Unpacking the Medical Assisting Major

Medical Assisting

Medical Assistants are the heart of healthcare. If you are interested in healthcare but not sure you want to go into nursing, Medical Assisting is a great route. But what are the differences between the two careers? Let us break it down for you with a little more information about Medical Assisting.

Versatility in healthcare

Medical Assistants are responsible for patient education that the provider wants the patient to understand, such as, how to take certain medications and how to handle treatments, like wound care. Most importantly the medical assistant acts as a liaison between the patient and provider.

Included with patient care, Medical Assistants may perform such things as taking vitals, drawing blood, giving injections, EKG or ECG testing, and assisting with office surgeries and procedures, provider ordered prescription refills, and handling prior authorizations for medications and hospital surgeries and/or procedures.

The main difference between Nursing and Medical Assistants is that Medical Assistants are trained specifically for the Medical Office setting, which makes them very versatile. Students learn skills for the front desk, scheduling appointments, answering phones, handling accounts receivable and payable, insurance billing and coding.

Education in the field

Like the Nursing program, Medical Assistants also spend time in clinicals, which allows students to get real life experience. During the 11 months of the Medical Assisting program, students learn these skills by practicing the drawing blood and giving injections on each other for true human experience. This is required by the Medical Assistant examining accreditation review board (MAERB) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) which develops the medical assisting program guidelines and core requirements, prior to students going to their externships.

Consistency is key

One of the biggest perks for a Medical Assistant is the consistent hours. MA’s typical work week include Monday through Friday with an occasional Saturday depending on their employer. Unless they are working in an urgent care setting, the hours are usually 8 am to 5 pm which makes for a great work life balance.

Calling all Medical Assistants

Medical Assistants are in high demand. Physicians’ offices are searching for people to be in this profession and are looking to train them during student clinicals. Currently Marshalltown Community College and Ellsworth Community College Medical Assisting program graduates have a 100% placement rate! What that means? That all of our successful graduates find a job after completing the program!

Many hospitals, clinics, and urgent care settings are offering signing bonuses to increase interest in this career and joining their organization.

Be a part of the growing Medical Assisting field. Find a career in a field that you know jobs are available and will continue to grow. Find out more about the ECC and MCC Medical Assisting program and make sure ask how you can be eligible for the Last-Dollar Scholarship program so that you may earn your degree tuition free!