All hospital administrative assistants must have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Although it is not always required, many employers prefer to hire administrative assistants with a college education. The 2-year associate's degree program in medical administrative assisting helps students develop the strong communication, organization and customer service skills needed in order to work successfully with patients and other medical professionals. They also become comfortable with frequent computer use and how to handle correspondences with patients, insurance companies and other medical organizations. Although it is not required, certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) can lead to greater career opportunities.
Associate of Applied Science in Medical Administrative Assisting
This program prepares students for administrative positions with hospitals, medical clinics, laboratories, and physician offices. Students learn to complete basic clerical, organizational, and administrative duties, like answering phones, recording patient information, transcribing medical records, and preparing budgets and other financial records. Courses may include:
- Medical terminology
- Administrative organization
- Medical transcription
- Pharmaceutical terms
- Medical bookkeeping
- Clerical computer use
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The BLS states that the employment for medical and health services managers is expected to grow 17% from 2014 to 2024. These professionals, as of May 2015, make an average yearly wage of $106,070, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers certification for administrative assistants who have completed an accredited medical administrative assisting degree program. The AAMA maintains a list of acceptable programs offered throughout the country. After completing a program, medical assistants can take a comprehensive certification exam that ensures proficiency in medical terminology, administrative organization and other aspects of medical assisting. Administrative assistants who pass the exam become certified medical assistants (CMAs).
The AAMA also holds yearly conferences for medical administrative assistants and those interested in entering the industry. Conferences discuss trends in medical administrative assisting and allow assistants to keep updated with current news and industry information. Additionally, the AAMA has state and local chapters that may hold workshops and other informational events.
A hospital administrative assistant career often starts with an associate's in medical administrative assisting, preparing students for the duties they'll need to perform in their position and increasing employment prospects over applicants without a degree. In addition, graduates can become professionally certified and take advantage of continuing education opportunities to update and refine their skills.