Medical assistant training comes in many forms—from hands-on instruction on the job, to formal training in a school, or informal online medical assistant programs provided over the Internet.
There are many medical assistant schools; some are state funded and government regulated, such as community colleges, others are private vocational training institutions for profit. While the outcome is essentially the same (a medical assistant diploma or degree) attending a community college usually costs less.
Luckily, college is not the only answer to leaning a skilled trade such as medical assisting. Many community funded and private vocational training institutions offer secondary and post-secondary education programs. Typical educational requirements to be accepted into a medical assistant program are:
- at least 18 years of age
- high school diploma, or equivalent
Typical medical assistant learning modules are organized into three sections:
- general and/or transdisciplinary
Most employers, usually doctors, know that graduates from local vocational training institutions and community colleges have spent hundreds of hours in class and in small work groups interacting with each other in a clinical lab setting and practicing essential skills under the supervision of their instructors. Many of them also completed a medical assistant externship to build confidence and solidify complex procedures. This counts high with potential employers when they hire new medical assistant staff.
Special Training & Licenses
Certain states within the USA mandate that practicing medical assistants must earn a special license or permit before they can perform certain medical office tasks or procedures, such as starting intraveonous (IV) lines, x-rays, ultra sound, or performing venipuncture and phlebotomies. It is highly recommended that individuals seeking medical assistant training sign up for programs to earn the right diplomas and credentials.
Funding and financial assistance for such training programs is readily available for those who qualify, much of it completely free and must never be paid back if you are, for example, presently unemployed and qualify for educational grants and employment rehab programs.