In the most recent report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for medical assistants is expected to grow by as much as 34% through 2018. In addition to having an excellent occupational outlook, a career as a medical assistant can open many doors of opportunities that do not only promote professional satisfaction but also personal growth. For any individual wanting to achieve job security and increased career opportunities in the field of healthcare, a career as a medical assistant is a viable and promising option. The opportunities get better and bigger with formal training and experience.
As a response to the growing need for medical assistants, accredited medical assistant online degree programs are now available. Medical assistant schools, such as community and junior colleges, universities, post-secondary vocational schools and vocational-technical schools, offer online associate degree and diploma programs in medical assisting. Certain online universities offer baccalaureate degrees but these are not as common as the first two programs mentioned. An associate degree is usually completed between 16 and 24 months, whereas diploma programs are completed within a year.
Medical assistant online programs also require students to complete a certain number of hours on hands-on training in physician offices or other healthcare facilities. In these settings, students are given the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to actual situations. Being able to deal with actual situations can help students develop and improve the skills necessary during practice.
Having the freedom and convenience to study at your own place and pace is an ideal option for anyone who wants to maintain employment as a degree or diploma in medical assisting is being worked on. Certainly, the development of medical assistant online programs is a great help to individuals wanting to make a career shift towards medical assisting. In addition, because aspiring medical assistants get to schedule study times which are most convenient to them, family obligations are fulfilled and conflicts at work are avoided or easily resolved.
At a glance, medical assistant online programs can be more expensive than traditional schools but because the courses are completed at home, gas and commuting expenses are significantly cut down. Commuting to and from schools and spending hours in traffic jams can take up a lot of time. Because one does not have to deal with these troubles and discomforts when receiving courses online, both time and money are saved over time. And because there is more free time, one may allot more time for study. This advantage, in addition to having the freedom to pace the topics, can result in greater understanding about the subjects and better work performance.
There is a growing concern regarding the quality of education provided by medical assisting online programs. Others are anxious of losing their track. Before signing up, it is important to ensure that the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or CAAHEP. Medical assisting online programs include features that keep the students right on track. Video discussions, one-on-sessions, video streaming and other materials are provided. Students may also contact their instructors if help or clarifications are needed.