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Although it is possible to become a medical office assistant without specialized training, most job postings will require a post-secondary diploma or certificate. This is because the tasks of a medical office assistant require certain knowledge and training that would be difficult to obtain solely on the job. Medical office assistant courses include training in medical procedures, billing and bookkeeping.
The diploma program at Accelerated Career Institute (ACI) will give you the medical office assistant courses you need to be successful. As well, you will complete a practicum, so that you feel comfortable on the job when it’s time to get hired.
Required medical office assistant courses
You may already have some skills that will help you in your role as a Medical Office Assistant, such as typing and using Microsoft Office. You may have worked in offices before and have experience with answering the phone and providing customer service. However, there are other more specialized skills you can learn through medical office assistant courses.
Electronic Medical Record Software – Many patient records in today’s office environment are maintained electronically. This helps to ensure efficiency and provide better care to the patient. An office assistant needs to learn how to manage these records using the latest software. ACI’s Medical Billing course includes an introduction to the Oscar Electronic Medical Record computer software program.
Medical terminology – In order to communicate effectively with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, you will need to understand the terminology used in the medical field. This information will be useful in ordering tests, scheduling, writing reports and other tasks. Learning to be fluent in this terminology will ensure accuracy and help you assist with delivering high quality patient care. You will learn medical terminology in your Medical Science and Transcription courses.
Medical transcription – You may be required to produce reports based on the doctor’s information such as dictation or hand-written notes. This is called medical transcription. This information must be formatted and entered electronically. Medical transcription courses will teach you both the terminology and the procedures.
Clinical procedures – Although a medical office assistant can’t treat patients, they may be required to perform certain clinical procedures. You will learn about basic laboratory tests, medical office equipment, measuring and charting vital signs and how to prepare the exam room. This information will be included in your Medical Office Procedures course at ACI.
Practicum – Practicums are an essential part of medical office assistant courses. It will allow you to see how the knowledge gained in your program is used in the real world. You will get a feel for the procedures of a office and your role in helping to make sure everything runs smoothly. You will also learn how to multi-task effectively as most offices are very busy places. When you start your first job, you’ll have some experience and feel more confident that you have the skills to handle the challenges ahead.
As you can see there is a lot of specialized learning that takes place, before one can become a confident medical office assistant. However, taking medical office assistant courses doesn’t need to take you away from the workplace for years. The Medical Office Assistant program at ACI is only 22.5 weeks.
If you want to become a confident Medical Office Assistant, contact ACI today to find out if the medical office assistant program is right for you.
Because the day-to-day tasks of a medical office assistant are varied, you will need a variety of competencies such as administration and “soft” skills.
What skills do you need?
Here is what you need to demonstrate to become a successful medical office assistant:
Communication: As a medical office assistant, you will be the first point of contact for patients. You will need to be able to take down their information accurately, collect billing or insurance information, show them into the exam room and take their vital signs. In many cases you will be dealing with people who are sick, in pain and possibly upset. You’ll need to be able to remain calm and reassuring under pressure. You should be able to communicate well in person, on the phone and in emails.
Team work: As an essential member of the staff, you will also need to communicate with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in your facility. You need to keep others updated about patients, order supplies and take instructions from others. You will need to be able to ask questions to ensure you understand processes and procedures. If you continue to grow in your role, you might take on leadership roles, which will involve training and supervising other employees.
Computer skills: Good typing skills and accuracy will be important as you learn new software, input data, do medical transcription and basic bookkeeping. If you have a knack for computers and learning software, it will help increase your efficiency on the job. You can learn the types of software used in medical offices from an accredited program such as the Medical Office Assistant programat Accelerated Career Institute (ACI)and on the job.
Medical skills: At Accelerated Career Institute, you will learn the clinical skills you need for the job. Although a medical office assistant does not diagnose patients, they may have to perform a few medical tasks such as measuring and recording vital signs. As well, part of your job may involve medical transcription. You will need to be familiar with terminology used by doctors. Typically these skills are learned through an accredited program, such as ACI.
Administrative skills: As a medical office assistant you will need to help with the general administration of the office. This will include data entry, bookkeeping, scheduling, billing and other basic office skills. You may learn these skills through courses, on the job or from other administrative positions you may have held in the past.
Organizational skills: Needless to say, managing an office while in a customer facing role requires excellent organizational skills. You will need to be able to take phone calls, greet patients, and perform the tasks assigned by the doctor or office manager. You may experience frequent interruptions. Your ability to multi-task will be essential in this role. Sometimes it will be impossible to do everything at once and you will need to prioritize your tasks.
If you enjoy working with people and are ready to take on new challenges in your career, find out if the medical office assistant program at ACI is right for you. Contact ustoday for more information.
Medical office assistant (MOA) is a growing occupation with a lot of potential career opportunities for the future. If you are looking for a job with stability, interesting tasks, room for advancement and great benefits, this may be the career for you.
Here are some of the top benefits of working as a medical office assistant.
Start your career quickly: The Medical Office Assistant program at Accelerated Career Institute (ACI) takes only 22.5 weeks to complete. Once you finish the program, you will be ready for work. Medical office assistant is one career where you can begin working in your desired occupation right after graduation.
Job prospects: There are plenty of medical offices that require the skills you will be obtaining in your program. It’s not difficult to find work in most major cities. Smaller towns may be more challenging. The outlook for medical office assistants is excellent with the demand for medical services high due to an aging population. A large number of people in this position are likely to retire in the next 10 years.
