The Medical Assisting curriculum prepares multi-skilled health care professionals to become qualified to perform administrative, clerical and laboratory procedures. The most popular program within the Medical Assisting program at PCC offers an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting (AAS-MA) degree. Some of PCC’s Medical Assisting program attendees may opt to get their Diploma first, and then continue their education by attending courses offered online or at night while working during the day. Once graduates have earned an AAS-MA degree, they are eligible to apply to become a Certified Medical Assistant, nationally recognized credentials.
The Medical Assisting program offers a variety of degrees and certificates. The Medical Assisting Program could possibly take you from school to work in as little as one year with some of the certificate programs.
What skills will I learn?
The duties of medical assistants vary from office to office, depending on office location, size, and specialty. Taking medical histories, recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examination, and assisting the physician during the examination. You will learn to collect (including phlebotomy) and prepare laboratory specimens or perform basic laboratory tests, dispose of contaminated supplies, and sterilize medical instruments. A medical assistant’s skills include instructing patients about medication and special diets, preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician, authorizing prescription refills as directed, preparing patients for x-rays, taking electrocardiograms, removing sutures, and changing dressings.
Medical assistants also perform many administrative duties. They answer telephones, schedule appointments, greet patients, update and file patient medical records, manage insurance forms, handle correspondence, handle billing and bookkeeping, and arrange for hospital admission and laboratory services.
What tools or equipment will I be exposed to?
Medical Assistants work with a wide range of equipment. You will be trained to use EKG machines, laboratory equipment, sterilization equipment, pulmonary function machines, casting equipment, suturing tools, minor surgical tools in the clinical component.
In the clerical component portion you will be exposed to modern computer equipment and software, transcription equipment, simple and complex phone systems, appointment scheduling systems and books, accounts payable/receivable software and journals, medical records filing systems.
What job opportunities will I have?
Medical assistants can seek employment in physician’s offices, health maintenance organizations, health departments, diagnostic and surgery centers, hospitals, laboratories, dental offices, and various other healthcare facilities.
Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations as the health services industry expands due to technological advances in medicine, and a growing and aging population. Increasing utilization of medical assistants in the rapidly-growing healthcare industries will result in fast employment growth for the occupation.
What is the salary range and job outlook for Medical Assisting graduates?
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assisting is one of the nation’s fastest growing careers; employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 29 percent from 2012-2022. The median annual wage for medical assistants was $29,370 (or $14.12/hr) in May 2012.
With additional training what other kinds of advanced job opportunities might I find?
Medical assistants may be able to advance to office manager. They may qualify for a variety of administrative support occupations, or may teach medical assisting. Some, with additional education, enter other health occupations such as nursing and medical technology.
The Pamlico Community College Medical Assisting Diploma Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of Medical Assistant Education Review Board (MAERB).
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
1361 Park Street
Clearwater, FL 33756