1. What is a medical assistant?
A medical assistant (MA) is a member of a physician office or urgent care team. The MA splits the time between administrative duties, such as scheduling, billing and coding and clinical duties such as history and physical intake, vitals, injections and patient education.
2. What is the pay rate like?
The rate for the Frederick area is $11.00-$15.00 per hour.
3. Can I get a job quickly as a Medical Assistant? With Benefits?
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Medical Assistant as one of the fastest growing professions. It is expected to experience a 35% growth by the year 2016. The number of people in the U.S. who are 65 or older is expected to double in the next 25 years. This could mean a huge increase in demand for the healthcare industry. An MA may be hired as a Full time position with benefits or as a part time position.
4. Will I get hired at Externship site?
Some students have been hired at the extern site, however this is not a guarantee.
5. How long does it take to complete the program?
The certificate for Medical Assistant can be obtained in as little as 10 months for a full time student. The certificate for Health Care Practice Management can be obtained in as little as 6 months for a full time student.
6. When can I take the National Certification for Medical Assistants Exam?
Assisting Program the graduate is eligible for national certification through NCCT. The test is given once a month upon graduation, on campus, in the Testing Center. NCCT is an independent, third party organization that has certified more than 200,000 individuals by examination throughout the U.S. since 1989. NCCT examinations are job-related, criterion-referenced tests designed to assess a candidate’s performance against redetermined standards. These standards are created by a role delineation process (a job analysis survey) that insures that NCCT standards meet the expectations of all stakeholders.
7. What if I do not know much about computers?
The support courses in the Health Care Practice Management certification are: Information Systems and Technology, Medical Office Applications, and Electronic Health Records.
8. Is this a program I can work around my family life with?
This program can be taken in a full time or part time status. There are also many courses in the program that are offered as a hybrid or an online course.
9. Is financial aid available?
Yes, to those who qualify. We have a Financial Aid office to answer any questions you may have.
10. Is the Medical Assisting field over-populated or crowded?
No, good assistants are in demand.
11. Will the Medical Assisting Program give me the skills to be a desirable candidate for employment when I have completed the course?
Yes, the program offers knowledge needed along with hands-on laboratory skills and placement in an extern-site.
12. Do the students have a high success rate of graduating and being hired.
Yes, the rate for both is good and seems to be improving very consistently.
13. What are some of the duties of a Medical Assistant?
You are instructed to:
- Communicate with patients, doctors, supervisors, peers
- Record vital signs
- Administer injections and EKGs
- Assist with physical examinations
- Manage medical records
- Perform routine laboratory and diagnostic tests
- Assist with minor surgical procedures
- Increase awareness of Cultural diversities
14. Will I need to purchase additional textbooks for this program for MDA 101,102,104,201, 202 and 204 Clinical Classes?
The Large Textbook, Workbook and Handbook you purchase before MDA101 will carry you through MDA101, 102, 201 and 202 classes. MDA 104 and 204 are both part of your Clinical Externship time in a real-life office. You simply get your evaluations completed and do the work of a medical assistant during this time.
15. Are there any recommendations regarding reading the “really thick” MDA textbook?
Yes, we recommend you go to the back of the chapter you wish to study first, where you will
- find a “summary” that gives you an overview of the material you will find in the chapter. This helps relieve the “overwhelmed” feeling.
- Many students prefer to keep this textbook as a reference and feel free to HIGHLIGHT important information.
- Then read the chapter. Write bold face words if you wish/page#
- Then complete the workbook. Some students find it helpful to write the text page number where they found the answer next to the workbook question. Any unusually difficult questions can be brought to class lecture.
16. Why must we begin reading and completing the workbook BEFORE the first day of class?
We have so much wonderful information and excellent hands-on opportunities in Medical Assistant Skills to discuss, we can not waste any class time! Our students are well known in the Frederick area as being very well prepared- 80% of the last graduating class was hired BEFORE graduation.
17. What documentation is required to complete the MDA101 Competency Folder in order to move on to MDA102?
You must turn in PHYSICAL Forms, HEALTHCARE PROVIDER CPR card copy, record of current PPD (TB Test) and Immunization Record/ Bloodwork Titre including Hepatitis B shot #1 out of three. This information insures that you are protected and fit for working as a medical assistant.
18. What kind of interesting things will students study in these classes generally?
- MDA 101- vitals, ethics and law, and working with patients.
- MDA102-”small needles” for example, injections, glucometers, Hemoglobin, EKG and strep testing and more!
- THEN MDA 104 begins your EXTERNSHIP in a real office while you finish:
- MDA201-phlebotomy, urine testing and more!
- MDA202-Re-visit anatomy and body systems, more phlebotomy and injections experience and prepare for national certification!
19. What is the difference between a Medical Assistant and a Nurse?
A very basic answer is that CMAs work more with testing and patient care BEFORE diagnosis, assisting a physician on site as the physician investigates the clues to the patient’s health problems.
Nurses monitor and care for patients without a physician on site on their OWN license. Sometimes we see nurses in offices because although MAs can give meds when ordered and place an IV in the State of MD, we may not hook up an IV. Nurses are not trained in some of the testing methods we do.
CMAs may work with x-rays under supervision of a physician, but may not “push the Button” unless certified in Radiology. You must make yourself aware of the laws in whatever state you choose to practice!
20. How does certification work?
- The student completes a medical assistant program and applies for graduation. Not certified yet!
- Once the coursework and Externship of 160 hours is complete the student must register online and pay discounted “student fee” for the NCCT exam. The link for this is on your blackboard site. Passing this means you are CERTIFIED to work in every state, although laws vary as far as scope of practice, but you have a professional level of knowledge and ability and everyone knows it. There is a pay incentive associated with Certification as well. The student must send a program completion certificate from the MDA Program to NCCT, after which NCCT will send NATIONAL CERTIFICATE.
- The student may attend the MDA PROGRAM Pinning Ceremony in the month of July following completion of graduation requirements to celebrate with classmates.
- The student may attend the FCC College Graduation Ceremony in May following the completion of program.
- To remain certified, you must complete 12 hours of CE (Continuing Education) credit each year for 5 years (60 total) before it is necessary to take the certification exam again, which you may do here at FCC Testing Center again.
21. Are all MAs certified? And are there any Professional organizations I should know about?
There are MAs working without certification and with experience may be making good pay, however they may only be trained in ONE type of office. HOWEVER, new changes coming out from Medicare now indicate that it may be requirement in the near future to be certified by a certification body to prove that the MA may be competent to a professional level. New MAs with National Certification jump to the top of the list when Office managers are hiring, because they have the training and some experience (externship hours) to show on their resume.
The AAMA-American Association of Medical Assistants (who also certifies MAs) is an association you may join as a student and receive a magazine called CMA TODAY which includes evolving changes and updates, if you wish. This is an option. The AAMA offers Liability Insurance, etc.