When doctors train their medical assistant right on the job it typically takes just a few weeks and they basically teach specific skills suited for just their particular office as they go. The longer the medical assistant stays in this occupation the more they solidify and acquire their skills, but the acquired skills are limited to only the particular job in THAT office. As with any career in medicine and health care learning can be a lifelong process as new discoveries and technologies emerge and the best medical assistant training is all encompassing, broad and progressive.
Planning The Best Medical Assistant Training Outcome
[sociallocker]Most medical offices can quickly become extremely busy and hectic; although a number of physicians and other healthcare practitioners still train their medical assistants right in their own office, the majority of employers and facilities, especially ambulatory clinics and hospitals, prefer to hire formally trained applicants; often they also prefer those who are experienced and certified (*Source: US Dept. of Labor; Medical Assistant). While doctors will teach a medical assistant specific tasks, certain things are simply expected.
The best medical assistant vocational training institutions and their programs are those which are approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the Commission of Accreditation on Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), and/or or ABHES. This way their graduates can also sit for the various medical assisting certification examinations to earn certified credentials, which many employers nowadays expect.
Deb, MA tells us on our Medical Assistant Forum:
“I have been working as a medical assistant for 21 years! I started out as a receptionist with no college education, and my managers and supervisors trained me to be a medical assistant. As the clinic grew, they offered classes to employees, such as, injections, medication administration, and venipuncture. I have certificates of completion in all of these and have had extensive “hands on” experience in OB/GYN, Podiatry, Family Medicine, and 10 years in Urgent Care. I recently left this company and moved out of state. I just went to an interview with a medical group that wants either a CMA or RMA, and even with all of my experience, I am concerned that I won’t pass the RMA exam.” Deb, MA
Some medical assistants eventually elect to return back to school to earn a higher degree, such as registered nursing (RN), or in Health Services Management, however, it is important to understand, and here is where setting long term goals is so important, that if a medical assistant with a diploma can do the exact same job one with a degree, then that is usually good enough for the doctor, since they are also working on a certain budget and want to pay only as much salary as they must to get the job done.
Nevertheless, a medical assistant degree brings advantages when it comes to additional education. Some of the earned college credits for courses may be transferred and applied toward a higher academic degree, such as, for example nursing (BSN RN) and THAT is precisely where achieving the medical assistant A.A.S degree will be well worth the time and money invested. Unfortunately, most applied science degrees, including those in medical assisting, don’t always allow transfer of credits toward a different degree, such as RN., as the credits applies only to the specific educational course completed.
[/sociallocker]Others seek additional specialized training to earn limited licenses to operate x-ray and cardiology equipment, such as ECG, or Holter monitor devices, or become proficient in phlebotomy, or highly skilled hemodialysis procedures, in particular starting and discontinuing IV lines, which is considered an invasive procedure not usually permitted to be carried out by medical assistants.