Becoming a Medical Assistant

Becoming a Medical Assistant

Unlike other career paths in the healthcare industry, becoming a medical assistant doesn’t require years of investment in education and time. Having said that, it is also not as simple as just getting hired; there are some required steps that must be taken in order to pursue this career path.

Finding Training

The first is selecting a certified medical assistant program to provide the required education. This can be done by obtaining an associate’s degree at an accredited school or by getting certification from a community college or technical school. Online options may also be explored. Some medical assistant programs will require that students complete an externship to provide real-world clinical experience as a component of their overall education.

Exploring Training Content

Depending upon the program you choose, you may take classes that focus on different aspects of medical assisting, such as administrative duties or laboratory functions. However, all programs will cover topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical laws and ethics, clinical laboratory procedures, and medical billing and coding.

Paying for Training

Paying for these classes can be a challenge, but there is federal aid available for those who complete the FAFSA, and some clinical organizations will offer tuition reimbursement for these courses.

Becoming Licensed

After receiving the proper education, you will still have to become licensed, which is done by taking one of four exams. These exams are administered at various times of the year and are valid for a specified term. When you pass the exam successfully, the licensing information will indicate the period in which it is valid, after which time, it must be renewed. While licensing is not required by law, many employers do require it or, at the very least, will favor candidates who hold licensure.

For test prep help, check out our free Medical Assistant Test materials. Regardless of which test you choose to take, these prep aids will cover all the content you’ll need to know:

Getting a Job

Once you’ve obtained a license, you are ready to secure employment as a medical assistant. Since it is one of the fastest-growing professions in the country according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, obtaining employment in this field may be easier than it would be in other professional careers. Many medical assistants will then consider pursuing other professional certifications in order to expand their career prospects.

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