In order to become a medical administrative assistant, an individual will need to acquire knowledge in procedures and medical terminology. A student will also need to have excellent communication, organizational, customer service and interpersonal skills. To qualify for entry into this field, a person can choose from a certificate program or an associate’s degree program.
Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate Programs
In a medical administrative assistant certificate program a student can learn how to prepare for a career working with healthcare professionals, compose medical correspondence, complete medical documentation, assist in dictation, make hospitalization arrangements and take inventory of medical supplies. A student can develop excellent communication skills, learn basic medical office functions, improve their computer literacy and learn how to interact with patients. Once an individual graduates they will generally be prepared for employment through medical facilities and provide administrative support to healthcare professionals.
To qualify for admittance into a program, a student will be required to complete assessment testing, in order to ensure that they meet minimal math and reading comprehension standards, in addition to having a criminal background check performed and valid CPR certification.
In one of these certificate programs, a student will focus on learning advanced clerical skills. The majority of these classes will focus on teaching a student how to handle a variety of clerical duties that take place in a medical office, such as bookkeeping, billing and recordkeeping. Some medical related classes will also be included, but the program will mainly focus on the clerical aspect of this profession, such as billing procedures and medical terminology. A program can also feature an internship, which involves the student working in a medical facility. Some of the core topics for this program will include insurance billing and coding, healthcare ethics, financial management, medical transcription and typing.
Currently there are no state requirements for continuing education for medical administrative assistants. Although, according to statistics, an individual can choose to seek certification from a number of certifying organizations, including the IAAP. Promotion possibilities for this field are typically earned though job experience and can include advancements for such positions as executive assistant or office manager.
Individuals who wish to obtain advancement in this field, at a faster rate, can choose to obtain the associate’s degree in applied science. This degree for medical administrative assistants will enable a graduate to work proficiently in the healthcare field. A graduate can find employment opportunities in private practices, clinics, hospitals and other types of medical facilities.
Degree Programs for Medical Admin Assistants
Earning the associate’s degree in this field will prepare a student for core responsibilities for this position, such as maintaining electronic and paper files, working closely with patients and managing other types of office responsibilities. The medical administrative assistant student will also receive hands on training in supervisory and managerial skills, which will help them to manage the day to day tasks that are essential to keeping a medical office running efficiently. A student will also learn about the ethical and legal responsibilities for this position.
Additionally, in order to become familiar with the basic duties and medical office policies, a medical administrative assistant degree program will teach students about the appropriate methods used for processing bills and invoices, scheduling appointments and maintaining patient medical records. Some of the core classes will include physiology and anatomy, business writing, medical billing and coding, medical terminology, computer information systems, legal and ethical responsibilities, medical transcription and accounting procedures.
Graduates of a medical administrative assistant program will qualify for a number of positions working in a variety of medical facilities. Possible positions can include medical lab administrative assistant, medical receptionist, medical billing manager, and medical data clerk and office manager.
Medical admin assistants who obtain additional education can increase their versatility in this field and will be offered more opportunities for advancement. The bachelor’s degree for healthcare administration will provide a student with advanced organization and management theories, qualifying the graduate for positions in medical offices, labs and hospitals.
How to Qualify for Online Programs for Medical Administration
Online degree programs for this position will include courses that teach students the business skills that are required for a successful career as a medical administrative assistant. To qualify for enrollment a program applicant will need to have a GED or high school diploma.
A distance learning degree program for this field can take eighteen to twenty-four months to complete, depending on whether the student is enrolled on a full or part-time basis.
Students will need to have access to a computer that features multimedia capabilities, in addition to internet access and word processing software programs. Unfortunately, many of these online programs for the medical administrative assistant will not offer internships, unless the program is available from a local vocational schools or community colleges. Students will be able to communicate with their teachers and fellow classmates through video conferencing software, emails, message boards and live chats.