4 Benefits of Attending a Hybrid Online Medical Assistant Program

Medical Assistants

The pandemic has affected few things more than education. We’ve had to make uncomfortable adjustments in the way we do things, but it’s getting easier. Communities need more front-line healthcare workers than ever, and the good news is, training doesn’t have to wait. Vocational schools are offering hybrid online medical assistant programs to meet demand and keep you safe. It’s a benefit for both students and the public.

Medical Assistants are Must-Have Essential Workers

The words “essential worker” brings to mind doctors, nurses and first responders, but healthcare is complex, and it requires more behind the scenes care than the public ever sees. Medical assistants are cross trained to manage a wide range of clinical and administrative tasks, from taking vital signs to documenting electronic health records. Without them, clinical professionals would have less time to spend with patients. Fewer people would be served, and critical details could get lost in the shuffle.

Beyond the pandemic, the healthcare system expects an influx of new patients as millions of Baby Boomers approach retirement age. Demand for medical assistants is expected to rise as much as 19 percent in the coming decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In an era when so many jobs have been made obsolete by technology, medical assisting is a future forward career choice.

What is a Hybrid Medical Assistant Program?

The pandemic has proven to be challenging for all of us, yet some of the lessons we’ve learned are valuable. We’ve found new ways of doing things that have had surprising benefits, such as bringing education into the digital world i.e. hybrid.

Students in hybrid medical assistant programs take some classes online, visiting the school and off-campus training sites for hands-on experiences.. Blending online courses with on-campus learning not only reduces student’s potential exposure to Covid-19, but it’s also convenient, and flexible. Hybrid education has been a surprising cure for more than one problem.

Hybrid Online Medical Assistant Program Benefits

Hybrid online medical assistant programs are a new way to do school. Training is flexible, interactive, supportive, and affordable.

Benefit #1:  Flexibility

Some students who don’t seek higher education immediately after graduating from high school never do. Once the financial responsibilities of life take a toll, adults are more likely to work full-time hours to buy food and pay the rent, and what limited time is left over is devoted to family. Advancing their career is put on the back burner, and they earn less than they could.

The most obvious benefit of a hybrid medical assistant program is that online classes are flexible. You can read, study and do homework on your own time. It’s a lifestyle-friendly approach that lets you work and have a family life while getting ahead.

Limited on-campus requirements are a better fit for a busy schedule while still emphasizing hands-on training. You’ll get to work with medical laboratory equipment in the lab and participate in externships, but without the stress that comes with a crowded schedule.

Instead of taking classes part-time or piecemeal when time permits, you can attend full-time, completing your education in months, not years. You can be earning in no time.

Benefit #2: Interactive

The primary benefit of traditional classroom learning is face-to-face instruction. It has a personal dimension that electronic communication lacks. But new virtual platforms now allow students, peers and instructors to meet face to face online.

You can get the individual attention you deserve while being home with the kids or caring for an elderly parent. It feels like you’re right there in the classroom, sharing projects and collaborating with peers. When you head to campus, no one will be a stranger. You’ll still make friends and get to know new people while learning mostly online at your own pace.

Benefit #3: Supportive

Busy adults have unique challenges when it comes to education. They can’t depend on the usual peer groups and weekend study sessions for support. In addition to help from instructors, students in hybrid programs have access to online forums, many that run at odd hours to meet individual student’s needs.

Benefit #4: Save Time & Money

By spending less of your time commuting, you can spend those hours at home or earning while you learn, and gas stays in the tank for more important things. Did you know that the average student spends hundreds of dollars annually in travel expenses between fuel, tolls, parking fees and wear and tear on their vehicles? All you need to work online is a computer and an internet connection.

Vocational schools also assist students in their job search efforts, a value-added service they offer for all types of learning programs. If traditional job hunting is tough due to Covid-19 restrictions, access to job boards and the assistance of an advisor is an invaluable benefit.

Finding employment in healthcare may not be hard for qualified applicants but knowing about the best positions is a different story. Vocational institutions work closely with employers in the community, tailoring their curriculum to meet their staffing needs and in return, students are alerted first when choice jobs become available. Many of those jobs are never posted publicly.

Final Thoughts

Going back to school can seem like just a dream when you’re short on money and time, but hybrid online education programs are creating new opportunities for non-traditional students. Front line healthcare workers are in demand now. Enrolling in a hybrid online medical assisting program could be your path to a successful future.

Did learning about the benefits of attending a hybrid online medical assistant program interest you? Ready for an exciting new career in the medical assisting field? PCI Health Training Center’s Medical Assistant program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Medical Assistant. Within this general career category there are several specialty areas, including Medical Administrative Office Assistant, Clinic Assistant, Clinic Tech, Medical Office Manager, Phlebotomist and Physical Therapy Aide in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital out-patient clinic. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

9 Qualities of a Successful Medical Assistant

Medical Assistants

As a medical assistant student, you will learn the clerical and clinical skills needed to be successful in a Medical Assistant Program. In addition to these skills, there are personal qualities that will make the job easier and more fulfilling. Having these qualities will help you treat patients properly, gain trust from colleagues and create a positive work environment. All the things that are important for creating the best health outcomes for your patients.

Quality #1: Empathy & Compassion

Feeling empathy and compassion for your patients is one of the more important qualities to have. Take a moment and step into their shoes, think about what the patient is going through, what they are thinking about and their view of the future. Listen to what the patient is talking about and try to connect with them on their level. Acknowledge the patient’s feelings and put them at ease at the beginning of the visit. Most importantly, don’t judge the patient as they deal with situations differently and may have more concern for the doctor’s office than you do. Being empathic and compassionate will allow you to treat the patient as you would treat yourself, making their health outcome the best it can be.

Quality #2: Friendliness

Create an environment that is friendly in the doctor’s office. Greet patients with a smile and make sure they understand what they are at the doctor’s office for. Show them to the exam room and have a casual conversation if you feel it will make them feel more comfortable.  Try not to ask personal questions, outside of medical history and medical ailments because some patients may feel uncomfortable divulging personal information. Keep the interaction friendly, always have a smile on your face and be considerate of the patient’s time and feelings.

