Some online for-profit universities offer bachelor's degrees in medical assisting, but these are rare. However, Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration programs are available entirely online.
Accredited online medical assisting degree programs usually award graduates with either an Associate of Science in Medical Assisting or an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting. Associate degree programs in medical assisting take 16-24 months to complete and prepare students to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants.
In order to complete online coursework, students need to have access to medical equipment and industry software. Some programs also require students to complete labs on-site and participate in clinical experiences.
Students in associate's degree programs have the ability to transfer their credits over to a 4-year degree program in another aspect of the healthcare industry, such as healthcare management or nursing.
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Medical Assisting Degrees
Students enrolled in medical assisting courses are expected to gain a strong understanding of basic medical terminology and clinical procedures, as well as a thorough grasp of how to complete basic healthcare office and administrative tasks. While most courses can be completed online, all medical assisting programs require that students complete some in-person laboratory and clinical work before graduation.
In addition to general education classes, some courses found in an online medical assisting degree program include:
- Medical business operations
- Medical terminology
- Medical office procedures
- Clinical assisting
- Anatomy and physiology
Materials and Requirements
Throughout an online medical assisting program, students may need to use a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and IV trainer. Specialized industry software used for patient record keeping, such as Medisoft, may be used. In addition, students may utilize transcription software and a foot pedal. They may also need access to a video camera in order to complete certain assignments. With the exception of the video recording device, the cost of these items may be included in the price of tuition and course fees.
The most likely career choice for a graduate of a medical assisting degree program is that of a medical assistant in a physician's office, hospital, nursing facility or other healthcare center. Some standard entry-level positions for a graduate of a medical assisting degree program include:
- Medical receptionist
- Medical office assistant
- Medical laboratory assistant
- Healthcare manager's assistant
By combining online medical courses with hands-on clinical training, associate's degree programs in medical assisting offer students the training necessary to become assistants in healthcare facilities. For students looking for a bachelor's degree program offered fully online, a healthcare administration program may be a better fit.