Associate’s Degrees in Medical Assistant
Medical assistants – even those in clinical lab settings – are often tasked with handling routine, but increasingly important patient care tasks that may help better detect, diagnose, and treat patient illness and affliction.
What is this degree/subject matter about?
The role of the medical assistant varies depending on specialty, but those in a clinical laboratory setting (serving most as technicians) will be counted on to prepare specimens, perform manual tests, and complete other such tasks under the supervision of a medical doctor, lab manager, or medical or clinical lab technologist. Medical assistants and lab technicians will be expected to have strong communication skills, and understand the nature and purpose of routine laboratory testing, such as blood work, urinalysis, and electrocardiograms.
What does it take to earn this degree, and what will it result in?
Such examples of associate’s in medical assisting include an associate of science or associate of applied science option. Either degree follows a typical two-year path of study, with coursework including medical terminology, pharmacology, medical office management, coding and insurance, and professionalism in healthcare. While such a degree is obviously well suited for those seeking opportunities as medical assistants, those interested in become entry-level lab technicians may benefit as well. Median salaries, depending on area of specialty, tend to range from $31,000 to $36,000 (BLS.gov), with job growth expected to reach 14 percent in the coming years.
Online Associate’s Medical Assistant Degrees
- AS in Medical Assisting Services: Herzing University
- Medical Assisting Certificate: Purdue University
Online Medical Lab Tech Degrees
For those looking to become a medical laboratory technician, a minimum of a two-year associate's degree in health science or a closely related healthcare subject is usually required to gain an entry-level position in the field. For those looking for more advancement, a bachelor's degree is recommended. There are numerous accredited online schools that offer such degrees, listed below.
Purdue University — One of the biggest online schools in the nation, Purdue University provides many online degrees to help you begin a Medical Lab Technician career. While the degrees build a foundation in healthcare that carries throughout your career, more training may be required for your desired position. Purdue's programs include associate degrees in medical assisting, medical transcription, human services, and health information technology.
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