An associate's degree in medical helping is a vocational credential that generally takes about 2 years to earn. Many who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical assisting field, which involves the practice of administrative duties with patients, can obtain an associate's degree. A Medical assistant degree is available at most community or junior colleges, and also via online courses. Training may take place on campus or in a variety of clinical settings. In most states, certification is not required to become a medical assistant agent, but it may be advisable for those who choose to pursue this career.
For those who have been working in the field for some time, an associate's degree can be a challenging accomplishment. Graduates of a medical assistance program will have completed a wide range of course work, including instruction in anatomy, medical terminology, pharmacology, physiology, diagnostic procedures, record keeping, human resources, insurance procedures, and banking. Some programs also will provide students with clinical experience in the field. These experiences will give graduates an excellent foundation in which to start a new career.
To begin a career in the medical assistant profession, a student will need to attend an approved school that offers a four-year degree program. Upon graduation, students will find that they are ready to enter the workforce. Many medical assistants work in hospitals, clinics, or private practices. Medical assistants perform a variety of duties, such as screening patients, maintaining medical records, assisting physicians, performing physical exams and assisting laboratory professionals. Although these professionals spend a lot of time under the care of doctors and other health care providers, they are rarely involved in patient care. Most medical assistants receive some direct patient contact, however, during routine office visits or through written reports.
To get an associate's degree in medical assistant assisting, students must first complete all the general education requirements. General education courses include mathematics, chemistry, biology, and English. After completing the coursework, students will need to take a state exam in order to become certified. Students may also participate in hands-on clinical training or work within a supervised clinical facility. Students can expect to spend two years earning an associate's degree.
There are also many medical assistant jobs available in the allied health profession. Allied health is a large industry that encompasses many different health care professions. Patients generally consult with a registered nurse, a dentist, a physician, a podiatrist, a physical therapist, a chiropractor, a physical therapy assistant, a pharmacy technician, and a nurse practitioner. In order to be able to enter one of these allied health careers, a student needs to earn at least a bachelor's degree and complete at least five years of schooling.
There are a number of different career options once a person has earned their associate's degree. Students could choose to work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices. They could also choose to work for the government or work as an administrative assistant in a school or healthcare facility. Some students opt to continue their education by earning a master's in medical assisting in order to open their own practices. No matter what path a student takes, medical assistant jobs offer a great opportunity for someone with the proper certifications and training.