Medical assisting is a hot career field today with opportunities arising in nearly every corner of the country. As more and more doctors rely on the daily duties of the medical assistant, opportunities will only continue to grow. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that medical assisting will be one of the fastest-growing occupations through 2014, with prospects the best for those with formal education and/or certification.
Medical assisting training programs are widely available, and now are becoming increasingly available online. Online medical assisting programs typically lead to a certificate or associate's degree and include courses on anatomy and physiology, as well as those that teach students how to prepare examination rooms, take vital signs, assist physicians during minor surgical procedures, give injections, perform lab operations, handle patient records and billing, and make insurance claims. After completing the online instruction, most programs require students to perform an externship or clinical experience in a community medical facility to fulfill the hands-on training requirement.
Online healthcare programs are fantastic options for students who want to attend class at their own convenience and who want to work at their own pace. Online programs use email extensively for communication for instructors to give assignments and for students to turn in completed ones. Other web tools used include message boards for peer-to-peer interaction, chat programs for live discussions, and online libraries for research purposes. Online students enjoy the flexibility an online program affords, especially the option to "attend" class whenever they want - in the middle of the night or while eating dinner - whenever it suits them best.
Enrolling in an online medical assistant program also offers students an opportunity to maintain full-time employment without worrying about scheduling conflicts. It is also a convenient option for those who work varying shifts or for those with family commitments.
Online students need not worry they are missing out on services afforded to on-campus students; in general, online students have access to academic advisement, tutoring services, career development, libraries, technical support, and many other of the same services offered on campus.