If you are looking for the right medical assistant training program, the first thing you need to check is accreditation. To get that all-important certification as a medical assistant (MA), you will need to choose a training program that is accredited by either the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If the medical assistant training program is accredited then you are good to go and you can get the proper certification later on.

Why should you even consider a medical assisting career in the first place? Well, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistant jobs are expected to grow 34 percent through 2018. It is expected to be among one of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. from 2008 to 2018.

Medical Assistant Training Overview:

There are some medical assistants who were trained on the job and have only a high school diploma but most MAs have completed one or two-year medical assistant training programs.

Such programs are offered by vocational schools, community colleges, online educational schools, junior colleges or technical institutes. One-year programs result in a certificate or diploma while two-year programs will result in an associate degree.

The goal of medical assistant training is to teach the student to handle both administrative and clinical tasks. Students learn first aid, laboratory techniques, clinical procedures, pharmaceutical principles, and how to administer medications to patients. They also study subjects like medical office practices, patient relations and medical law.

Accredited medical assistant training programs may also include an internship which can be very helpful in helping students gain experience in an actual healthcare environment.

After completing a training program, a student can get a certification or credential by sitting for an examination conducted by a professional organization for medical assistants. Certification or professional registration is purely voluntary and it is possible to get a medical assistant job without it. However, having a certificate will open more doors to a new graduate and may result in getting a higher salary.

How to Choose the Right Medical Assistant Training Program for You:

Once you have checked that the medical assistant training program is accredited, there are still other factors to consider namely the time it takes to complete the program, your distance to the school, tuition and other costs and flexibility of your class schedule. Whether a program suits your or not will depend on your personal situation.

Many educational institutions offer tours for prospective students. This is a great way to meet teachers and get a look at the campus facilities.

Another way to get an idea of which medical assistant training program to choose is to ask people you know who are in healthcare. The next time you or a family member goes to the doctor’s office, ask the MAs there where and how they got their training. If they were trained locally then you will get an insider’s view of the medical assistant training program.

Medical Assistant Training Benefits:

The reason why medical assistant training programs are popular is because medical assisting is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. today. It is important to choose a medical assistant training program that is accredited. Certification or registration is voluntary but it is a good way to show that a medical assistant meets a high level of knowledge and competence. In conclusion, although is not strictly necessary, medical assistant training and certification can help you land a better medical assistant job with a higher salary.

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