Earning a medical assistant diploma is a viable option for individuals who wish to work in either an administrative or clinical setting. While not as intensive as an associate’s degree program, earning a medical assistant diploma typically takes longer than earning a certificate. In addition to the standard set of coursework, students may be expected to complete additional training that prepares them for work in a clinical or laboratory setting, giving them the necessary skills to interact with and provide basic care for patients.
Reasons to Enroll in A Medical Assistant Diploma Program
Medical assistant diplomas continue to be a popular option for prospective medical assistants for various reasons.
Quick Turn Around: Unlike certificates, medical assistant diplomas generally take about a year to earn.
Cost: The shorter time frame in which the education is completed means that most diploma programs are vastly cheaper than associate’s degree programs.
Continued Education: Graduates of Diploma programs can always return to school and use their credits towards earning an AS.
There are generally very few requirements for enrolling in a medical assistant diploma program. However, applicants must have at least a high school diploma or GED. They may also want to have some background knowledge in areas like human anatomy, biology, medical terminology, and other related areas. Students should also be aware of the medical assistant job requirements in their state, as they can vary.
Choosing a Medical Assistant Diploma Program
Individuals must keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing a medical assisting diploma program. To begin with, students will have to decide between enrolling in a traditional or online program. There are benefits to each, as online schools gives students greater flexibility and freedom, while traditional schools may have more interaction and hands-on training. The best option depends on an individual’s learning style and personal preferences.
Another important thing to consider is whether or not the school is accredited. Medical assistant diploma programs are offered at universities, community colleges, and even vocational schools, although not all of them have received accreditation. Most certification exams require applicants to have a certificate, diploma, or degree from an accredited program, demonstrating that their school represents excellence in medical assisting education.
Medical Assistant Diploma Coursework
Students will find that the coursework in medical assistant diploma programs is similar to the coursework in a certificate program. However, there are a few notable differences. While diploma programs require students to take similar courses like bookkeeping, medical terminology, and other administrative subjects, they also feature additional course lists.
Depending on the diploma program, students may find courses including the following:
- Medical Law and Ethics
- Medical Assisting Lab Work
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