What Classes You Need to Take to Be a Medical Assistant

A medical assistant is a healthcare professional who provides routine patient care and helps with office duties in a hospital or clinic setting. If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant you’ll need to take some specific classes to prepare for the job. Here’s a look at some of the courses you’ll need to take.

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Medical assistants are in high demand! If you’re thinking of becoming a medical assistant, you’re probably wondering what classes you need to take.

The good news is that you don’t need a four-year degree to become a medical assistant. Medical assistants typically have an associate’s degree or certificate from a community college or vocational school.

What classes you need to take to be a medical assistant depends on the program you choose. Most programs will include classes in Medical Terminology anatomy and physiology, patient care, and office procedures. You may also have classes in accounting, insurance billing, and computer applications.

If you’re planning on becoming a certified medical assistant, you’ll need to take an additional certification exam after completing your training. Once you pass the exam, you’ll be able to use the credential “CMA” (Certified Medical Assistant) after your name.

As you can see, there are a variety of classes you need to take to be a medical assistant. But don’t let that discourage you – with the right training, you can have a rewarding career in healthcare!

History of medical assistants

Medical assistants are one of the most versatile allied health professions. They perform both administrative and clinical tasks in physicians’ offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Many medical assistants have successfully completed a postsecondary education program and possess certification from a professional organization.

The profession of medical assisting has a long and rich history. One of the first recorded instances of someone performing tasks similar to those of modern medical assistants dates back to Ancient Egypt. The Edwin Smith Papyrus, an Ancient Egyptian medical text, describes a worker who acted as both a secretary and an assistant to physicians. This worker was responsible for keeping records, stocking supplies, and acting as a go-between for the doctor and patients.

During the Middle Ages in Europe, barber-surgeons performed many of the tasks now associated with medical assistants. These individuals provided basic medical care and also performed such tasks as bloodletting, dentistry, and surgery. As formal medicine began to develop in the late 1800s, the scope of work for barber-surgeons began to change.

In 1887, Dr. George W. Vanderbilt decided to open a hospital that would provide quality care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay. To staff his new facility, he recruited orderlies from the U.S. Army Medical Corps who had experience caring for patients with a variety of needs. These men became known as “hospital corpsmen” and their duties began to resemble those of modern-day medical assistants.

During World War II, many women entered the workforce to replace the men who had left to fight in the war. These women found employment in factories and offices, but some also took jobs as hospital corpsmen. After the war ended, many of these women returned to their traditional roles as homemakers; however, some chose to stay in the workforce and pursue careers as medical assistants.

The 1960s brought considerable change to the healthcare system in the United States advancements in technology led to an increase in diagnostic procedures and treatments that required more staffing in hospitals and physician offices

Duties of medical assistants

Medical assistants perform many duties to support the work of physicians and other health professionals. They are sometimes also known as Medical Administrative Assistants or medical office assistants.

The duties of medical assistants vary from office to office, but they generally include taking and recording medical histories, measuring patients’ vital signs, preparing blood specimens for laboratory testing, helping patients to put on surgical gowns and gloves, and scheduling patients’ appointments.

In some offices, medical assistants also help with billing and coding, insurance forms, and other office duties. They may also be responsible for ordering supplies and handling correspondence.

Education and training requirements

To become a medical assistant, you will need to complete an accredited program and pass a credentialing exam. Read on to learn more about the steps you will need to take to pursue a career in medical assisting.

Medical assistants are allied health professionals who work alongside physicians and other members of the healthcare team to provide patient care. They are multi-skilled and can perform both clinical and administrative tasks in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and physician’s offices.

Education and training requirements
To become a medical assistant, you will need to complete an accredited program. Most programs take about one year to complete and lead to a certificate or diploma. Some programs may take up to two years to complete and lead to an associate’s degree.

Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass a credentialing exam to earn your medical assistant certification. The two most common credentialing exams for medical assistants are the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam offered by American Medical Technologists (AMT).

Skills you will need
As a medical assistant, you will need to be able to handle both clinical and administrative tasks. Clinical skills you may be expected to perform include taking patient histories, recording vital signs, administering injections, collecting blood samples, and performing basic laboratory tests. Administrative skills you may be expected to perform include scheduling appointments, verifying insurance coverage, handling billing and coding paperwork, handling correspondence, and keeping medical records


There are many different types of medical assistants, each with their own set of responsibilities. However, most medical assistants need to be certified in order to practice. The certification process usually involves taking a class or course on the specific topic, as well as passing an exam.

Salary and job outlook

Medical assistants are among the fastest-growing occupations in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employers are expected to create nearly 29,000 new jobs for medical assistants between 2016 and 2026. This growth is due in large part to an aging population that will need more medical care as they live longer.

As a medical assistant, you can expect to earn a median annual salary of $31,540. The top 10 percent of earners make more than $45,830, while the bottom 10 percent make less than $22,920.

Pros and cons of being a medical assistant

There are many pros and cons to being a medical assistant. Some people love the job and find it very rewarding, while others may find the job to be too challenging or stressful. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of being a medical assistant before making a decision about whether or not this is the right career path for you.

Some of the pros of being a medical assistant include:
-The ability to help people in a variety of ways
-The opportunity to work in a variety of settings
-A good salary and benefits package
-The possibility of advancement within the field

Some of the cons of being a medical assistant include:
-The potential for long hours and shift work
-The need to be on call or working weekends and holidays
-The possibility of exposure to hazardous materials
-The potential for exposure to communicable diseases


Though the medical field is vast and there are many different career paths you can take, becoming a medical assistant is a great way to get started in the industry. With the right training and credentials, you can be on your way to a successful and rewarding career in no time.


There are a few things you need to do before you can become a medical assistant. First, you need to complete an accredited medical assistant program. Once you have completed your program, you will then need to take and pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam.


Q. Do I need to be a certified medical assistant to work in this field?
A. No, certification is not required to work as a medical assistant, but it may give you an edge over other candidates when you are applying for jobs. Certification also shows that you are committed to your career and that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform your duties effectively.

Q. How long does it take to become a medical assistant?
A. Most programs can be completed in about one year, although some may take longer. It is important to choose a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These accreditations will ensure that you receive the best education possible and that your degree or certificate will be recognized by employers.

Q. What classes do I need to take to become a medical assistant?
A. Classes vary depending on the program you choose, but they typically include medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, clinical procedures, and medical office administration. You may also be required to complete an internship or externship as part of your training.

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