How To Become a Medical Assistant
Earn Your HS Diploma or Equivalent
Get Formal Training through an Accredited Institution
While formal training is not required, it can be helpful in seeking employment in this field, it can be challenging to find a doctor that is willing to hire an untrained applicant. Medical Assistant programs are available at the Certificate and Associate Degree levels, with both online and on-campus options available. Courses typically cover topics like medical terminology, medical records, medical equipment and supplies, body systems and anatomy, vital signs, how to conduct basic medical tasks and procedures including medical exams, tests, cultures, and specimens. Patient therapies and medications, as well as patient communication and safety are also key course material.
Obtain Clinical Experience
If you would like to perform clinical medical assisting duties, you will be required to complete an externship in a clinical setting prior to employment.
While certification is not required in this field, it is highly recommended. Employers are more likely to hire Certified Medical Assistants. It shows them you have the knowledge and skills to perform well in a role as a Medical Assistant. Once you have entered the field it can also be the next step to securing a better paying position in the field if you did not obtain prior to employment. Several certification options are available including the Certified Clinical Medial Assistant (CCMA) exam or the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam both through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), be sure to do your research and choose the best option for you.