Online Medical Assistant Programs – Overview
Online medical assistant programs involve a mixture of online virtual classroom instruction coupled with on-site clinical experiences at a nearby healthcare facility. These programs teach aspiring medical assistants the skills and knowledge needed to work in the field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs Overview
The information that makes up these programs is taught through video conferencing, discussion boards and email, via an online e-learning platform. These courses teach students how to administer injections, take vital signs and how to assist with a range of basic medical procedures, in order to prepare them for the clinical duties that they will be required to carry out when working in the profession. Administrative skills are also taught, including: patient chart preparation, appointment scheduling and medical coding. Again, so aspiring med assistants are well prepared to carry out these tasks when they have found employment.
A single online course typically takes just eight weeks to complete. This is because these courses often provide the foundation needed to take an associate's degree in medical assistance. In addition to online study, students are able to acquire practical experience through clinical training, provided by local associated medical centers.
Typically, online training courses take approximately ten months to complete. The courses are designed for individuals who want to start their careers as soon as possible, by equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to hold entry-level positions in clinics, hospitals and medical offices. Common coursework includes: medical office management, medical ethical and legal guidelines as well as basic laboratory and diagnostic procedures.
While classroom learning is accomplished through email, video lectures, discussion boards and live chat, clinical training is completed at an administrator approved health care facility, under the supervision of a licensed health care professional.
Upon successful completion of the course, many training programs award students with an associate's degree or diploma. Completion of the course also means that the eligibility criteria to certifying exams have been met, which are offered by the NCMA, AAMA and AMT. However, this is only the case if an institution's online medical assistant program has been accredited.
This information can be found out by contacting the CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs) or the ABHES (Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools).
While aspiring medical assistants are able to apply for the certification exam online, the exam must be taken at an approved site, in person.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities are expected to grow at a rapid rate. This is thanks to medical technology constantly improving, and the increased need of health care for an aging population – both of which require an increase of medical assistants to meet demand. Therefore, if you are thinking of starting a career in the health care industry, you should certainly research all the online medical assistant programs available to find one that meets your needs and future career goals.