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How to Become a Medical Assistant & How Long It Takes

Do you want to work in a meaningful career in the medical field but don’t have years to devote to getting a degree? Medical assisting is a well-paying and rewarding entry-level career. 

At Advanced eClinical Training, we make it simple to complete your online medical assistant certification program (CCMA) in less time than the industry average, so you can get started in your medical career in less time and for less cost than traditional certification programs!

Keep reading to learn more about how to become a certified medical assistant and what you can expect from our CCMA program!

How Long Does It Take to Become a Medical Assistant?

We understand that your time and money are valuable because our founders went through the same frustration you faced before founding ACT. They didn’t have up to two years to devote to more schooling either, so they designed a skills training program for the real world that hundreds of students have taken advantage of since!

Why spend between 1 and 2 years training somewhere else? ACT’s CCMA program is self-paced and takes just 8 to 12 weeks to complete. You will be ready to apply for work as a medical assistant immediately after completing the program and earning your certificate.

What is the Demand for Skilled Medical Assistants?

If you’re wondering whether pursuing a career as a medical assistant is worthwhile, we’ve got great news – you’re getting into a career in high demand! 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2021 that the demand for medical assistants should remain at approximately 16 percent annually through 2031. An aging Baby Boom generation that is just starting to need more care from medical providers is only part of the reason. Medical assistants earned a median annual salary of $37,190 in May 2021.

Where Do Medical Assistants Work?

According to the BLS, you will probably earn the most as a medical assistant working for a private physician’s office. However, your certificate prepares you to work in various settings you may enjoy more. You can usually find medical assistants in these settings:

  • Chiropractic offices
  • Clinics
  • Diagnostic testing centers
  • Hospice centers
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes and other long-term care centers
  • Offices of private physicians
  • Surgery centers

What Are the Duties of a Medical Assistant?

Doctors and registered nurses can’t get by without you, no matter where you work. Just think about it! When you go to the doctor, you usually see a medical assistant who asks you questions about why you’re there long before the doctor comes knocking. Although no two days are the same in the life of a medical assistant, below are some duties you can expect to have assigned to you:

  • Ask the patient questions to better understand their medical condition
  • Assist doctors with patient exams by taking notes and locating medical equipment
  • Update the patient’s medical record
  • Record vital statistics, such as weight and blood pressure
  • Provide patients with medications or injections as directed by a doctor
  • Receive blood samples from the laboratory and prepare them for testing
  • Schedule appointments for patients

Medical assistants also typically work with software and must master the skills to input patient data correctly and confidentially.

How to Become a Certified Medical Assistant

ACT is here to help you complete the first step in your career journey with our medical assistant certificate program. You will see the courses listed below available to you right away upon registration.

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • BLS Training
  • Clinical Procedures
  • Diagnostic Methods
  • Healthcare Fundamentals
  • HIPAA (Patient Privacy Act)
  • Infection Control
  • Pharmacology
  • Principles of Human Diseases

ACT listened to feedback from student medical assistants and found ways to make our online delivery of coursework work for them. Besides listening to detailed lectures and taking notes, you will also participate in patient skills simulations, interact with your classmates, and participate in real-world clinical cases, all from the comfort of, well, wherever you are!

Don’t struggle alone if you ever get stuck on a concept. We’ve made it simple to schedule 1-on-1 sessions with instructors through Zoom whenever you need a little extra help. You can also speak to someone from the career and professional development team anytime you want. They can help direct you to additional resources, help you prepare a resume, practice job interview skills with you, and answer any other questions you have as you transition from student to employee.

What to Expect When Taking Your Exam from the National Healthcare Association

Besides offering a fast-track medical assistant program, ACT covers the cost for students to take their certification exam. The National Healthcare Association (NHA) provides and scores the 150-question test. You will want to make sure you have studied the following topics:

  • Administrative Assisting
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Clinical Patient Care
  • Communication and Customer Service
  • Foundational Knowledge and Basic Science
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Patient Care Coordination and Education

Approximately half the exam focuses on Clinical Patient Care. The NHA posts your score within two days and provides you with instructions on how to print your certificate.

Ready to Enroll?

With most schools, the answer to the question “how long is medical assistant school?” is 1 to 2 years. At ACT, you complete an interactive and affordable program in as little as one-tenth of that time. Enrollment is simple, and you can begin your courses immediately after enrollment.

Enroll today to begin your journey toward a rewarding medical career. Or, check out our long list of medical certifications available for even more self-paced courses!

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