What is a Medical Assistant Diploma?

The roles of medical professionals are not often accurately portrayed on television. Nurses, doctors, and medical assistants often seem to be more wrapped up in personal drama than their careers. It’s all in the name of entertainment. Although these television shows may have piqued your interest in a medical career – there is a lot more to these positions than meets the eye.  

Nearly all jobs in the medical field are fast-paced and require a high level of interpersonal, communication, and technological skills as well as high attention to detail. Due to the nature of the position, they also require a great deal of education, training, and certification. 

Whether you are looking to change careers or pursue higher education following your high school graduation, the medical field is up-and-coming with growing demand and plenty of career opportunities. One of these opportunities is a medical assistant. If you’re interested in healthcare, assisting other professionals, and helping people in need, then getting yourself a Medical Assistant Diploma might be for you!

As a highly respected qualification, a Medical Assistant Diploma is a college education program that entails in-class training and hands-on experience. An internship will provide you with on-the-job training where your classroom work will equip you with knowledge and skills in medical office procedures.

Medical assistants support the work of physicians and other healthcare professionals, generally, in a clinical setting as an allied healthcare professional. Because you will be working with others, you will need to have strong communication skills, an eye for detail, and a love of science. Your responsibilities may vary depending on the size of the healthcare facility you work at – for example, there would be a heavier amount of administrative tasks and more patients to handle at a larger facility.

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There is a lot to consider when pursuing a diploma. Here is everything you need to know about a Medical Assistant Diploma. 

How long does a Medical Assistant Diploma program take to complete?

Diplomas generally take less time to complete than your average associate or bachelor’s degree program. If you don’t feel as though you have the time to complete a more in-depth degree, don’t worry – diplomas are quicker, but they are also incredibly focused – they are still very in-depth and longer than a certificate program. 

A comprehensive Medical Assistant Diploma program contains four quarters which generally takes around a year to complete.

What are the types of courses included in a Medical Assistant Diploma program?

As you will be working in clinics, doctor’s offices, and hospitals, you will need plenty of information and technical skills to do the job. Anatomy and physiology courses will lay the foundation for your diploma. Anatomy specifically focuses on the human body and its systems, educating you on the parts and structures that make up the body. Physiology, on the other hand, teaches you about how and why the body systems work. As a Medical Assistant, your knowledge in physiology will help you better understand the treatments and procedures prescribed for individual patients and how these actions can affect recovery. The two courses are complementary and will prepare you for more in-depth studies such as Phlebotomy and Pharmacology.

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Patient care is another critical element for a Medical Assistant Diploma program. Through courses like How to Properly Give Injections, Wound Care, and Examining Room Procedures, you’ll learn how to care for your patients effectively. Additionally, you’ll learn how to perform patient assessments, gather a patient’s medical history, and carry out treatments. Learning from qualified instructors and experts will provide you with the necessary knowledge to advance in your career.

Another vital element of the Medical Assistant Diploma program in Pharmacology. This course will help you understand how drugs and other medications affect the human body. Uses for drugs and medications, side effects, and dosages will be covered, as well as the various techniques for administrating these.

Office administration is another key course within a Medical Assistant Diploma program that provides you the necessary clerical skills to manage a doctor’s office successfully. With courses such as Medical Terminology, Health Insurance, and Computerized Medical Office Management, you will become familiar with different types of computer software commonly used in healthcare. Further, you will learn how to manage an office and patient schedule and advance your data technology and communication skills.

A clinical internship will give you real-life experience working with doctors and patients in formal healthcare settings. Under the supervision of medical professionals, you will administer medication, perform patient assessments, and other various patient care tasks. This course will deepen your experience and help you develop your own professional techniques within this field, preparing you for the realities of the workplace. 

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At the Florida-based City College, these courses, along with others such as EKGs, Medical Emergencies, and Phlebotomy Procedures, are taught to students. The program also includes a 160-hour internship in actual healthcare facilities to provide students with valuable hands-on experience. Further, the college is a proctoring site for the National Center for Competency Tests (NCCT), meaning they are qualified to provide medical assisting certification to students who successfully pass the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam. 

What type of jobs can you expect to get?

With a Medical Assistant Diploma, you can expect to become a medical assistant to various healthcare professionals where you will care for patients, manage administrative tasks, and assist with essential lab work.   

Those who obtain a Medical Assistant Diploma can work at ambulatory health care centers, hospitals, office laboratories, physicians’ offices, private health practices, and emergency rooms. 

The chances of finding employment following graduation are very promising. Medical assistants are in demand. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increase of 23% in positions by 2028 is expected. 

If you have a keen interest in healthcare and a passion for helping the community, it might be worth looking into Medical Assistant Diplomas in more detail. After all, with dedication, you’ll be able to complete the program in just four quarters, meaning you will be working in the field quickly.     

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