In addition to basic patient care procedures, students in a clinical medical assistant certificate program receive training in various safety and ethical procedures. Programs are typically offered by community colleges or technical schools. Common admissions requirements include completion of a high school diploma or equivalent. Applicants are often advised to have volunteer or prior work experience in the health care field. Additionally, students are trained in patient communication, the proper handling and creation of medical records and the collection of laboratory specimens. Associate's degree programs in allied health are also available.
Certification Programs in Clinical Medical Assisting
A clinical medical assistant supports nurses and physicians by collecting data, performing tests, and taking vital signs. The curriculum for a medical assistant certificate program includes didactic and hands-on portions. The externship portion generally requires up to 180 hours of practical experience within a health care setting. Specific classes include:
- Medical terminology
- Anatomy and physiology
- Laboratory procedures
- Medical records
- Clinical procedures
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a certificate program in medical assisting have a number of career options available within the medical field. Entry-level positions may be available in the following roles:
- Medical assistant
- Patient care technician
- EKG technician
- Intake specialist
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
In May 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that medical assistants earned a median annual wage of $30,590. These workers were projected to see job growth of 23% from 2014-2024.
Medical assistants who complete an accredited program are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant examination, which is administered by the America Association of Medical Assistants. Credits earned during the certificate program can often be applied to an associate's degree program in allied health.
Clinical medical assistant certificate program curriculum includes traditional coursework and direct experience opportunities. Course subjects cover topics such as human science, medical vocabulary, and equipment operation.