Quality #3: The Ability to Comfort

Many patients will be uncomfortable with coming to the doctor’s office, even for a simple check-up. They are not sure what to expect or what they will learn about their medical situation after the exam. A comfortable experience for patients begins with the atmosphere of the doctor’s office. The waiting room should be calm, and the medical secretary should greet the patient with a friendly greeting. As a medical assistant, you should stay positive and help comfort patients when doing vital signs and recording their medical history. Instead of creating a cold and uncaring environment, make sure the doctor’s office is comfortable to be in and that patient care is the number one priority.

Quality #4: Positiveness

Patients will feed off your positive attitude and understand that you have their best interest in mind. Explain procedures in a positive way, letting the patient know the benefit that they will receive from the procedures or treatments. Having a negative attitude can make patients uncomfortable and ultimately, may encourage them to switch to a doctor’s office where they feel more comfortable.

A positive attitude will help you cope with the patients and their reactions. The positivity will rub off on the patients, helping them cope with their medical worries. Seeing things from a positive point of view will help you to remain optimistic.

Quality #5: Optimism

In addition to a positive attitude, it is important to be optimistic both for yourself and patients. Show the patients that you are confident in what you say and the decisions you make. The more confident you are, the more trusting the patient will be. Optimism helps when educating patients about their health habits. By being optimistic, you can support a patient that may need to change or improve their diet or exercise routine. Being optimistic is about seeing the positive side of the world and expecting a favorable outcome. Optimism breeds trust, confidence, safety and security in an uncertain situation.

Quality #6: Dependability

Colleagues should be able to depend on you. You will want to be punctual and show up for work on time. If the doctor asks you to do something, make sure to do it to the best of your ability to show that you are someone that can be depended upon. You should always be someone everyone can trust and someone that they can count on. Set goals that you can achieve to prove that you are a dependable medical assistant.

Quality #7: Hard Work Ethic

Colleagues enjoy working with medical assistants that are hard workers and take their job seriously. Staying committed to the job at hand, showing enthusiasm in what you do, and having consistent patient outcomes are all part of how you will gain your colleagues’ trust. Take the time to not only do the medical assisting tasks but complete them with satisfactory outcomes. When doctors and nurses become more trusting and confident in your work, they will in turn give you more autonomy.

Quality #8: Discretion

One part of being a medical assistant is dealing with confidential information. It is important to follow all HIPAA guidelines and not break confidence with patient information. There are specific guidelines for what you can tell family and friends about a patient. Being discreet with patients will help them trust you and allow them to have the confidence to provide information regarding their medical situation without worrying about anyone else knowing about it. Discretion shows humanity and gives patients dignity. Show patients respect and they will reciprocate.

Quality #9: Flexibility

As a medical assistant, you will plan out your day, but unexpected situations will always come up that may change your grand plan. You must be flexible to prioritize patients and their ailments. If an emergency situation arises at the doctor’s office, you must be able to focus on the emergency and then get back to your daily patient list. The ability to calmly cope with change, identify problems, and come up with creative solutions is what flexibility is all about. Having this quality will allow you to see things from another angle such as considering the advice of a colleagues. Flexibility allows you to adapt to change and overcome any obstacle you might face.

Final Thoughts

Although you may already have many of these qualities, if you don’t, the good news is that you can learn them as you complete your diploma in a medical assistant program and while working at your first job. Becoming a medical assistant is a process and these qualities will become more evident as time passes and your training continues. Employers understand that qualities are learned over time, and there is always something new to learn. Keep improving your personal  qualities and skills over time and you will always be in demand.

Did learning about the qualities of a successful medical assistant interest you? Ready for an exciting new career in the medical assisting field? PCI Health Training Center’s Medical Assistant program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Medical Assistant. Within this general career category there are several specialty areas, including Medical Administrative Office Assistant, Clinic Assistant, Clinic Tech, Medical Office Manager, Phlebotomist and Physical Therapy Aide in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital out-patient clinic. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

What is a Vocational College?

Medical Assistants

Are you learning more about your college options? Interested in knowing more about what a vocational college is? Vocational colleges, sometimes called technical colleges, trade colleges or career colleges are defined as a place where students learn how to do a specific vocation by learning special skills. At PCI Health Training Center, these special skills include medical assistant, dental assistant and medical office assistant training. Are you asking yourself, “What exactly is a vocational college?”

What is a Vocational College?
A vocational college is a post-secondary institution with the primary goal of preparing you for a specific job in the most concise way possible. Instead of offering a four-year college with general education requirements, vocational colleges allow you to learn the exact skills needed to start working in a short period of time.

Why Attend a Vocational College?
There are many reasons to attend a vocational college. The most important is a quick start to a new career. Other reasons to attend include small class sizes, flexible schedules and greater attention from instructors. Furthermore, many vocational colleges offer financial assistance to help you start a new career.

A Quick Start
If you are currently working, caring for family members or need a new career quickly, a vocational school can help you to start earning quickly. The programs at PCI Health Training Center allow you to graduate in as little as six to nine months with full-time attendance.

Small Class Sizes
Many vocational college classes are small in size allowing you to create a strong relationship with instructors and fellow classmates. This is a great way to start networking for a new job once you graduate. Networking is a great way to find a job. Getting to know your instructors and fellow classmates gives you a head start.

Flexible Schedules
If you are taking care of family members, working while you go to school or have another obligation in addition to attending school, a vocational college offers convenient schedules to meet your needs. Some vocational colleges offer a hybrid curriculum with both in-class and online education. These days, you may be looking for convenience and vocational colleges can meet your needs.

One-On-One Instructor Attention
Small class sizes also allow you to receive one-on-one attention from your vocational college instructors. You can speak directly with instructors and have more time to ask questions and learn specific skills during your education. This will allow you to gain insights into the medical community.

Financial Assistance
Many vocational colleges offer financial aid assistance to students that qualify. As an accredited institution, PCI Health Training Center is eligible to participate in Title IV Student Financial Assistance programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education. These services offer loans and grant assistance for students that qualify under the federal guidelines. Veterans are eligible to receive benefits from the VA Educational benefits program.