Hours: Unless you work in a hospital, you will likely have fairly regular hours. Most stand-alone clinics do stay open late or open on weekends to serve those with nine-to-five jobs. Some doctors’ offices will also have varied hours to better serve these people. However, the schedule is usually straightforward. Some people even specialize as medical transcriptionists so they can work at home. A career as a medical office assistant is great for parents because you will not normally need to work shifts or be called in to emergencies like other healthcare professionals.
Interesting tasks: Some people like the clinical tasks. Some like the administrative tasks. Others love serving customers. You day will be busy with lots of different things competing for your attention. For many MOAs this level of activity is very satisfying because they are never bored.
Helping people: As you work in this role, you will have the opportunity to meet many people from your community. You’ll develop patience and communication skills as you assist people with their appointments. You’ll be showing them to the exam room, taking down their vitals, assisting the doctor, and answering what questions you are able to answer. As an important member of the team you’ll feel fulfilled knowing that you’re helping people with receiving their health care.
Room for advancement: Many people take on more tasks during their career and move up the ladder to positions such as office manager or patient coordinator. Others acquire certifications or additional skills. Some become so interested in the medical field that they go back to school to become nurses or complete other diplomas or degrees. If working in the healthcare sector is right for you, there are numerous options for advancing your career, which is one of the greatest benefits of this role.
If you think a career as a Medical Office Assistant is right for you, please contact Accelerated Career Institute to learn more about our program.
Although it’s possible that you could become a medical office assistant (MOA) with just a high school diploma, most positions will require a certificate, diploma or degree. Medical offices require varied and complex tasks from their MOAs. If you want to succeed in this field a certified program will help you. Beyond the day-to-day office tasks there are certain educational requirements that you will get from a certified post-secondary program, such as:
- Insurance and billing
- Medical terminology
- Clinical procedures
- Medical ethics
It would be very hard to learn all the skills on the job, which is why a diploma is highly desirable.
What you will learn
You may already have some administrative skills. For example, you may have taken computer training, Microsoft Office and other courses at the high school or college level, or you may have used these skills in another office job.
However, the job of a medical office assistant has an additional layer of complexity as you will be expected to not only handle the administrative aspects of running an office, but you may also need to:
- Take down vital signs
- Handle lab samples
- Perform clinical tasks
- Bill patients and insurance companies
- Write reports using medical terminology
There will be training in specialized computer software programs that will help you perform tasks, such as scheduling, bookkeeping, transcription and billing.
A medical office assistant program, such as the diploma program at Accelerated Career Institute will prepare you for these varied tasks.
Benefits of educational requirements
Every office has different procedures, so you will need to come prepared to learn on the job. However, most software programs have certain similarities, which will help you pick up skills faster. As well, knowing the medical procedures and terminology will help you avoid mistakes and feel confident in your role.
At ACI, you will also have the opportunity to complete a practicum so that you can experience the day-to-day tasks of being a medical office assistant. When you graduate you will feel confident that you can succeed in this challenging, but rewarding, role.
In the future, you may decide to build on your experience with certifications or continuing education in fields such as administration, laboratory assistant, nursing or other related fields. You may also find that it’s possible to advance in your role to positions such as office manager. An MOA diploma can set you on a path towards a life-long career.
To find out more about this exciting career field, contact Accelerated Career Institute and ask about our Medical Office Assistant program.
Every medical office requires someone to check in patients, handle paperwork, conduct billing and perform other essential tasks. This means that there are a variety of different settings where a medical office assistant can work.
Types of workplaces
Private physician’s practices: A medical office assistant at a doctor’s office will need to have excellent customer service skills as they are the first point of contact with the patients as they make appointments and arrive at the office. This is a multi-tasking role, which may require a broad range of skills including billing, bookkeeping, and basic medical procedures such as recording vital signs.
Dentist offices: Similarly a medical office assistant in a dentist office will book appointments, take billing information and provide customer service. However, a hygienist would likely handle the clinical tasks.
Physiotherapy, hearing clinics, chiropractors, etc: There are a range of specialists in the medical field who require administrative assistance to run their practices.
Clinics: At a busy clinic you may be assisting with patients for several doctors. You may have to multi-task, or sometimes your tasks will be more specialized depending on the size of the office. This could be a walk-in clinic, a specialized clinic, or a place where multiple family doctors share space and administrative resources.
Hospitals: Hospitals also require administrative help to check people in and take insurance information. This could be in an emergency room or an outpatient clinic attached to the hospital. In this type of setting, employees generally have more well-defined roles. Job titles could also include medical secretary, transcriptionist or patient coordinator.
Insurance companies and government agencies: This path is more rare; however, a medical office assistant can work in a more administrative setting. For example, your knowledge of billing, medical terminology and administration could help you find employment at a public or private insurance company or government agency.
Where should you work?
A medical office assistant can work in a variety of different environments. Where you decide to work may depend on your preferences or, if you live in a smaller town, you may take the positions that are available. What type of schedule do you prefer? Generally, a smaller clinic will have more regular hours whereas a hospital could require 12-hour shifts. Perhaps you like to multitask in a busy environment, or maybe you feel you would work better in a quieter practice. Some people apply for jobs at hospitals because of the room for advancement.
Whatever you choose, a career as a medical office assistant provides excellent growth opportunities and an opportunity to apply your skills in a wide variety of tasks.