If you’re looking to start a quick career in healthcare, consider becoming a medical assistant. Medical assistants are caring, competent and committed professionals who play a vital role in patient care in doctor’s offices, clinics and many other settings.
Medical assisting is one of the fastest-growing healthcare careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for medical assistants is expected to grow 18% by 2030, well above the national average. You can earn your diploma in medical assisting in as little as 8 months or your associate degree in as few as 16 months.
If you are interested in pursuing medical assisting degree and need flexibility in your learning schedule, the online program could be a great fit for you!
What do you do as a medical assistant?
As a medical assistant, you can expect to work closely with physicians, registered nurses (RNs) and their patients. Medical assistants are a huge help to doctors and nurses and improve care by working directly with patients. You will work in fast-paced environments such as medical facilities.
There are many types of specialized medical assisting roles and possible certifications. They can be broken into two general categories: clinical medical assistants and administrative medical assistants.
On the clinical side, you’ll be under the direction of a physician. Duties could include:
- Recording medical histories
- Measuring vital signs
- Drawing blood and pregnancy tests
- Administering medication
- Preparing exam rooms, equipment, instruments and patients for exams
- Assisting with minor surgical procedures
Administrative medical assistants might have duties such as:
- Managing the phones
- Scheduling appointments
- Organizing files and medical records
- Managing mail correspondence
- Planning and scheduling meetings
- Managing administrative projects
What can you do with a medical assisting degree?
Similar to nurses, medical assistants can specialize within their field. Once you have earned your medical assisting degree, you can choose to work in a clinical or administrative role. Possible job titles include:
- Medical Receptionist
- Medical Secretary
- Medical Laboratory Assistant
- Medical Technician
- Medical Office Manager
What are the benefits of earning my degree online?
Many who choose an online program over an in-person one are looking to fit their studies into a busy professional and/or personal schedule.
“The biggest benefit of earning your degree online is that you work at your own pace each week. You’ll learn all the skills necessary to enter into healthcare as an entry-level medical assistant,” said Alberta Smith, Herzing’s Medical Assisting Program Chair. “You’ll also work with a proctor on your lab competencies, compete for an externship at a medical facility and take a certification exam that will open more doors to employment opportunities.”
What are the differences between the online program and the in-person program?
Other than being able to work at your own pace online, the two programs are very similar.
“There is no difference in the material you learn from attending an online medical assisting program,” Smith said. “You’ll learn all the clinical and administrative skills necessary to be a successful medical assistant in the field and demonstrate them to your proctor. Then you can apply all those skills to your externship, which is where you’ll work in the field with a physician and assist with patient procedures.”
What should a prospective medical assistant know before pursuing a career in the field?
Aside from clinical and administrative skills you’ll gain from both work experience and education, there are a few qualities that will help you become a successful medical assistant:
- A personal passion and devotion to healthcare
- Ability to connect with people in a caring, respectful and engaging way
- Strong organizational skills
- A positive attitude
- Professional approach to work
Does this sound like you? Take the first step with Herzing University, to earn a degree that provides you with the skills and experience you need to launch your career.