How Long Does It Take to Become a Medical Assistant?
Posted Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 by Altierus
If you love helping people and are interested in a healthcare career path, becoming a medical assistant is a great choice. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job openings for medical assistants should grow 29% over the 2016-2026 period, adding as many as 183,900 new positions to the economy. This is a much faster growth rate than the 7% predicted for all jobs over the same period.[i]
In addition to offering healthy job growth, becoming a medical assistant doesn’t need to take years and years. In fact, at Altierus Career College, you can train to pursue a career as a medical assistant in as few as 10 months of study. This includes the training you need to prepare patients for their exams and appointments, perform basic laboratory tests, and help with the secretarial and record-keeping side of your hospital department, physician’s practice, outpatient clinic, or other place of employment.
Here’s some more detail about what happens within those 10 months of training.
When you train to become a medical assistant, you need to gain an academic background in the basics of patient assessment as well as the administrative side of healthcare. Your classroom instruction will cover human anatomy and physiology, child development, pregnancy, and aging. You’ll also learn about the health insurance system and the medical assistant’s role in helping keep track of appointments, patient records, and billing.
In addition to academic knowledge, these courses will teach practical skills for interacting with patients of different ages in person and on the phone. You’ll also practice processing claims forms.
Part of your classroom training will include practical lab experiences. This includes practicing how to accurately take patient vital signs, including:
- Height, weight, and body mass index (BMI)
- Blood pressure
Medical assistants also play an important role in collecting, handling, and processing samples for tests. This can include drawing blood, so you will have the opportunity to practice this skill on test dummies and (later) on classmates. You may also learn to change wound dressings, give injections, and carry out basic testing, such as measuring sugar in urine samples.
Finally, at Altierus Career College, we ensure you have the opportunity to earn national certification. While not a requirement in many states, medical assistant certification can demonstrate to employers that you meet—and are committed to maintaining—high standards of quality.
There are two major, nationally recognized certification options for medical assistants that we offer preparation for:
- Certified Medical Assistant
- Registered Medical Assistant
We will help you with practice exams and other forms of test prep—and we’ll even pay your exam fees at no extra cost. It’s all part of helping you get on the path to a new career as a medical assistant.
Find Out More
Ready to learn more about our 10-month Medical Assistant program? Contact Altierus Career College today!
[i] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Assistants, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm (visited July 24, 2018).
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