What Does It Take To Become A Medical Assistant?

21 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Have you been wondering what you have to do to become a certified medical assistant? If you think you'd enjoy working in the medical field, a career as a medical assistant is definitely something that you should consider. Medical assistants are an integral part of a medical team. Some of their duties include obtaining a medical history from patients, preparing patients for examinations, recording patients' vital signs, and assisting the doctor during procedures. If becoming a medical assistant sounds like a career that you'd enjoy, take a few minutes to learn what you need to do to obtain your certification.

Primary Education

Before you enter a medical assistant program or receive on-the-job training in a doctor's office, you need to obtain your high school diploma or general education diploma (GED). This gives you the basic knowledge that you need to complete your certificate program and/or training.

Secondary Education

In some states, all that's required for you to become a medical assistant is on-the-job training by a physician or nurse practitioner. However, if you plan to make medical assisting your long-term career, on-the-job training may not be your best option.

When you learn how to become a medical assistant via on-the-job training, you limit your job options. This is because not all doctor's offices hire medical assistants who aren't state certified. In addition, you could have trouble obtaining a job at a hospital or nursing home without the proper certification. So, if you're serious about your career as a medical assistant, or you want to further your education later to become a nurse, you should consider taking a medical assistant program.

Medical Assistant Program

During your medical assistant certificate program you'll learn the basics in a variety of subjects, including:

  • Anatomy
  • Insurance processing and billing
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical ethics
  • Health care administration
  • Computer applications
  • Medical terminology
  • Medical transcription

Not only do these classes prepare you for your future career as a medical assistant, they give you an idea of which direction you'd like your career to go in the future. Because you have learned the basics in several different areas, you could continue your education at a later date to become a nurse, a medical transcriptionist, or a pharmacy technician; or you could take more classes pertaining to medical billing and hospital administration. The fact is, taking a medical assistant program gives you the skills you need in several different careers.

Medical Assistant Certificate

Certification isn't always necessary for medical assistants to obtain jobs, but obtaining your certificate does inform potential employers that you're serious about your career. All you have to do to obtain your medical assistant certificate is pass the certification exam after you complete your medical assistant program.

As you can see, enrolling in a medical assistant program gives you a lot of options. So, if you want to work in the medical field, you should start by talking with your nearest medical college to see how you can enroll in a medical assistant certification program.