Types of Medical Assistant Degrees
There are various categories of medical assistants, and all are an integral part of any healthcare team because they work alongside physicians to perform administrative tasks, complete various clinical procedures and provide healthcare services to patients. There is a great deal of work in this career field, which too attracts a good salary.
Although the jobs that medical assistants do vary according to the situations, they generally ensure that a clinic is up and running by handling all the assistant jobs that a physician may delegate, for the purpose of providing the best medical services. The degree programs too, differ according to the kind of job that one is expected to do, and this article highlights some of the most common medical assistant degree programs.
Administrative Medical Assistant Degree
As the title suggests, people who qualify in this field normally handle administrative jobs, which include making appointments, managing the records of all patients, maintaining the reception area, answering phone calls, billing and general accounting tasks. This is a pivotal member in any clinical setting, ensuring that all activities are running without any interruption of the physician’s schedule.
People qualifying for this job ought to have excellent linguistic and communication skills, a basic understanding of the medical terms and good phone etiquette besides proper writing skills. The certification for such a program is offered by various institutions such as vocational schools, community colleges and other medical schools.
The program is given different identities in different areas, and more often than not you will hear people talking of medical office professionals, health services management degree or medical office administration degree.
Clinical Medical Assistant Degree
This perhaps the most common of all the degree programs for people wishing to work as medical assistants. The job generally revolves around patient care and conduction of assessments. Such assessments may also mean preparation of the patients before they go for medical examinations, giving a helping hand to the physician during examination, carrying out minor treatments and guiding patients regarding their medical care.
The clinical assistant degree program takes you through most of these tasks, where you will familiarize yourself with administration of injections and management of patient tasks, which are normally seen as jobs for the physician. Most of these course take one year, and they are offered by the same institutions as those offering administrative medical assistant courses.
Speciality Medical Assistant Degree
This is a degree program in which subjects opt to specialize in a particular area such as podiatry, and optometry. They normally do more of the clinical rather than the administrative tasks, because they have undergone specialized training which enables them to deal with patients and physicians in a more direct manner.
Depending on the size of an institution, speciality medical assistants will either report to an administrative assistant or directly to the physician. The program too takes one year, and depending on the type of field that one opts to specialize in, he or she may be required to take an internship or work closely from the clinician’s office in order to have the practical skills in the field.
In summary, there are various types of medical assistant degrees offered in colleges and online programs, but one should ensure that the institution of choice is accredited in order to be relevant in this field which requires a high level of expertise.