What are the Benefits of Attending a Vocational College?
There are many different benefits to attending a vocational college. You can get real world experience, access to career services, specialized training and a head start in a growing field.

Real World Experience
A big part of a vocational college program is an externship. This allows you to get real world experience that you can add to your resume. Having experience will give you a head start on other graduates. Real world experience will also build your confidence when you begin your new career.

Career Services
Many vocational colleges offer career services to graduates. Although a job is not guaranteed, vocational colleges have ties with the community and may help you find a job throughout your career. Many clinics and doctor’s offices in the community work with vocational colleges to provide curriculum advisement, provide externships or even jobs for graduates. This is a great way to showcase that you are trained and ready to start working right away.

Specialized Training
Vocational colleges focus on individual industries and particular skill sets. They are committed to building your skill set and preparing you to enter a specific industry and profession. With this training and a diploma from a vocational college, you may start working right away in a specialized job.

Growth in Medical & Dental Fields
With the increased population and retiring baby boomer generation, medical and dental professionals will be needed more than ever. Dentists and physicians will need assistance to see more patients, allowing medical and dental assistants to support them during exams and minor surgeries. Medical assisting and medical office assistant professions are expected to grow 23 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dental assisting professions are expected to grow 11 percent. The growth in these fields opens up opportunities for you to start a new career.

Final Thoughts
There are many good reasons and benefits to attending a vocational college. Now that you know what a vocational college is and why you should attend, it is time to learn more about the vocational colleges near you. Starting a rewarding and challenging new career is just around the corner.

Did learning about what a vocational college is interest you? PCI Health Training Center offers programs in medical assisting, dental assisting and medical office assisting. We are a private vocational college committed to preparing students for the Healthcare industry. PCI provides hands-on training and externships that provide real-world experience which prepare you for the first day at your new career. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information

Can a Medical Assistant Draw Blood? A Venipuncture Guide

Medical Assistants
Medical assistants play a critical front-line role in healthcare. Trained to handle both administrative and clinical tasks, their well-rounded skills are a perfect match for today’s busy private practices. From managing the front office to taking vital signs, a medical assistant has a wide range of responsibilities, but few are as essential as venipuncture. It’s one of many technical skills a medical assistant learns in school.

What is Venipuncture?
Venipuncture — “veni”, Latin for vein and “puncture”, meaning to penetrate, is the process of drawing blood from a vein. It’s the simplest way to collect cells and plasma for chemical study. Also known as phlebotomy, medical assistants perform venipuncture in most doctor’s offices when lab work is ordered as a value-added service for patients.

Why Does a Medical Assistant Draw Blood?
A medical assistant draws blood only under a physician’s order. Samples are used to diagnose and treat disease, type and crossmatch for transfusions, and monitor therapeutic drug levels.

Diagnose and Treat Disease
Changes in body chemistry can reflect illness. Blood tests detect conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Infection
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Clotting abnormalities
  • Heart, kidney and liver disease
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Type and Crossmatch for Transfusions
The purpose of a “type and crossmatch” is to ensure blood is compatible for transfusions. It has three components, ABO-Rh typing, crossmatching and antibody screening. Typing categorizes blood by group — A, B, AB, O — and by Rh factor — positive or negative, while crossmatching checks a mix of donor and recipient blood for compatibility. Antibody screening looks for additional antibodies that could cause dangerous reactions. In a doctor’s office, a medical assistant may collect blood samples for preliminary typing and crossmatching before planned surgical procedures or in-office transfusions.

Monitor Therapeutic Drug Levels
Certain drugs, such as anticoagulants, anticonvulsants and some antibiotics, have a narrow therapeutic window, too little isn’t beneficial while too much can be toxic. Checking blood samples periodically ensures that prescribed medications are safe and having the desired effect.

The Venipuncture Process
Venipuncture requires both technical and people skills. Sound clinical judgment is a must. The process is designed to reduce errors, improve patient comfort and obtain the most accurate results. There are a few steps in the venipuncture process, they include:

Step #1: Check the Test Requisition
Identify the tests to be performed and verify that patients are properly prepared. Some analyses require fasting or taking medication before the draw.

Step #2: Explain the Process
Patients have the right to know the purpose of testing and what to expect. Proceed only with full consent.

Step #3: Position the Patient
A sturdy chair with armrests is ideal, but a patient with a history of fainting during venipuncture should lie down for safety. Fear and anxiety are best addressed before the procedure.

Step #4: Gather Needed Equipment
Tools for venipuncture include gloves, rubbing alcohol, needles, tourniquets, sample collection tubes, gauze, tape and bandages.

Gloves – all blood products could potentially be contaminated. Medical assistants should protect themselves with gloves.

Rubbing Alcohol – used to disinfect the area where the venipuncture will be performed. Combined with a brisk scrubbing motion, rubbing alcohol doesn’t sterilize skin, but it removes dirt and most bacteria.

Needles – come in a range of lengths and diameters for different veins. Diameter is noted in gauge from 18 for adults to 27 for children. The lower the number, the larger the diameter.

Lengths range from 0.5 to 1.5 inches. Short needles are usually best for superficial vessels, such as those on top of the hand. Longer needles help draw blood from the medial cubital vein at the bend of the elbow.

The medical assistant chooses the diameter and length based on the size of the patient, the location of the vein and the angle of approach.

Tourniquets – confines blood to the area from which it will be drawn. It keeps the vein plump and gives it a firm texture through which to insert the needle.

Sample Collection Tubes – venipuncture was once done with a needle and syringe, but new color-coded tubes with required additives already inside have simplified the process. Rubber-covered needles are screwed into plastic holders, and once inserted in the vein, the medical assistant presses the tubes onto the back of the needle. The pull of the vacuum allows blood to flow on its own.

Gauze, Tape and Bandages – when venipuncture is complete, the site is compressed with a layer of gauze to stop bleeding, and the medical assistant applies an adhesive bandage to protect the patient’s clothing. If the patient has sensitive skin or is allergic to bandage adhesive, secure the gauze with light, hypoallergenic paper tape instead.

