4 Questions to Ask Before Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Training Program

Posted On January 18,2022

If you’re looking for a career that’s high in demand, consider becoming a medical assistant (MA). Before you can begin working as an MA, you need the proper training which includes attending and graduating from a medical assistant program. It’s important to research your options and select the right school to fit your needs. This is the first step in setting yourself up for success in your new career, and it’s important to understand what an MA training program has to offer when deciding on where to enroll.

Medical assistant talking with a patient sitting in a wheelchair.

1. What Skills Will I Learn in School? 

It’s important to choose a quality program that teaches applicable skills expected in this fast-paced career field. Through an accredited program, you’ll learn the fundamentals of medical assisting, anatomy and physiology, the psychological aspect of patient care, CPR, medical terminology, and first aid and emergency care. 

Common duties you can expect to complete on the job after becoming a medical assistant include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Greeting patients as they enter the facility.
  • Scheduling patient appointments. 
  • Preparing the exam room for patients. 
  • Measuring vital signs and recording them. 
  • Conducting pre-examination interviews and taking medical histories. 
  • Assisting physicians with patient exams. 
  • Administering injections. 
  • Drawing blood. 
  • Performing basic lab testing. 

2. How Long is the Program? 

One of the many benefits of becoming a medical assistant is the training is short compared to other healthcare careers. Many medical assisting programs can be completed in one year or less. Medical assisting is the ideal choice for individuals looking to jumpstart their new career quickly.  

In addition to inquiring about the program length, find out if they offer flexible classes, including day and evening class options. 

3. Is the Program Accredited? 

The most important question to ask before enrolling in a medical assisting program is if they’re accredited. If the answer is no, then go elsewhere. Only graduates of MA programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are eligible to sit for the CMA exam to earn their certification by the American Association of Medical Assistants. While not all states require certification to work as an MA, most employers prefer to hire certified candidates. 

Taking the extra step to become certified demonstrates your commitment and dedication to your new career to a potential employer. It also demonstrates that you attended and graduated from a quality program that met certain criteria, and that you learned the proper knowledge and skills needed to hit the ground running on your first day.

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4. Where Can I Work After Graduation? 

It’s important to note that no school can guarantee employment after graduation, but the demand for medical assistants continues to grow at a higher rate than average compared to other professions. Attending a quality training program and becoming certified after graduation will help ensure your success. 

Medical assistants have a variety of work settings to choose from, but the most common workplace for an MA is a clinic or physician’s office. This is a major benefit for those who prefer a more traditional, Monday through Friday daytime work schedule. 

Medical assistants are not limited to clinics or physician’s offices, though. Many MAs find employment at chiropractic offices, specialty clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, hospice, weight loss clinics, prisons and juvenile facilities, universities, laboratories, and more. 

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Ready to Get Started? 

Finding a medical assistant program that answers your questions is important. Our supportive staff at Athena Career Academy is ready to provide you with the answers you need to help you on your journey towards becoming a medical assistant. Contact us today to get started!