A career as a medical assistant is an excellent opportunity to work within the healthcare field. Medical assistants collaborate with physicians to provide patient care while enjoying a respectable salary.

While it’s possible to enter the field with only a high school diploma or GED, many employers prefer certified individuals.

Although accelerated medical assistant programs exist and can be completed within a few weeks, you might be contemplating the suitability of such programs.

If you’re considering an accelerated medical assistant program, it’s crucial to prepare yourself for a significant time commitment to studying. These programs condense a good amount of information into a short duration.

Read on to explore the factors to consider when deciding on an accelerated medical assistant program, and decide which program fits you the best.

Also see: What is a Medical Assistant?

Read more on: Is Medical Assistant a Good Career?

How To Decide If An Accelerated Program Is Right For You?

Obtaining your medical assistant certification in a mere 4 to 10 weeks may sound amazing, particularly if you’re eager to enter the workforce as soon as possible.

However, there are several crucial factors you should carefully consider before committing to and investing in an accelerated medical assistant program.

Also see: Medical Assistant Degree vs Certificate

Topics Covered in Medical Assistant Programs

Medical assisting programs encompass essential medical knowledge necessary for working in various healthcare settings such as clinics, doctor’s offices, hospitals, or care centers.

The curriculum typically covers the following topics:

  • Ethics: Understanding the laws and regulations within healthcare, as well as respecting patients’ rights within the healthcare system.
  • Anatomy and Physiology: Acquiring foundational knowledge about the structure and function of the human body.
  • Pharmacology: Providing an overview of common medications, including their associated risks and side effects.
  • Clinical Procedures: Learning and practicing essential tasks like taking vital signs, conducting assessments, and accurately recording measurements.
  • Medical Billing and Coding: Gaining an understanding of how medical billing processes work and ensuring accurate information is used for reimbursement from patients and insurance companies.

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  • Medical Terminology: Familiarizing oneself with medical terms commonly used by physicians to facilitate clear communication while caring for patients.
  • Medical Administrative Tasks: Developing skills in entering patient data into computer systems, maintaining organized patient schedules, and managing procedure notes efficiently.

Also read: CMAA Vs CCMA

Typically, the information mentioned above is covered over two full semesters in a standard medical assistant degree program.

Retaining knowledge and skills is crucial for providing quality patient care and effectively performing medical assistant job duties. The shorter timeframe of an accelerated program may limit the opportunity for a comprehensive understanding and practical application of the learned material.

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How much time do you have for taking classes and studying

Balancing family responsibilities and a full-time job can make it challenging to complete an accelerated medical assisting program. However, if you have the flexibility to take time off from work or receive additional support in managing your home responsibilities, it may be possible to make it work.

See: Where Can Medical Assistants Work

To maximize your chances of success in an accelerated program, it’s crucial to minimize distractions during the weeks or months of your medical assistant courses. This may require making significant sacrifices and dedicating focused time to your studies.

Also see: How to Become a Medical Assistant

See more: Medical Assistant Classes

Is the program accredited?

Before enrolling in any educational program, it is recommended to verify its accreditation status. Accredited schools are those that have successfully met predetermined educational standards.

Opting for an accredited institution increases the likelihood of obtaining a high-quality education facilitated by experienced and knowledgeable instructors.

Also read: Medical Assistant Program

What is the certification exam pass rate?

According to the National Healthcareer Association, the pass rate for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant exam in 2021 was 77%. When selecting a program, it is advisable to seek out one that boasts an equal or higher passing rate.

A higher passing rate typically indicates that the program adequately prepares its students and covers all the necessary topics. By choosing a program with a strong track record of success, you can increase your chances of success on the certification exam and ensure that you receive comprehensive and effective training.

Read more: How Long Does It Take To Become a Medical Assistant

What percentage of graduates get jobs?

The primary objective of obtaining certification as a medical assistant is to become job-ready. Certain programs have earned a reputation for being well-known or maintaining strong relationships with local offices and clinics. This can be advantageous for graduates as it may facilitate easier access to employment opportunities.

By attending a program with established connections, you may benefit from increased visibility and networking opportunities, potentially streamlining the process of securing employment after completing your certification.

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What have previous students said about the program?

It is important to thoroughly review program websites to gather information about their offerings. To gain a more honest and unfiltered opinion about a training program, reading reviews left by other students can be highly beneficial.

When exploring student reviews, it is helpful to look for positive feedback and identify common trends in both compliments and complaints. While the opinion of a single student can be subjective, if multiple students express similar sentiments—whether positive or negative—it is likely indicative of a recurring experience at the school.

Also see: Medical Assistant Educational Requirements


Do the programs help with job placement support?

Certain programs provide valuable support through job placement assistance and dedicated counselors who can assist you with resume building and interview preparation. These resources are designed to help students navigate the job market successfully and enhance their chances of securing employment.

Also see: Medical Assistant Interview Questions

Average Length of Medical Assistant Programs

Medical assisting programs can vary significantly in terms of duration, ranging from as short as 6 weeks to as long as 2 years. The length of the program depends on various factors, such as the type of program and the mode of study.

  • Online programs: Online medical assistant certification programs offer flexibility and can be completed in as little as 6 weeks for full-time students. However, the average completion time for most online programs typically ranges from 4 to 9 months.
  • Trade School programs: Medical assisting programs offered by trade schools usually have a duration of approximately 9 months.
  • Certificate Program at Community College: If you opt for a certificate program at a community college, you can expect to spend around 1 year completing the requirements for your certificate.
  • Associate Degree Program: For those pursuing an associate degree in medical assisting, the program typically takes a minimum of 2 years to complete for full-time students.

When considering the duration of a medical assisting program, it’s essential to balance your circumstances and availability with the program’s requirements to ensure a realistic and manageable timeline.

Accelerated medical assistant programs with durations as short as 4 or 6 weeks require a significant time commitment. If you aim to complete your program within 6 weeks, you must be prepared to dedicate more time to studying than regular full-time students.

In some cases, this may require temporarily relinquishing your job and other responsibilities to focus on the program entirely.

Alternatively, a program lasting around 4 months provides a more reasonable timeframe to absorb all the required information without becoming excessively overwhelmed.

This duration allows for a comprehensive learning experience while still completing the courses relatively quickly.

See: Medical Assistant Courses

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