The Medical Assistant training program at Austin Career Institute (ACI) provides the training you need to succeed in the highly competitive healthcare industry. Our nationally accredited, Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) 8-month degree program is the first step toward a rewarding career as a full-time Medical Assistant, who plays a vital role in modern healthcare. CMA's perform administrative and clinical tasks while assisting physicians, Physician Assistants, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare specialists.
For years, Medical Assistants worked primarily in clinics and emergency medical centers, but they can be found today at public and private medical centers, clinics, hospitals, and emergency rooms. Unlike nurses and Physician Assistants, who may diagnose and directly treat the patient, a Medical Assistant maintains more of an administrative support role, working with patients indirectly and focusing more on the organizational side of medical care.
At ACI, we teach you the administrative and clinical skills expected of entry-level Certified Medical Assistants (CMA) across a wide variety of healthcare settings. The responsibilities of a well-trained Medical Assistant can vary from place to place, but they commonly include the following duties:
- Taking medical histories and vital signs
- Communicating information and instructions to patients
- Performing basic lab tests
- Sterilizing and organizing equipment
- Answering phone calls and emails
- Scheduling patient appointments
- Arranging hospital admission
- Maintaining patient records
- Basic bookkeeping
- Calling in prescriptions
- Working with insurance companies
Through our Medical Assistant training program, students develop front-office administrative skills with an introduction to health insurance and basic billing practices. At the same time, back-office coursework focuses on direct patient contact and basic clinical and laboratory skills like minor clinical procedures, EKG, phlebotomy, injections, and lab screenings. Students also learn about OSHA regulations, HIPPA requirements, Universal Precautions, and legal aspects relevant to any allied health environment.
Being a happy and successful Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) is more than passing an exam – it's about providing the best care for your future patients. This Austin Medical Assistant training program is a robust curriculum that covers many different aspects of healthcare. While studying at ACI, you'll learn about:
- Medical Terminology
- Patient Care
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Office Administration
- Medical Software
- Clinical Courses
More and more, Medical Assistants are called upon to have more responsibility. There is a shortage of medical professionals, and the growth of the aging population continues to increase the demand for preventive medical services provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients. ACI's well-rounded curriculum provides a comprehensive look at both front-office and back-office duties.
At ACI, we take the time to ensure that our students not only know their way around a medical office but are confident, understand the terminology and tools, and possess well-honed skills and a solid work ethic – all while making patients feel safe and comfortable with the quality of care they are receiving.
Medical Assistant positions must have specialized certifications. At our Medical Assistant school, you can earn your Medical Assistant certificate (CMA) and will be qualified to test for the Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) certificate in about 8 months.
The NRCMA designation shows colleagues, patients, and employers that you have the administrative and clinical knowledge as well as proficiency required of a professional Medical Assistant. To obtain your national credentials, you must pass the examination with a score of 70 percent and meet the NAHP eligibility requirements.
Medical Assistants are in high demand, and for the next 10 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates MA employment to grow by 23 percent. Employers increasingly favor certified Medical Assistants, so the incentive to get certified with NAHP has never been greater.
Once you are accepted into the Medical Assistant training program at Austin Career Institute, you'll begin your coursework on the next start date. (Classes start every month.) The Medical Assistant training program is a 8-month curriculum that includes general education and medical-specific courses containing lectures and lab practices. Students draw blood, perform injections, EKGs, CPR, and other hands-on activities.
The CMA curriculum includes an externship course that allows students to apply their knowledge and skills to real-life healthcare situations. Before graduation, students must complete the required externship hours and other related learning activities. Those who excel in their externship may be offered a full-time Medical Assistant position. Even if your externship doesn't hire you, they may be able to provide a letter of recommendation that can be useful when applying for jobs elsewhere.
After nine months of training, students are placed in a medical office or hospital for 180 hours, putting their skills to use working in a live medical environment. There is a comprehensive review at the end of the class to prepare students for the Medical Assistant certification exam. In addition to the NRCMA certificate, you can further specialize your skill set by achieving any of the below certifications from ACI:
- NRCPT: Nationally Registered Certified Phlebotomy Technician. Phlebotomy technicians draw blood. A phlebotomist is a vital member of a smoothly functioning medical facility.
- NRCEKG: Nationally Registered Certified EKG Technician. EKG techs administer electrocardiogram tests, which help practitioners understand the condition of a patient's heart. EKG Technicians are in high demand.
- NRCAHA: Nationally Registered Certified Administrative Health Assistant. Administrative Health Assistants are a cornerstone of any health industry setting. They communicate with clients, handle scheduling, medical coding, insurance payments, etc. NAHP members set the standard for exemplary work.
Medical and Allied Health licensing specialized certifications are offered by the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP).
Your tuition for Medical Assistant training can be offset by a Federal Pell Grant, Federal Student Aid, or other sources of assistance. There are also nonprofit organizations in the Austin community that provide financial assistance. The US government provides more than $100 billion annually in Federal Student Aid to cover tuition, books, materials, and additional coursework needs. You can find out if you are eligible for financial assistance by filling out a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.
Start your journey with us by completing an inquiry form, or call the admissions office at (512) 371-0100. An admissions representative will contact you to review program details, schedule a campus visit, and answer questions.