Description of Occupation: The objective of the Medical Assistant Certificate Program is to provide students with the knowledge, technical skills and work habits required to pursue an entry-level position in the medical assistant field or in a related area. The program concentrates on helping students acquire knowledge and develop skills in performing routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep health care delivery settings running efficiently and smoothly. Duties for completers of the program may include answering telephones, greeting patients, calling in prescriptions to a pharmacy, scheduling appointments, making medical histories, recording vital signs, preparing patients, assisting the physician during examinations, collecting and preparing laboratory specimens, performing basic laboratory tests, sterilizing medical instruments, instructing patients about medical and special diets, preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician, authorizing drug refills as directed, drawing blood, preparing patients for x-rays, taking electrocardiograms, removing sutures, and changing dressings. Instruction occurs in classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings.
Career Opportunities: Students enroll in this program to seek post-completion employment in positions typically including medical assistant, patient care assistant, and medical office receptionist. This program is designed to prepare completers to pursue entry-level employment in the field, or jobs in related fields, the specific job titles of which may not be represented in the program title or described above. Although the Lebanon County CTC Adult Education Department will assist students with job placement, finding a job is the individual responsibility of the student. The LCCTC does not guarantee that any student will be placed in any of the jobs described, or placed at all.
Certifications: This program is intended, among other things, to help eligible students prepare for the National Healthcare Association Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) or Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam. However, the LCCTC cannot guarantee a student’s eligibility either to take the exam or become certified. A student’s eligibility may depend on his or her work experience, completion of high school (or its equivalent), not having a criminal record, meeting other licensure or certification requirements, or the program or the LCCTC itself having appropriate accreditation or licensure. Externship/clinical sites may themselves require a criminal background check or medical examinations.
Places of Employment and Outlook: Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 31 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. As dental practices grow, more dental assistants will be needed.
Salary Ranges for Geographical Area: $32,000 median salary in Pennsylvania 2011