Clinical Medical Assistant Technology Associate's Degree

Earning an associate's degree in clinical medical assistant technology can qualify you to work in the medical field, and you'll usually participate in an internship to gain practical experience. This article will show you what clinical and classroom courses you might take in an associate program, and the advantages of having a degree when applying for medical assistant jobs. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Clinical Medical Assistant Technology Associate's Degree Program?

The job of clinical medical assisting involves working intimately with patients and various medications. Because of this, it's not uncommon for you to be required to submit to a criminal background and drug screening as part of your program's admission process or to begin clinical rotations. Depending on school policy, a program can consist of 60-90 credits and lead to an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degree.

Typical administrative courses in a clinical medical assistant technology program include medical office procedures, records keeping, computer technology and medical terminology. Some of the medical topics you could learn include clinical anatomy, pathophysiology, examining room procedures, pharmacology, dosage calculations and nutrition. Programs entail a number of lab sessions and practicums.

You're generally given the opportunity to perform one or more externships at a school-allied healthcare facility. Externships might take place within the normal school year or following completion of all classroom and lab requirements. While usually comprehensive, individual externships could consist entirely of administrative or clinical assisting duties.

Degree LevelAssociate of Science, Associate of Applied Science
Common CoursesRecords keeping, clinical anatomy, exam room procedures, computer technology
Program FormatOnline, hybrid, or on campus
Career RequirementsOn the job training; degree may be preferred
Median Salary (2018) $33,610 (for all medical assistants)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 29% growth (for all medical assistants)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Earn a Degree Online?

Since there is a great amount of hands-on training and lab work involved in medical assisting programs, online programs are somewhat limited. There are no programs delivered entirely online, though some schools offer hybrid programs. Any practicums, clinical experiences, labs and externships involved must be completed in-person. However, you might be able to view didactic lectures and take general education courses online, at your convenience. If you're already employed at a healthcare facility, you might find hybrid programs particularly suitable, since externships and at least some of the in-person requirements could be completed at your place of employment.

Why Should I Earn a Clinical Medical Assistant Technology Associate's Degree?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that there are no formal academic requirements for you to become a medical assistant, and that in some cases, on-the-job training may suffice. However, you can enroll in an associate's degree program to learn the job skills, potentially improve your employment prospects and gain preliminary hands-on training for medical assisting. In addition to the topics discussed in your classes, you'll have the chance to explore a variety of medical equipment and be introduced to several types of medical procedures during labs and through on-site clinical rotations.

Earning an associate's degree in medical assisting technology generally takes two years. Some schools separate the field of medical assistant technology into different degree paths, such as administrative medical assisting or clinical medical assisting emphases. However, it's more common that both areas are covered in one program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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