the American Medical Technologies
- Nationally Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) awarded from the National Centre for Competency Testing
There are two certifications that can be obtained from the National Health Career Association, these are:
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)