Step #5: Assess Veins
Veins may be challenging to draw from if they’re too small, irregularly shaped or deep. Finding the best vessel improves the odds of success on the first draw attempt.

Step #6: Wash Hands
Gloves protect a medical assistant from contaminated blood but washing hands with soap and water protects the patient from infection.

Step #7: Disinfect the Site
Scrub the venipuncture site with an alcohol pad or alcohol-soaked cotton ball. Select tests require using alternative agents, such as chlorhexidine.

Step #8: Apply the Tourniquet
Medical assistants should apply tourniquets tight enough to constrict blood flow but not so tight as to cause pain. It can take several minutes to complete a draw, so ask the patient for feedback.

Step #9: Anchor the Vein
With the patient’s arm secure on an armrest, a vein can be anchored by placing a thumb just below the site. It provides stability and makes the vessel less likely to roll.

Step #10: Puncture the Vein
Insert the needle into the vein with a quick jab at a 30-degree angle. Press a tube into place and fill, each has a minimum fill line. Remove and replace tubes as needed until all samples are drawn.

Step #11: Wrapping Up
To avoid blood spurt, loosen the tourniquet before removing the needle. Cover the site with gauze as the needle is withdrawn, and when the bleeding stops, apply tape or a bandage.

Discard the used needle into a sharps container and carefully label tubes per workplace policy, mislabeled samples are usually rejected. Before patients leave, let them know when results can be expected and how to receive them.

Final Thoughts
Venipuncture isn’t a job requirement in all doctor’s offices. But as practices offer more on-site services for patient convenience, it’s a valuable skill that breeds opportunity. With experience, medical assistants can seek phlebotomy certification and open the door for future opportunities. It’s a great way to become indispensable to an employer and grow a rewarding career.

Interested in working with colleagues that want to help their patients stay healthy? Ready for an exciting new career in the medical assisting field? PCI Health Training Center’s Medical Assistant program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Medical Assistant. Within this general career category there are several specialty areas, including Medical Administrative Office Assistant, Clinic Assistant, Clinic Tech, Medical Office Manager, Phlebotomist and Physical Therapy Aide in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital out-patient clinic. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

Importance of Medical Office Assistants During This Health Crisis

Medical Assistants

Emergencies bring out the best in people, and nowhere is that more evident than in the healthcare field. Essential medical workers across the country are coming together to support their communities during this public health crisis, and the good news is that it’s working. COVID-19 is under control, but it continues to be a long-term threat, and the shortage of healthcare professionals looms large. For students interested in a career in medicine, now is the time to join those on the front line as medical office assistants.

The Importance of Essential Workers

Essential workers perform the services necessary to protect property and human life during a pandemic, examples include firefighters, transportation employees, food manufacturers and physicians. But in medicine, administrative responsibilities are an integral part of care, so medical office assistants are as essential as doctors and nurses.

Why are Medical Office Assistants Important During a Health Crisis?

To prevent the spread of Covid-19, patients with respiratory symptoms are being asked to avoid emergency rooms, so doctor’s offices are busier than ever. There’s so much to do.

A medical office assistant tackles a full range of administrative duties in a healthcare setting. They have no clinical responsibilities, but by handling the clerical responsibilities that are an essential part of every visit, they allow doctors and nurses to see more patients. At a time when demand for care has skyrocketed, it’s a crucial role.

Primary responsibilities of medical office assistants include scheduling appointments, overseeing the waiting area, checking in patients, managing medical records, bills and accounting, and ordering office supplies.

Scheduling Appointments

Medical office assistants are responsible for answering phone calls and making appointments. In a busy practice, they manage clinical schedules and equipment needs for hundreds of visits daily. During a pandemic, scheduling is even more challenging as frequent emergencies arise.

Overseeing the Waiting Area

As ambassadors of first impressions, medical office assistants oversee waiting areas, making sure they’re clean and safe for vulnerable patients as they arrive. They make the most of waiting time by being hospitable, answering questions and assisting with pre-visit paperwork.

Checking in Patients

A medical office assistant ensures patients have the best experience possible by verifying personal and insurance information at check-in. Mistakes in healthcare records can lead to dangerous medical errors, while inaccuracies on insurance forms can result in rejected claims or an unexpected bill for the insured when they can least afford it.

Managing Medical Records

Medical office assistants update electronic health records before each visit. They manage the flow of confidential medical data between patients and doctors as well as referring physicians. Integrity and attention to detail are a must.

Billing and Accounting

Billing specialists are responsible for filling out insurance forms, but claims are only as sound as the information in them. Medical office assistants play an important part in the billing process by clarifying demographic information and insurance policy numbers before patients see the doctor. They may also review accounts and collect copayments before the exam. Light accounting tasks include reconciling cash drawers and credit card receipts.

Ordering Office Supplies

The pace in a doctor’s office is brisk during a pandemic, so a well-stocked supply closet is critical. Medical office assistants are responsible for ordering supplies practice-wide, working with both staff and vendors to guarantee needed items are on hand.

Depending on the size and type of practice, medical office assistants may have other duties, such as:

  • Completing insurance forms
  • Transcription
  • Correspondence
  • Filing
  • Marketing
  • Assisting with financial reports
  • Patient outreach

As clients’ first point of contact with their provider, a medical office assistant is a vital source of support and information. The medical office assistant’s warm and welcoming demeanor inspires patients’ confidence in their care and preserves the practice’s reputation.

Training to Be a Medical Office Assistant

Training to become a medical office assistant is easy. Students attending a vocational school program full-time can be out of the classroom and earning money in just six months. It’s a future-looking career choice for this year’s high school graduates or unemployed adults looking for a new career path. Flexible learning options may be available, and most institutions offer assistance with job placement after graduation.

Employers are now hiring to meet the extreme demand caused by COVID-19. And even prior to the pandemic, positions for medical office assistants were already expected to soar by nearly 23-percent in the next ten years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As millions more Americans reach age 65, the need for accessible preventive care is skyrocketing. So unlike training for jobs that are slowly disappearing due to advances in technology, the skills learned in a medical office assisting program will remain relevant.

