online schools for medical assisting programs

5 Top Schools For Online Medical Assisting Program

Are you looking to transition into the medical field and are pondering where you’d fit in easily? Do you wish to become a healthcare professional without having to go through the hassles and stress of medical school? Medical assisting is a great option!

This article will give you an insight into what a medical assistant does, why, and how you should become one. And if you’re worried that you might not have the time and energy to take a medical assisting program on a college campus, you’ll also get to know the top 5 schools that offer online medical assisting programs in the US. 

But before we go into that, let’s get to know the roles of medical assistants in a healthcare setting.

What does a medical assistant do?

A medical assistant is a well-trained healthcare professional who assists doctors with clinical and administrative tasks. They are mostly seen in hospitals, laboratories, clinics, and operating rooms where they do basic laboratory tests, change patients’ dressings, sterilize medical equipment, and also prepare patients for surgeries. 

Their role revolves around assisting doctors and nurses in attending to patients. In the absence of nurses, they also act as the link between the doctors/physicians and patients. Though the duties of a medical assistant can differ depending on the facility where they work, they have general roles to perform regardless of the facility, like:

  • Assisting the physician during medical examinations.
  • Taking and updating patients’ personal and medical information.
  • Educating patients per physician’s orders (diets and medications).
  • Sterilizing medical equipment before and after usage.
  • Measuring patients’ vitals: blood sugar, blood pressure, and temperature.
  • Managing the clinic’s communication lines (telephone and emails, if used).

Related: Best Medical Schools In Massachusetts

Why become a medical assistant?

Medical assisting is one of the fastest growing medical professions in the healthcare sector. It’s become apparent doctors and nurses can’t handle all the clinical and administrative tasks in the hospital. Hence, the need for trained healthcare professionals who can perform clinical and administrative functions upon the doctor’s or nurse’s demand. 

If you’ve always wanted to provide medical assistance to people but are skeptical of the cost and duration of medical school, then medical assisting might be the right profession for you. 

Unlike other medical professions, becoming a medical assistant doesn’t require you to spend over a decade in training. All you need is a diploma, an associate degree, or a certificate that proves you have the appropriate training in the field. With either of those from a reputable institution, getting a job as a medical assistant will be easy.

Medical assisting is a high-paying job and does not require a lot of prerequisites before you can get started. Some medical assistants are hired without the proper certificates. 

Read: 8 Best Schools for Radiation Therapy in the US

Why should you study medical assisting online?

The benefits of studying medical assisting online are numerous. Apart from being really affordable, it also offers you the flexibility to take up other responsibilities at the same time. Additionally, it offers the same value of education you can get from a brick and mortar school of medical assisting.

Some benefits of taking medical assisting programs online are:

Flexibility 

Most people want to gain more knowledge as parents, wives, or husbands. Juggling a family and a college program can be tedious. Hence, taking a medical assistant program online affords you the opportunity to be there for your family while studying. 

Lower cost

Taking a medical assistant course on a college campus is more expensive compared to an online one. Apart from paying lower tuition, you’ll also save the money you’d have spent on accommodation and transportation. 

Self-paced

Because the program is online, it can be taken at your own pace. You could be a working individual who has your hands full most of the time. But taking your medical assisting program online gives you the opportunity to take classes at your convenience. 

Leisure

There is nothing more comfortable than learning from the four corners of your home. This saves the cost and stress of a commute. You can also take classes while enjoying your favorite snacks and drinks.

Read: 12 Best Schools for LPN in the United States

5 Top Schools for Online Medical Assisting programs

Knowing the best online program for medical assistance might be a problem due to lots of choices. Putting in mind quality learning, enrollment requirements, affordability and financial aid, a list of the best colleges that offer medical assistant programs online has been compiled(in no particular order).

1. Herzing University

Getting your medical assistant associate degree at Herzing University gives you a massive boost in your medical career. Herzing University, a private university with its main campus in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ranks as one of the best schools for medical assisting in the US. 

The school offers a 20-month associate’s degree program and an 8-month diploma in medical assisting. Both programs are fully accredited and are designed to prepare you for the Medical Assisting Certification exam. 

Herzing University’s medical assisting program is structured to give you extensive hands-on training in the field. With their compulsory externship, you’ll be equipped with the necessary practical knowledge to excel as a medical assistant. 

To enroll in the program, you must have a high school diploma or GED, have an interview with the college’s application advisor, and complete the enrollment process. 

Financial aid is available for the program in the form of loans, scholarships, and grants. You can visit the school’s website to learn more about its programs. 

2. Keiser University

Keiser University is a private university in Florida known for its excellence in medical programs. It is recognized as one of the best online schools for medical assisting in the US. 

Keiser University’s online associate degree in medical assisting helps prepare students for clinical and administrative tasks in the healthcare environment. Students learn to take vitals, perform bookkeeping tasks, and provide other assistance a physician or patient requires. The program is endorsed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The associate degree program runs for 2 years and consists of hands-on practicals and an externship. Graduates of the program will take the Registered Medical Assistant examination as the curriculum prepares them for it.

