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Medical Assisting Frequently Asked Questions
Medical assistants are in demand! Medical assisting is one of the nation's fastest growing careers through 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. This can be attributed to a predicted surge in the number of physicians' offices and outpatient care facilities.
*Note: If you are seeking admission into A-B Tech's Medical Assisting program you will need to visit an advisor in the Bailey Building as this program is now on competitive admissions.
Q. How do I apply for the Medical Assisting Program?
- Step 1. Meet with an advisor located in the Bailey Building.
- Step 2. Complete the A-B Tech application and be accepted into the College.
- Step 3. Take the Accuplacer examination and place into ENG 111 and MAT 110.
- Step 4. Request transcripts from previous college work to be transferred to AB Tech.
Q. Is the acceptance procedure competitive?
A. Yes. The Medical Assisting program accepts 25 students each fall.
Q. What about financial aid?
A. Students may apply for financial aid. Aid is determined based on your current financial situation. Please see the financial aid department for more information.
Q. What responsibilities can be included in a Medical Assistant's job description
A. Duties vary from office to office depending on location, size and specialty.
Administrative duties may include...
- Using computer applications
- Answering telephones
- Greeting patients
- Updating and filing patient medical records
- Coding and filling out insurance forms
- Scheduling appointments
- Arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services
- Handling correspondence, billing and bookkeeping
Clinical duties vary by state, but may include...
- Taking medical histories
- Explaining treatment procedures to patients
- Preparing patients for examination
- Assisting the physician during the exam
- Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
- Performing basic laboratory tests
- Instructing patients about medication and special diets
- Preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician
- Authorizing prescription refills as directed
- Drawing blood, giving injections
- Taking electrocardiograms
- Removing sutures and changing dressing
Q. What do Medical Assistants earn?
A. The earnings of medical assistants vary, depending on experience, skill level, and location. Median annual earnings of medical assistants were $29,370 in 2012. Those with less than one year experience earned $21,080, while those with more than ten years + experience earned $41,570.
Q. Is A-B Tech Accredited?
A. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). The Medical Assisting A.A.S Degree program criteria are governed by the American Association of Medical Assistants and by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The websites of the CAAHEP and AAMA can provide you with more information.
Q. What is certification, and how is it obtained?
A. The Certifying Board of American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) awards the credential to medical assistants who have accomplished two objectives:
- First, they have successfully completed a medical assisting educational program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
- Second, they have passed the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination.
Q. When can I sit for the certification exam?
A. Students may sit for the exam within 30 days of graduation.
Q. Is certification permanent?
A. No. Medical Assistants who are certified must recertify the credential every five years, either by earning credits known as continuing education units or by taking the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination.
Q. If I'm certified in one state and I move to another, is my credential still valid?
A. Yes. This credential is a national certification recognized by employers across the country.
Q. What courses are required in the program?
A. Click HERE for a complete list of courses and a semester by semester break down of classes.
Q. How many credit hours will I need to complete in order to graduate?
A. The Medical Assisting program has a total of 73 credit hours that must be compeleted in order to graduate with an Associate Degree.
Q. Can I take MED courses prior to being accepted into the Program of Study?
A. You may take the following courses prior to being accepted.
- MED 110 Orientation to Medical Assisting
- MED 121 Medical Terminology I
- MED 138 Infection/Hazard Control
- MED 118 Medical Law and Ethics
- MED 122 Medical Terminology II
Q. Can I take course out of sequence?
A. Once you are accepted and begin the program, all MED courses (except those which can be taken prior to acceptance) must be taken in sequence.
Q. Can I take other courses while waiting to be accepted?
A. Yes. We encourage you to take BIO 161, ENG 111, OST 131, MAT 110, CIS 110, SPA 120, COM 120 or COM 140, one Humanities elective, and one Social or Behavioral Science Elective in advance.
Q. Do I get paid during Practicum?
A. No. Students spend up to 240 hours in a practicum site without pay.
Q. Do I have a supervisor during Practicum?
A. Yes. You will be assigned an on site supervisor and ABTech will have a Practicum Coordinator visit your site during your rotation.