Why Get a Medical Office Assistant Diploma?

Having a vocational school diploma demonstrates a student has the knowledge and practical skills necessary for success in an entry-level position. It’s everything an employer needs to feel confident hiring an applicant, as well as a firm foundation students will want to build a better lifelong career. Graduates are qualified to sit for one of several exams leading to nationally recognized credentials.

While most of the 601,700 medical office assistants on payrolls today are employed in private practices, roles for medical office assistants are continually expanding to hospitals, clinics and more. The job market is thriving.

Final Thoughts

The shortage of essential healthcare workers during this public health crisis is serving as a valuable wake up call. The country should never be caught short-handed. The community’s best defense against shifting demographics and the next pandemic is plenty of skilled support staff, such as medical office assistants. For students, it’s both a mission and an opportunity.

Are you ready to pitch in and help during this health crisis? Want to become a medical office assistant? The Medical Office Assistant Program is designed to prepare graduates to work as an entry-level medical front office assistant, receptionist, insurance biller, insurance collector, appointment scheduler, medical secretary, or medical records clerk in health care centers, clinics, hospitals, ambulatory care centers and medical billing offices. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical office assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

Are Medical Office Assistants in Demand?

Medical Assistants

Medical professionals are today’s new heroes, they answer the call when their communities are in need. But for every doctor and nurse on the front lines during this public health crisis, there are support specialists who manage the administrative intricacies of healthcare, giving licensed providers more time to spend with patients. Who are these behind the scenes champions? They’re medical office assistants, and they’re in higher demand than ever.

What Does a Medical Office Assistant Do?

Medical office assistants work with a team of medical professionals committed to top-quality patient care. As the business part of medicine becomes more complex, they fill a unique role.

By handling the full spectrum of clerical tasks that are a fundamental part of every healthcare visit, they allow physicians and nurses to better focus on their clinical duties. It’s a vital non-clinical role that quickens care and makes it safer and more efficient.

A medical office assistant’s responsibilities may include:

  • Managing the switchboard
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Providing general information
  • Overseeing the reception area
  • Checking in patients
  • Transcribing doctor’s notes
  • Maintaining medical records
  • Filling out insurance claims
  • Light Coding and billing
  • Light bookkeeping
  • Ordering supplies

Why are Medical Office Assistants in Such High Demand?

The demand for medical office assistants isn’t new, it was rising well before the pandemic. With thousands of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age daily, the need for preventive healthcare services is increasing.

Doctor’s offices are leading the way in providing care for vulnerable seniors as they age, serving as portals through which they can access a variety of community services, but they can’t do it alone. Medical facilities need highly qualified support staff to expand their services and make them more accessible to the public.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for medical office assistants is expected to rise more than 16-percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than other occupations on average. The current shortage is an issue the pandemic underscores.

While medical workers are always essential, they’re indispensable in a healthcare emergency. In some industries, professionals can work during a pandemic while allowing office functions, such as billing, to slide, but not in healthcare. Documentation and care are linked. What occurs in the front office is as important as what happens in the exam room.

When a patient sees their doctor, it’s just a single event in a bigger picture. Verifying details from demographics to insurance policy numbers is a must, safe continuity of care and timely insurance reimbursement depend on it. In a pandemic, public health departments rely on accurate patient data and properly coded insurance forms for data about disease trends. Without a medical office assistant to take on these responsibilities, vital details could easily be lost, and ultimately, patients would suffer.

Why Consider a Career as a Medical Office Assistant?

There are many ways to help the public during a crisis, but for students considering a career in healthcare, there’s no better time to seek training as a medical office assistant than now.

Getting a vocational school education is quick and cost-effective. Students attending full-time can be done and ready to earn in as little as six months. Programs give students the knowledge and skills they need to qualify for entry-level positions. Courses cover general office management, computerized records applications, and insurance billing. Although medical office assistants have no clinical responsibilities, training in medical terminology, law and ethics helps prepare students to function confidently in a busy healthcare environment.

After graduation, most medical office assistants work in private practices, but roles are expanding to hospitals and clinics. Graduates can help the country through tough times while nurturing a career in a respected field with opportunities, flexible schedules and room for advancement.

The job is fast-paced and never boring, there’s always something new and exciting to learn, and it’s personally fulfilling. A medical office assistant makes a difference in the lives of the people they serve. There are few professions requiring so little training that have as much potential.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a new career path isn’t easy. Students are taking a risk with their time and money, so it’s essential to evaluate the options and consider which occupations will remain relevant in the future. The good news for medical office assistants is that while the country won’t always be in the grip of a pandemic, healthcare workers will forever be essential.

Did reading about the demand for medical office assistants interest you? Ready to become a medical office assistant? The Medical Office Assistant Program is designed to prepare a graduate to work as an entry-level medical front office assistant, receptionist, insurance biller, insurance collector, appointment scheduler, medical secretary, or medical records clerk in health care centers, clinics, hospitals, ambulatory care centers and medical billing offices. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical office assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

8 Reasons to Attend a Dental Assistant Program

Medical Assistants

Career opportunities in dentistry are growing as researchers learn more about the importance of oral health, but becoming a dentist may take eight long years in college, something not everyone can afford. The good news is, for students who are interested in dentistry but don’t want to spend years in dental school, there are eight good reasons to attend a vocational school dental assisting program.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

Dental assistants are flexible support professionals who manage a wide range of clinical and administrative duties in a dental practice. They work side by side with dentists and hygienists to give patients the best oral care possible.

Their responsibilities may include:

  • Greeting patients
  • Obtaining service pre-authorizations
  • Maintaining dental records
  • Assisting with x-rays
  • Performing fluoride treatments and coronal polishing
  • Helping in the lab
  • Sterilizing equipment
  • Ordering supplies
  • Educating patients about dental health
  • Assisting the dentist at chairside

Why Attend a Dental Assisting Program?

A job pays the bills, but a career should mean more. Dental assistants enjoy a quick start, a vibrant job market, a fulfilling work/life balance, making a difference, working with technology, never being bored, collaborating with dedicated colleagues, and opportunities for professional growth.

