Medical assistants have been described as health care's most versatile, multi-faceted professionals. Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to keep health care delivery settings running smoothly. The duties vary from office to office, depending on office location, size and specialty. In small practices, medical assistants are usually "generalists", handling both clerical and clinical duties. Those in large practices tend to specialize in a particular area.
Medical assistants perform many clerical duties. They answer telephones, greet patients, update and file patient medical records, process insurance forms, handle correspondence, schedule appointments, arrange for hospital admission, laboratory service, handle billing and bookkeeping.
Clinical duties vary according to state law and include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories; explaining treatment procedures to patients; preparing patients for examination, and assisting during the examination. Medical assistants collect and process laboratory specimens; perform basic laboratory tests; dispose of contaminated supplies; and sterilize medical instruments. They instruct patients about medication and special diets, prepare and administer medication as directed by a physician, authorize drug refills as directed, telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy, draw blood, prepare patients for X-rays, take EKGs, remove sutures, and change dressings. Additional specializations are also available.
Medical assistants also maintain examining rooms, purchase equipment and supplies, and keep waiting rooms clean and tidy.
Why Choose Macomb Community College?
- Macomb's Medical Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Graduates are eligible and strongly encouraged to take the national exam to obtain certification.
- The student entering the Medical Assistant Program has the option to attend on a part-time or full-time basis. You can choose to begin in the fall or spring semester and obtain a one year certificate or a two-year associate of applied science degree.
- The Medical Assistant Program is an open admissions program.
- The courses that comprise the Medical Assistant Program will provide you with the entry level skills necessary to assist doctors and patients in clinical, office, or hospital settings. Students will learn medical terminology, laboratory techniques, anatomy and physiology, clinical skills, diagnostic procedures, pharmaceutical principles, medication administration and first aid. They are also instructed in office practices, computer applications, customer service, medical law and ethics. Externship provides practical experience in physician offices, hospitals or other health care settings.
- The Administrative Front-Office Practicum experience will give you 48 hours in the front office fine tuning your skills in reception, administration of the office, insurance and computer applications.
- The externship experience will give you 160 hours of clinical experience in instructing the patient, collection of specimens, performing diagnostic testing and other clinical skills in a local medical office.
- Upon program completion, you will be eligible to take the national certification exam to become a Certified Medical Assistant. CMA (AAMA), increasing your marketability.