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Associate of Science in Medical Assisting

Prepare for a Medical Assisting Career in as Little as 2 Years

Prepare for a rewarding healthcare career in as little as 2 years in our Medical Assistant program. You can gain specialized knowledge and get 200 hours of hands-on medical assistant training experience in local healthcare settings, so you can hit the ground running in your new profession.


What Does a Medical Assistant Do

Medical assistants are multi-skilled health professionals who perform clinical and administrative tasks in physicians’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare settings, making them vital members of the healthcare delivery team. Medical assistant duties can include greeting patients, scheduling appointments, taking medical histories, checking vital signs, preparing blood samples, running lab tests, and managing medical records, billing, and coding.

In large healthcare organizations, medical assistants may choose to specialize in either clinical or administrative duties. Some clinical medical assist duties and responsibilities may vary by state.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants need specific technical training to be effective in their duties. Outside of technical medical assistant skills, medical assistants must be detail oriented since physicians and insurance companies will be relying on their observations and records. Analytical skills also will be valuable for studying charts, and interpersonal skills will be important for communicating with patients and colleagues around the office and clinical settings.

In our 24-month Medical Assistant programs, you can learn how to help a physician examine and treat patients, collect and prepare biological specimens, perform laboratory tests, maintain medical records, and function as a crucial member of the team that shares the administrative responsibilities of operating a medical care facility.

Our engaging and interactive medical assistant classes can also help you build your communication and interpersonal skills, your professionalism, and your familiarity with terms used in medical records and reports. In all of your courses, you can encounter one-on-one personalized attention from experienced, knowledgeable faculty* who are committed to your success. In your final parts of the program, you’ll even spend time gaining valuable on-site experience and practice performing supervised medical assistant duties in a local medical organization, as well as preparing for a medical assistant certification exam.

The medical assistant skills we teach are all directly applicable to the workplace and, our 3-year employer satisfaction rate was 100% for medical assistant degree program graduates from our Montgomery, Savannah, and Columbia campuses. To support you in pursing your academic and professional goals, financial aidis available to those who qualify.

Medical Assistant Associate's Degree Program Curriculum

Our program courses are carefully selected and designed to prepare you for your career in medical assisting. The list below contains some but not all of the topics covered during the major course portion of the Associate of Science in Medical Assisting program.

  • Medical terminology
  • Clinical competencies
  • Clinical laboratory competencies
  • Medical office procedures
  • Medical insurance and coding
  • Computers in the medical office
  • Human pathophysiology
  • Business communications
  • Medical assisting certification

General education requirements include courses in communications, professional development, math and statistics, anatomy and physiology, arts and humanities, and social and behavioral sciences.

Job Outlook & Certification After Completing Medical Assistant School

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical assistant job outlook is strong, with employment growing 23% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the 7% average across occupations. With the population aging and the demand increasing for primary and preventative care, physicians and other healthcare providers are expected to hire more medical assistants to perform administrative and clinical support duties.

While medical assistant certification is not required in most states, some employers may prefer to hire individuals who have become a registered or certified medical assistant through organizations like the American Association of Medical Assistants.

Various types of medical assistant certification is available through four organizations recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies:

  • American Association of Medical Assistants
  • American Medical Technologists
  • National Center for Competency Testing
  • National Healthcareer Association

To achieve medical assistant certification, you typically will be expected to pass a certification exam in addition to having appropriate educational or work experience.** Medical assistant salaries will vary by geographic region, experience, certifications, and professional duties.

To prepare to pursue work in this exciting and important field, call us or explore our site to learn more about our Medical Assistant programs available at our Columbia, Montgomery, and Savannah campus locations.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

**South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams, and are subject to change without notice to South University.

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