Reason #1: A Quick Start

Dental assisting students, by attending a vocational school program full-time, can be out of school and start earning money in as little as nine months. Career advisors assist students with job placement after graduation. Many institutions work with dental practices in the community to help meet their staffing needs. The training is an excellent value.

Reason #2: A Vibrant Job Market

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for dental assistants is anticipated to grow by 11 percent through 2028, much faster than the 5-percent average growth rate for all occupations combined.

At a time when jobs are being lost to technology, Dental Assisting can be a secure career with plenty of opportunities. The skills learned in a dental assistant program may last a lifetime.

Reason #3: A Fulfilling Work/Life Balance

Almost everyone believes work/life balance is a problem in the U.S. Being at the office instead of at home in the evening, on weekends and holidays takes a toll on an employee’s personal and family life. Work/life balance is a leading cause of professional burnout.

But most dentists have regular Monday through Friday office hours. Emergencies and unexpected overtime are rare, so dental assistants can depend on a consistent schedule to plan their lives around. It’s a viable career for working parents struggling with childcare or adult children caring for aging seniors.

Reason #4: Making a Difference

Medical researchers know a secret that most of the public doesn’t; regular oral care is critical to good health. Studies show that excessive bacteria in the mouth contribute to body-wide inflammation, and gingivitis has been linked to a broad range of chronic conditions from diabetes and heart disease to Alzheimer’s and autoimmune disorders.

Yet while the majority of adults see a doctor annually, only half see a dentist as often. Why? Americans say they avoid the dentist because of anxiety, most of which is due to misinformation or bad experiences from a time when dentistry was less advanced.

Dental assistants not only play an important practical role in an oral care practice, but as ambassadors for the profession, they also help educate patients of all ages about the benefits of dentistry. Few occupations that require only nine months of training are this impactful. Dental assistants make a difference.

Reason #5: Working with Technology

Dental assisting is a technology-driven field. Students learn on the latest equipment, and graduates are among the first to try cutting-edge advancements. As in medicine, dental technology evolves almost daily. In the last two decades, oral care professionals have gone from extracting bad teeth to restoring them, and edentulous patients are no longer limited to dentures. Instead, they can have implants that look, feel and function like natural teeth. It’s an inspiring time to work in the dental field.

Reason #6: Never Being Bored

A dental practice is a busy place, the pace is brisk. Dental assistants are cross-trained for both administrative and clinical duties so the work may not be dull. One minute, they’re troubleshooting a patient’s concerns over the telephone, and the next, they’re helping the dentist with a filling.

People who like a regular schedule, but a variable routine will appreciate dental assisting, it’s exciting. The day is somewhat predictable, but there are enough unique challenges to keep things interesting, and there’s always something new to learn. As a field, dentistry never gets stale.

Reason #7: Collaborating with Dedicated Colleagues

A dental assistant never feels alone on the job. They’re part of a caring, dedicated team of professionals with a unified mission, to give patients the best care possible. Individuals retain a sense of ownership over their work, and they can feel pride in their accomplishments, but everyone works together. Learning is mutual, and team members feel valued for the different perspectives they bring to the table. The environment is supportive.

Workplace surveys suggest that a sense of teamwork inspires creativity among staff and improves overall job satisfaction. It’s one more aspect of being a dental assistant that makes it less of a job and more of a career.

Reason #8: Opportunities for Professional Growth

Dental assisting is a centuries-old occupation dating as far back as 1885, but it has come a long way. Today, the American Dental Assistants Organization, a group committed to furthering the occupation through continuing education helps advance the professional status and public perception of dental assistants. Graduating from a dental assistant program is no longer just the beginning.

Being a dental assistant can be a rewarding lifelong career or a stepping-stone to a position with greater responsibility. With a few years on the job, dental assistants can become supervisors or managers. Or they can choose to further their education to become dental hygienists. The sky is the limit.

Final Thoughts

Going to school is a big step, so for students who want to take charge of their future, it’s essential to ask the right questions before applying. Is the job market sound? Is there an opportunity to grow professionally? Will the skills I learn now still be relevant in another decade? With so many promising career options to choose from, why should students choose to attend a dental assisting program? Because the answer to all those questions is a resounding yes.

Want to start a career that is in demand? Deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic. PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers a dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

Medical Assistants are Essential Workers

Medical Assistants

In times of crisis, many look to doctors and nurses as frontline workers. Public health professionals struggle to disseminate information in a crisis, and they rely on frontline healthcare workers to help patients separate fact from fear. Doctors and nurses are important, but they can’t do it alone. Some forget that medical assistants are essential workers too.

Medical assistants are on the frontlines, assisting doctors and nurses, allowing them to help more patients. Medical assistants manage patients in doctor’s offices and hospitals, helping the patients to reduce anxiety. A crisis can be worrisome, and a good medical assistant has empathy and compassion. They understand what a patient is going through and can help reduce fear through education. Medical assistants can educate patients about proper hygiene, how to prevent the spread of a virus, and when to contact their doctor. Medical assistants perform lifesaving tests and administer vaccines. They are responsible for administering virus and disease testing, blood draws and other laboratory testing needed during a crisis. For students interested in a rewarding career as a medical assistant, the time to seek training through an affordable vocational school program is now. Patients are waiting.

What are Essential Workers?

An essential worker is someone who is required to work during a business closure in order to meet operational requirements. In this crisis, an essential worker is important to the safety of human life and the protection of property. Examples include medical professionals, first responders, energy employees, water and sanitation, public workers, communication and information technology, financial services, law enforcement personnel, transit and delivery employees, and food processors.

A medical assistant handles the many details that are an integral part of what is essential. They do both clinical and administrative tasks so doctors and nurses can concentrate on what they do best, treating the ill. Medical assistants are essential workers.

What Do Medical Assistants Do During a Crisis?

