Clinical Medical Assisting with Externship
Most of us have had the benefit of a Clinical Medical Assistant’s work when visiting a clinic, a doctor’s office or other healthcare setting. But have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to pursue Clinical Medical Assistant training as a career?
It might help to understand what exactly a Clinical Medical Assistant does before you can appreciate the traits that are required to become one. While clinical duties vary according to state law, a Clinical Medical Assistant typically helps the physician record vital signs, documenting medical histories, preparing patients for examination, carrying out procedures, performing simple lab tests and administering medications as directed by a physician.
Why Should You Choose a Career as a Clinical Medical Assistant?
The role of a Clinical Medical Assistant is in great demand and growing. The growth and complexity of the U.S. healthcare system has resulted in a substantial increase in the need for qualified clinical medical assistants. Employment of a medical assistant is expected to grow by an impressive 31% by the year 2020.
Medical assistants held about 527,600 jobs in 2010. Most of these assistants work in clinicians’ offices and other healthcare facilities. In 2010, more than half of all medical assistants worked in clinicians’ offices. Most medical assistants work full time. Some work evenings or weekends to cover shifts in medical facilities that are always open. Review the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Handbook for Medical Assistants.
The median annual wage of medical assistants was $28,860 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,810, and the top 10 percent earned more than $40,190.
To see a copy of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report for medical assistants.
The increased use of electronic health records (EHR’s) are changing medical assistants’ jobs. More and more clinicians are adopting EHR’s, moving all their patient information online. Assistants need to learn the EHR software that their office uses.
Certified Medical Assistants are multi-skilled individuals who assume a wide range of roles in clinicians’ offices and other health care settings, and are viewed by clinicians as vital partners in increasing medical office productivity. In small practices, CMAs are usually “generalists,” handling both administrative and clinical duties. In larger practices CMAs tend to specialize in a particular area under. The CMA functions under the direct supervision and authority of the physician when performing clinical tasks during patient care. The CMA reports to the clinic or administrative manager, who is responsible for administrative supervision, staff development, and orientation of the CMA to the area’s policies and procedures. The CMA must demonstrate competency in all skills related to the performance of patient care.
The following are typical duties that Clinical Medical Assistants perform:
- Take medical histories and record vital signs.
- Explain treatment procedures to patients.
- Prepare patients for examination.
- Assist the physician during the examination.
- Collect and prepare laboratory specimens.
- Dispose of contaminated supplies and sterilize medical instruments.
- Instruct patients about medication and special diets.
- Prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician.
- Authorize drug refills as directed and telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy.
- Draw blood.
- Prepare patients for x-rays and take electrocardiograms.
- Remove sutures and change dressings.
- Arrange examining room instruments and equipment.
- Purchase and maintain supplies and equipment.
- Keep waiting and examining rooms neat and clean.
Program Overview – Clinical Medical Assistant
This self-paced, mentor-supported program prepares students to assist clinicians by performing functions related to the clinical aspects of a medical office. Instruction includes preparing patients for examination and treatment, routine laboratory procedures, pharmacology, taking and documenting vital signs, technical aspects of phlebotomy, the 12-lead EKG and the cardiac life cycle. Program also includes an optional clinical externship at a local healthcare provider!
Thes course covers the following key areas and topics:
- Clinical responsibilities of the medical office – assisting the physician with patient related care.
- Preparing patients for examination and treatment, routine procedures, and diagnostic testing.
- HIPAA, patient confidentiality, legal aspects of healthcare and regulatory patient care issues.
- Recording and taking of vital signs, blood pressure, and other patient care items related to the physician office visit.
- Review and administration of medications, allergies and other pharmacology related items.
- Laboratory procedures, phlebotomy and the proper techniques required to collect specimens for laboratory analysis.
- Cardiology and the proper placement of leads when taking a 12-lead EKG.
Clinical Medical Assisting Detailed Course Information:
- Responsibilities of the clinical medical assistant and introduction to healthcare facilities.
- Medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, circulation of the heart and blood vessels.
- Care & safety of patients, medical & legal aspects of care, confidentiality and HIPAA.
- Effective verbal and non-verbal communication, interpersonal skills and human behavior.
- Aseptic techniques, infection prevention, universal precautions, proper use and disposal of biohazards and sharps.
- Documenting patient medical histories, updating patient medical files, vital signs and documentation.
- Appling sterile dressings, preparing patients for x-rays, performing various injections, administering oral medications, instructing patients on the proper usage of medications.
- Phlebotomy, venipunctures and capillary sampling, collecting specimens and point of care testing.
- Performing 12-lead EKGs and EKG strip analysis (P,Q,R,S,T wave form).
The Clinical Medical Assisting program fee is an all-inclusive fee which covers everything a student needs to successfully complete our program. Our program fee covers:
- Course fees.
