Allergy technicians are medical assistants who help allergists and pathologists with patient interactions, skin tests and other in-office procedures. Individuals interested in this field of medical assisting often enroll in certificate or associate's degree programs, where participants learn about medical office and clinical processes.
One-year certificate programs are typically offered by community colleges and vocational schools. Students receive administrative and support training in billing, coding and scheduling and learn how to prepare examination rooms, collect patient data, check vital signs and perform basic diagnostic laboratory tests. Associate's degree curriculum covers equipment sterilization, patient history analysis, microbiology, phlebotomy, insurance and medical terminology.
Both levels only require a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) equivalent for admission. Associate's degree program applicants may have to complete immunizations or physical examinations as well. Online courses and programs are available.
Medical Assistant Certificate
In addition to human anatomy and physiology, subjects to be discussed in a medical assistant certificate program are:
- Medical terminology
- Clinical lab procedures
- Medical office administration
- Patient care procedures
- Charting and documentation
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Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
Associate's degree program coursework is a combination of foundational classroom lectures and clinical experiences in actual healthcare environments. Class topics include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Medical coding
- Medical office procedures
- Medical assistant practicum
- Medical ethics
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for medical assistants is predicted to grow at a rate of 23% over 2014-2024. These professionals' median annual wage was $30,590 as of May 2015.
Though certification isn't required by every employer, several professional organizations offer designations. The American Medical Technologists Association and the American Association of Medical Assistants both offer credentials in the field, which could help with career advancement and lead to a higher salary.
Training for allergy technicians is offered by community colleges and vocational schools through Medical Assistant Certificate and Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting programs. These programs provide in-class and hands-on training to prepare students for medical office and clinical processes.