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How to Select a Medical Assistant Program: Choose the Right One for You

medical assistant program, harris school of business

Exploring medical assistant programs represents a step towards a secure future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that between 2016 and 2026, the job category of medical assistant should grow 29 percent, considered “much faster than average” by the Bureau. With the current surge of healthcare retirees and rising demand for healthcare, the healthcare field needs many more medical assistants. If you have a high school diploma or GED and willingness to help others, you can enter a medical assistant program to join this dynamic field.

Delivery of Medical Assisting Programs

The main categories of medical assisting programs are online classes and traditional, hands-on training. Some medical assistant programs offer a hybrid of these meaning students attend some classes and take some remotely.

Online or Hybrid Medical Assistant Programs

These medical assisting classes take place completely or partially through the internet. While they can allow for greater flexibility, they lack the full scope of interaction of traditional medical assistant programs. At Harris School of Business, we believe that hands-on training better conveys the compassionate, personal nature of medical assisting. Although the technical aspects of medical assisting may be learned from a screen or read in a book, the essential elements of care require direct learning from instructors. That is why our medical assisting instructors provide only hands-on training.

Hands-on Medical Assistant Programs

Held in a classroom with the camaraderie of fellow students and the real-time feedback of medical assisting instructors, traditional classes offer the most immersive experience for medical assistant students. They can feel confident that they understand both the medical and technical facts gleaned from the instruction and materials as well as the necessary “soft skills” and care techniques medical assistants need to truly excel.

Medical Assisting Programs Offered by Harris School of Business

Medical Assisting graduates of Harris School of Business may work in hospitals, outpatient centers, private practices or surgical centers after as few as seven months of full-time classes.

Medical Assistant

Students interested in health care but perhaps without a clear objective find the Medical Assistant program provides a strong foundation in the essentials of patient care procedures and theory, medical office processes, and the communication skills needed for to become a reliable team member in a medical office environment. Many discover the Medical Assistant program experience helps them discover where they want to go further in the healthcare field.

Professional Medical Assistant

Students in our Professional Medical Assistant program receive an excellent grasp of medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology, as well as correct patient care procedures, pharmacology, medical office protocols, communication, and computer skills. More in-depth than the Medical Assistant program, the Professional Medical Assistant coursework can open even more opportunities to the graduate.

Professional Medical Assistant Plus

Based on our standard Professional Medical Assistant program, the Professional Medical Assistant Plus program includes Electronic Health Records (EHR) training, which is required by for medical offices to accept patients’ health insurance coverage. EHR use has become a highly in-demand skill. The Professional Medical Assistant Plus program also offers an end-of-program review course to help with certification preparation.

Accredited or Non-Accredited Medical Assistant Programs: What is the Difference?

What is Accreditation?

Accredited medical assisting programs receive approval by a recognized, certifying organization that they truly offer the quality of education that they claim they do. Schools offering medical assistant programs receive accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These organizations are widely recognized as the experts in accreditation for medical assisting programs.

Why Does Accreditation Matter?

  • Students who complete medical assistant training must take certifying exams for medical assistants after graduation so they can work in the field. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) issues the certified medical assistant designation. The AAMA only allows graduates of accredited schools to take the certified medical assistant examination. 
  • Federal loan and grant offering bodies include only students attending accredited schools. Non-accredited schools’ students cannot receive these funds.
  • Companies view graduates of accredited medical assistant programs as higher quality candidates than those of non-accredited programs. That means that students who complete a program through an accredited school enjoy a higher rate of employability.
  • Medical assistant program graduates can more readily transfer to a different school for further education if they desire.