Our Clinical Medical Assistant Training Program provides students a well-rounded introduction to clinical medical administration and delivers the skills students need to obtain a clinical medical assistant position or advance within their current healthcare career.
Program Title: Clinical Medical Assisting
Upon program completion, a certificate of completion is earned and support is offered to our graduates to help secure employment.
Option 1 – Pay Upfront Plan – Save 10%!
The pay upfront program offers a 10% discount off the standard cost of our program for those individuals who are willing to pay upfront for their education.
Option 2 – Military Discount – Save 10%
As a Military Friendly School a 10% discount is available to active military personnel and their spouses.
*The Pay Upfront Plan and the Military Discount cannot be combined and is limited to only one discount
Option 3 – Monthly Payment Plan
The monthly payment plan includes a one-time initial payment of $295 due at time of enrollment with the balance billed in monthly installments. A 3% payment processing fee applies, and payments are automatically deducted from your credit card or bank account. Contact Admissions for details.
Option 4 – MyCAA Funding Program
We know that maintaining a career can be difficult with your military lifestyle. That’s why we provide a flexible way to complete your education in careers that are essential nationwide. Learn at home, on your own schedule for a career that will travel with you wherever you go. With MyCAA your education costs may be 100% covered, meaning you can focus on your future and not tuition costs. The MyCAA Funding program is administered by the Department of Defense.
The National HealthCareer Association (NHA) certifies Clinical Medical Assisting Professionals and is the nation’s largest health career certification provider. The NHA improves the quality of patient care by providing the tools needed for allied health certification.
Graduates from the AHDPG Clinical Medical Assistant programs are eligible and encouraged to sit for the CCMA or the CMAA credentialing exams upon graduation.
The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant is an unlicensed, multi-skilled healthcare practitioner who is competent in both clinical and administrative procedures. As a CCMA you may perform some or all of the following tasks:
- Interview patients.
- Measure and record vital signs.
- Prepare exam rooms.
- Clean and sterilize medical equipment.
- Administer injections, as well as topical or oral medications.
- Perform venipuncture and point-of-care testing.
Benefits to obtaining a Clinical Medical Assistant Certification may include: more job opportunities, an increased pay scale, job security, and increased subject matter expertise.
Upon successful completion of the online training program a student is eligible* for our optional Clinical Medical Assisting Externship. The Clinical Medical Assisting Externship is a standard 40 hour unpaid rotation. During this Externship students are given a chance to get hands on experience and practice conducting a variety of procedures on patients with supervision. The Externship is designed to ensure students get a minimum of 50 accurate sticks (combination of venipuncture/capillary sticks and 10 skin punctures) and record this on a log sheet that is signed by a lab supervisor.
As a participant in this Clinical Externship you must agree to provide a resume to their assigned Externship Coordinator no less than 3 weeks following initial contact. Failure to provide such resume will result in students not being able to participate in the externship opportunity. In addition the following terms and conditions apply to the externship:
- All externship opportunities are subject to the availability, scheduling and staffing needs of the facility.
- Students are expected to provide their own transportation to externship facilities.
- Attendance and punctuality at the facility is required.
- Students agree to comply with all facility policies including, but not limited to, the policy on professionalism, dress, uniform, and proper hygiene practices for a medical setting.
- The healthcare facility for which you volunteer is under no obligation to offer you employment (or any other employment benefit) at the conclusion of your clinical externship experience.
- All externship assignments are final and remain at the discretion of the facility. Under no circumstances are we or the facility to which you are assigned considered an employer with respect to students completing their clinical externship experience.
By participating in this process, students are entering into an unpaid volunteer clinical externship opportunity which, at no time, constitutes an employee-employer relationship. The facility is under no obligation to continue your clinical experience nor should you maintain these expectations.
*Students who wish to participate in the optional clinical externship portion of this course must complete their program with a grade of 70% or higher on the final exam and course average, spending at least 50 hours in the course. All externship placements are subject to the availability, scheduling and staffing needs of the externship sites.
Q: What are the minimum computer requirements for the course?
The minimum computer requirements in order to successfully complete the course are as follows:
- Computer: Pentium-class PC with 1.7 Ghz processor or better
- CDROM Drive: (internal or external)
- RAM: 1GB min for 32bit; 2GB min for 64bit OS
- Operating System: Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1 or 10, MAC OS X
- High Speed Internet
- Internet Explorer (9 or higher), latest versions of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome
- Windows users: Microsoft PowerPoint viewer (free) or full Microsoft PowerPoint
- MAC users: Apple Keynote or PowerPoint for MAC and Windows Media Components for Quicktime (Flip4Mac Standard)
- Adobe Reader or equivalent PDF reader
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