the growing healthcare industry has opened up many diverse career opportunities for skilled individuals. nurses, doctors, and physicians play crucial roles in treating patients, but the need for administrative professionals who are able to manage the service delivery processes and paperwork is also necessary. those who do not wish to work in the clinical sector could seek administrative jobs as medical office assistants instead. these professional perform a range of administrative tasks, and take care of paperwork and patient scheduling. according to the us bureau of labor statistics, the growth rate for this occupation is faster than average. these assistants are in high demand by all kinds of healthcare institutions: hospitals, clinics, private clinics, rehabilitation centers, medical research centers, and even senior citizens homes.
medical office degrees
if you plan to become a medical office assistant, you must have at least a high school diploma along with experience or completion of certification programs. however, most employers prefer hiring individuals who have acquired some sort of postsecondary education. medical office degree programs and certificate programs are offered by many vocational schools and institutes. these educational programs will help you learn about the healthcare field and administrative measures. the coursework of a medical assistant program will vary slightly from place to place. typically, students will be required to study a range of subjects relevant to medical terminology, science, anatomy, and physiology. these areas will help develop a sound basis for advanced studies ahead.
apart from pharmaceutical and medical knowledge, the coursework will help students learn how to perform administrative procedures, prepare transcriptions, manage patient scheduling and billing, and process medical insurance. these are general procedures and tasks of medical offices. listed below are a few of the topics covered in medical office assistant programs:
medical law and ethics
in the program, students will also develop their communication skills, interpersonal skills, technical skills, and management skills. these skills are needed because of the diverse tasks they perform and their day-to-day interaction with patients. if you want to study online, you could also pursue this field through online education programs. there are a number of schools offering medical assistant programs online. not only is this mode of learning flexible and convenient, but has proved to be cost efficient in many ways.
licensing and certification
not all states require medical assistants to be certified. it is recommended that you check with your state's licensing authority to find out what the requirements are to start working in a medical office. there are a few national agencies that certify and license medical assistants in the nation. the certified medical administrative assistant (cmaa) from the national healthcare association and the certified medical assistant (cma) from the american association of medical assistants are a major certifications designated for these professionals.
with a degree in this particular field, you could seek a job as a medical assistant in various healthcare settings. according to the us bureau of labor statistics, the median medical office assistant salary was $29,370 in 2012. factors such as experience, state, and organization play an important role in determining the income a person could earn.