To enroll in the program, you must have a high school diploma or GED and complete the online enrollment application. Financial aid is not available for this program at the institution. You can visit the school website to learn more. 

3. US Career Institute

The US Career Institute provides in-depth training to its students to make them eligible for an entry-level position in healthcare as medical assistants. The program has a stamp of approval from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

The medical assisting program at the US Career Institute runs for 4 -7 months. It can be finished in 4 months or be allowed to run its 7-month course depending on the student’s pace. It strives to help students pass the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) and Certified Medical Clinical Assistant (CMCA) certification exams.

All you need to enroll is a high school diploma and to fill out the online enrollment form. US Career does not offer financial aid for this program because the tuition is very affordable and there are easy monthly payment plans. Visit the school website for more information. 

4. Penn Foster College

Laden with the need to give more people the opportunity to transition into healthcare occupations, Penn Foster has an extensive online program for medical assisting. The institution is completely accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

The program’s duration is 9 months for an average student, but can be finished in 5 months if fast-tracked. The program makes its students eligible to write a lot of certification exams, among which the CMAA and CMCA are included. The curriculum consists of modules that will help students develop both clinical and clerical skills, and an externship is required to complete the program.

To enroll in the program, you must be 17 years old or older, have a high school diploma, complete the enrollment application, and have a strong internet connection. Financial aid isn’t available, but there are affordable monthly payment plans. Visit the school’s website to learn more about its programs.

5. Purdue University

Priding itself on its extensive course modules, Purdue’s online medical assisting program boasts of connecting its students to entry-level jobs as soon as they are certified. The program is endorsed by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

The average duration to complete the program is one and a half years, which can be less, depending on the student. Purdue’s curriculum includes hands-on practicals in learning clinical and administrative duties. An externship is compulsory before the program runs its course. A student of Purdue’s online MA program is eligible to write and pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), among other certification exams.

To enroll, you must have a high school diploma or GED certificate, complete the enrollment application online, and attend the mandatory orientations before starting class. Financial aid is available for the program and can be applied. Visit the school’s website to learn more about its programs. 

Related: The 4 Best Medical Schools In Alabama

What do online medical assisting programs cover?

Online medical assisting programs cover healthcare professional courses like minor surgical procedures, preparing and administering medications, medical insurance, pharmacology, patient therapy, and lots more. 

It also offers administrative programs like Bookkeeping, Front Office Procedures, Administrative and Medical Terminologies, etc.  

What does it cost to become a certified medical assistant? 

The tuition for medical assisting programs ranges from $1,000 to $15,000 per year. The actual tuition depends on whether you’re taking a certificate program, a diploma, or an associate degree. 

However, financial aid is available in different variations in most online schools for medical assisting. 

Read: 11 Best Schools for Veterinary in the US

How much do medical assistants earn? 

According to Salary.com, the average annual salary of a medical assistant in the US is $38,329. However, the range falls between $35,336 and $41,389. 

The salary you can earn as a medical assistant depends majorly on your level of experience and the certification you have. An associate degree holder in medical assisting will definitely earn more than a certificate holder. 

Read: 11 Best Schools for Dental Hygienist in the US

What states pay the most for medical assistants?

The top paying schools for medical assistants in the US are: 

StateAverage Annual Salary
Alaska$45,490
Washington$41,340
Minnesota$40,320
Massachusetts$40,270
Connecticut$38,350

Conclusion on online medical assisting schools in the US 

Medical assisting is one profession that allows you to play a part in a healthcare setting without being a doctor or nurse. And given that it pays really well, your dream of becoming a healthcare professional can come true, even if you’ve been in a different field all your life. These reputable schools have made it easy for you to switch careers to the healthcare sector without spending years in medical school. 

Taking the program online does not affect its quality. If anything, it gives room for stress-free, conducive, and affordable learning. Nothing beats learning from home and getting a well-paid job afterward. Gone are the days when you had to be on a college campus to get a degree.

Frequently Asked Questions about online schools for medical assisting Programs

Is being certified a prerequisite to working as a medical assistant?

Being certified is not necessary to work as a medical assistant. You can work without a certificate proving that you have the required skill set. Although, in some states, not having a certificate might limit how you can get a job. Being certified is an added advantage.

How do I get certified as a medical assistant?

After getting an associate’s degree or a diploma from a well-known institution, the next step is to take a certification exam. To become a certified medical assistant, you must pass the Certified Medical Assistant examination.

Where can I work as a medical assistant?

As a medical assistant, you can work in student health centers in colleges, specialty clinics (ENT, OB-GYN, Cardio), medical laboratories, family clinics, insurance facilities, and literally any healthcare center. 

How long does it take to become a medical assistant? 

It takes between four months and two years to become a medical assistant in the US, depending on the program you’re enrolling in.

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