Medical assistants provide support for doctors and nurses in private practices and hospitals. Four out of five medical assistants are employed in doctor’s offices, putting them on the frontline of a public health crisis. The regular duties of a medical assistant during a crisis include:

  • Greeting patients
  • Keeping the reception area clean and sterilized
  • Phone call triage
  • Measuring vital signs
  • Drawing blood
  • Performing diagnostic tests
  • Administering medications including vaccinations
  • Assisting with minor surgical procedures
  • Arranging referrals
  • Submitting insurance claims
  • Ordering supplies
  • Patient education

Now more than ever, patients depend on their primary providers, and their medical assistants, for care. During a healthcare crisis, medical assistants use their clinical expertise to ensure patients who need urgent care receive it promptly. During a crisis, time is of the essence.

In a busy office, medical assistants can sanitize common touchpoints such as counters, doorknobs and pens. They can screen patients for symptoms of illness, such as fever. They can remind visitors to wash their hands and stay a safe distance from one another. Medical assistants can also use a patient’s waiting time to educate them about disease prevention. Medical assistants play an essential role during a crisis and are instrumental in saving the lives of their patients.

Final Thoughts

Medical assistants are essential workers and you can become one in as little as nine months. Many vocational schools even offer online classes to support those at home. Becoming a medical assistant is a rewarding and challenging career choice where you can help save lives daily.

Did learning about how medical assistants are essential workers interest you? Ready to work alongside colleagues that want to help their patients stay healthy? Ready for an exciting new career in the medical assisting field? PCI Health Training Center’s Medical Assistant program prepares a graduate online to work as an entry-level Medical Assistant. Within this general career category there are several specialty areas, including Medical Administrative Office Assistant, Clinic Assistant, Clinic Tech, Medical Office Manager, Phlebotomist and Physical Therapy Aide in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital out-patient clinic. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

Helping Patients Feel Comfortable Before, During and After Dental Treatments

Dental Treatment

Research shows that preventive dentistry is a critical component in overall health, but dental phobia is real, and unless patients feel comfortable when they visit their dentist, they are unlikely to return. Dental assistants manage a wide range of clinical and administrative tasks in a dental office, but none is as essential as making patients feel comfortable and relaxed. For patients, it’s the key to a lifetime of good oral care.

Why Dental Patients Need to Feel Comfortable

A large percentage of adults in the U.S. skip dental appointments because of anxiety, rating it as stressful as a divorce or changing jobs. Patients need to have confidence in their dentist to overcome their fear, and that is where dental assistants fit in. As ambassadors for good oral health, a dental assistant’s mission is to make patients feel comfortable before, during and after dental treatments. This makes all the difference in helping patients feel safe and secure.

Before Dental Treatment

Dental assistants set the stage for a positive treatment experience by educating patients, answering questions, and setting expectations.

Educating Patients
Most dental treatments require patient cooperation, so it’s critical to explain procedures before they begin. From the type of anesthetic to be used to how long the process will take, an informed patient is more comfortable and cooperative when they know exactly what to expect.

Answering Questions
Anxious patients are less apt to communicate with their dental team, they have tunnel vision, but a dental assistant’s warm smile and approachable demeanor open the door for communication.

Asking open-ended questions that encourage patients to explore their feeling about their dental health is useful and makes it more likely they’ll share negative emotions. Dental assistants can then address specific concerns and help patients be better informed about their treatment options. When dentistry is less mysterious, it’s less stressful.

Setting Expectations
While most patients know what to expect from routine dental cleanings, outcomes for other dental treatments may not be as clear. Tooth whitening, for example, may not give patients the perfect Hollywood smile they expect. Dental assistants should encourage patients to be realistic about results while remembering that it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver than to set unrealistic expectations.

During Dental Treatment

Dental assistants are the calming voice of comfort during dental procedures. They sit chairside, connecting with patients as dental treatments are performed by keeping patients informed, offering feedback, and maintaining physical comfort.

Keeping Patients Informed
Explaining a dental treatment before it begins is essential, but anxious patients may miss details. Dental assistants can avoid uncomfortable surprises by keeping patients informed about the progress of their procedure as it happens. By describing each step before it occurs, a dental assistant reinforces that the treatment process is going as planned.

Since the patient won’t be able to talk once their jaw is open, agreeing on a stop signal before beginning is reassuring. Patients who know they can stop drilling simply by raising their hands feel a much-needed measure of control.

For some patients, demonstrating how equipment is used may help overcome fear. Patients who’ve never seen a dental drill are often surprised to see how much smaller and less intimidating it is than a drill used for wood.

Offering Feedback
Letting patients know they’re doing a great job by staying still or keeping their mouth open reassures them that they’re being helpful and makes them feel like full partners in their dental care. The more involved patients are, the more emotionally invested they feel in their oral health, and the more likely they’ll view recommendations for future visits positively.

Maintaining Physical Comfort
Pain is among dental patients’ greatest fears. While modern dentistry makes most procedures virtually painless, popular perceptions are tough to overcome.

Dental assistants promote comfort by giving patients choices whenever possible, such as how their chair is positioned or what type of music they listen to. A dental assistant should assure patients that they will remain at chairside to meet their needs until the dental treatment is complete. Knowing the dental assistant will maintain suction and monitor their discomfort is reassuring.

After Dental Treatment

After dental treatments, patients may experience a rush of relief and want to head for the door, but dental assistants can enhance long-term satisfaction by explaining aftercare, reviewing treatment plans, and promoting regular care.

Explaining Aftercare
It’s common for patients to see their dentist, only to realize when they get home that they forgot to ask important questions. Dental assistants eliminate that mistake by carefully reviewing what patients need to know after a dental treatment, predicting what questions they may have.

Aftercare instructions should include:

  • What to expect physically, such as how much discomfort or bleeding is normal
  • How to manage pain and care for treatment sites at home
  • How to take prescribed medications
  • Symptoms to watch for and report
  • Emergency contact information

Asking patients to return-verbalize instructions ensures they understand what they’ve been told and helps them feel more comfortable in their ability to take care of themselves.

Reviewing Treatment Plans
Some dental procedures, such as fillings or extractions, may not require a follow-up appointment, but other treatments, such as braces or implants, may require multiple visits over a long period.

For continuity of care, dental assistants should review the dentist’s treatment plan with patients before they leave the practice, answering any questions they have and scheduling the next appointment.

