Features of Medical Assistant Training Programs for a Rewarding Healthcare Career

Medical assistant training programs prepare their students for work in a variety of healthcare settings.  With the healthcare industry rapidly expanding throughout the country, medical assistants have many options for their careers. Here's a closer look at various features of various medical assistant training programs

Program Features

1. Clinical Skills: Students completing a medical assistant associate degree can master a broad range of practical skills along with essential knowledge for a job in healthcare. They learn how to take vital signs, such as respiration rate and blood pressure. They practice drawing blood, administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and performing a urinalysis. Some students complete a course in electrocardiography to become qualified to administer EKG testing.

2. Office Skills: Students can also learn office skills needed for use in a healthcare setting. They enter patient records in computer databases or spreadsheets. They create and print invoices. Practice scenarios are conducted in which they ask patients about medical history and help with insurance forms.

3. Biology Topics and Other Courses: In addition, coursework for the associate degree covers relevant topics through classroom or online instruction. Students typically complete courses in hematology, anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and medical ethics. A solid foundation in these subjects supports the practical skills that the students learn.

4. Certification: Completing a training program also prepares the graduate for passing a certification exam from a professional organization. The credential of certified medical assistant, or CMA, indicates to employers that the candidate has a high level of knowledge and competency in the occupation. Many employers require these workers to be certified.


Most medical assistants work in doctors' offices. A large number also are employed in hospitals and clinics. Some find positions with other healthcare practitioners, such as chiropractors and physical therapists. A small percentage work in laboratories. The average hourly pay for medical assistants as of 2019 was $17.17 per hour, according to the Bureau. That translates to an annual salary of $35,720 per year.

Some medical assistants focus mainly on clerical and administrative tasks, while others concentrate on clinical duties. In a smaller facility, the employee may be in charge of both.

Getting Started

Anyone who finds this career opportunity interesting may begin by looking for medical assistant training programs through an online search. Then it's time to contact the ones that look the most appealing. Once enrolled, the student is ready to embark on a rewarding new career.