Promoting Regular Care
Almost all people believe annual physicals help them stay healthy, but fewer than half say the same about regular dental exams. Despite the growing role of oral care in overall health, the public is largely unaware of its importance.

Dental assistants can change that by educating patients about timely topics such as:

  • Choosing the right toothbrush
  • Brushing and flossing techniques
  • Preventing gingivitis
  • Eating for dental health
  • The importance of regular cleanings
  • Taking care of dentures and orthodontic appliances
  • Understanding restoration procedures

The more patients know about dentistry in general, the more comfortable they’ll feel with treatments.

Final Thoughts

Patient satisfaction surveys repeatedly show, patients who are comfortable visiting their dentist are more likely to get regular dental care. Dental assistants, as a representative for the entire professional team, hold the power of comfort in their hands. It’s a responsible but rewarding role.

Did learning about how to help patients feel comfortable before, during and after dental treatment interest you? Still deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? Ready to learn more about a program that will help you become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic. PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers a dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information. The Dental Assistant Program is offered at our Richardson Campus.

Take A Medical Assisting Program to Help Fight Against Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Medical Assistant

COVID-19 is affecting lives across the country. People are working from home, limiting gatherings and avoiding public places to avoid exposure to this serious illness. But while there’s some uncertainty about how long preventive measures will remain in effect, one thing is clear, this novel virus is here to stay, and more qualified healthcare workers are needed on the front lines to help fight what is now a global pandemic. For anyone interested in a career in healthcare, now is the time to get involved. In as little as nine months, medical assistants can be ready to help their friends and neighbors.

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

Medical assistants are valuable support specialists. They’re trained to handle many of the clinical and administrative tasks that are a part of every patient visit, freeing up doctors and nurses to spend more one-one-time time with the patients they serve.

A medical assistant’s responsibilities include:

  • Managing the doctor’s office schedule
  • Greeting patients
  • Taking vital signs
  • Maintaining medical records
  • Arranging referrals
  • Drawing blood
  • Performing lab tests
  • Ordering office supplies
  • Filling out insurance claims
  • Administering medications and vaccinations
  • Patient education
  • Assisting with minor surgical procedures

How Does a Medical Assistant Help Fight Public Health Threats?

Medical assistants serve as liaisons between patients and healthcare professionals, medical assistants are a patients’ go-to source for timely medical information. As the first person to interact with patients over the phone or when they arrive for a visit, a medical assistant’s judgment and clinical expertise is critical in ensuring patient needs are met promptly and in ways that keep others from getting sick. Duties in a pandemic include keeping waiting areas clean, following strict infection control protocols, and educating patients.

Keeping Waiting Areas Clean

Precautions such as hand hygiene and social distancing are proven weapons against the spread of infectious disease like coronavirus. Still, when patients are distracted, they quickly forget how to protect themselves and others, especially in packed waiting areas.

In addition to their typical responsibilities, medical assistants help control the spread of infection during a pandemic by:

  • Keeping soap, hand sanitizer and other supplies stocked
  • Reminding patients with symptoms of illness to keep their distance from others
  • Sanitizing common areas frequently
  • Screening patients for symptoms
  • Guiding the ill through the office in ways that limit the spread of germs

By encouraging visitors to practice good hygiene, medical assistants keep patients safe.

Following Strict Infection Control Protocols

Healthcare settings harbor germs other places don’t, so following infection control protocols is essential for keeping patients healthy. In addition to disinfecting shared equipment and sanitizing exam rooms, a medical assistant’s duties in a pandemic go even further with more deep cleaning and attention to detail.

Educating Patients

The Spanish flu caused the last worldwide pandemic. It lasted from 1918 to 1920, so no one under the age of 80 is likely to remember its impact. When patients are concerned, they need qualified sources of information to turn to when they have questions. In doctor’s offices, those sources are often medical assistants. With their clinical know-how, they help patients better understand the symptoms of this virus and when they should seek treatment. It’s all part of the effort to provide better patient care.

Training to Become a Medical Assistant

Most careers in healthcare require a college degree, but medical assistants can attend vocational school programs that offer diplomas in under a year. How can they do that? Vocational schools have a targeted curriculum. They teach the practical skills required to be a medical assistant without the elective courses associate degree students are required to take.

While most programs are typically on-campus, social distancing has prompted most schools to temporarily transition to online learning. Most of a medical assisting program, except for labs and a short-supervised externship, can be taken from the comfort of home. Graduates can be ready to help and work full time in the field in as little as nine months.

For anyone out of work and thinking about a new career, it’s an opportune time to make a change.

Why Become a Medical Assistant?

Even before the pandemic, the demand for medical assistants was rising. As millions of Baby Boomers retire, there’s a greater need for preventive health care. Doctor’s offices are leading the way in caring for the vulnerable older generation, serving as a gateway through which they can access medical and home services. At the heart of the healthcare team, medical assistants support the medical professionals that make it happen, and without them, the quality of care suffers.

In addition to a sense of accomplishment and the chance to help the community during a global pandemic, a career as a medical assistant has a lot to offer, including a vibrant job market, a steady schedule, professional respect and opportunities for advancement. The pace is brisk, but the work is exciting and personally rewarding.

Career Services for Medical Assistants

Vocational schools excel at helping graduates find jobs, and more are partnering with healthcare institutions to help fill their staffing needs during this critical time. Graduates also benefit from school services, including career counseling and job placement outreach.

Final Thoughts

Covid-19 isn’t the first pandemic our country has faced, and it won’t be the last. But what the medical community is learning from the coronavirus is, the best way to fight public health concerns is with skilled staff, and medical assistants are part of the solution.

Did learning about taking online medical assisting classes to help fight the coronavirus interest you? Interested in working with colleagues that want to help their patients stay healthy? Ready for an exciting new career in the medical assisting field? PCI Health Training Center’s Medical Assistant program prepares a graduate online to work as an entry-level Medical Assistant. Within this general career category there are several specialty areas, including Medical Administrative Office Assistant, Clinic Assistant, Clinic Tech, Medical Office Manager, Phlebotomist and Physical Therapy Aide in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital out-patient clinic. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical assistant online and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.