Medical assisting knowledge and skills are taught in a traditional classroom, auditorium, or laboratory setting where students are provided hands-on experience they will be expected to perform on the job. Increasingly, career, technical and trade schools are integrating vocational training programs into their academic offerings. Voc-ed instruction plays a key role in students’ transition from school to work. New technical and medical developments, discoveries, and devices have a direct influence on the medical assistant’s professional duties and responsibilities.
Training for Medical Assistants
When it comes to certified medical assistant training it is important to understand that certain medical office skills, such as taking vital signs, drawing up injections, administering ear lavage or instilling drops, collecting specimens, preparing slides, setting up EKGs, incubating Petri-dishes, sterilizing instruments, changing wound dressings and wrapping bandages are best learned under the direct guidance of an experienced medical or healthcare instructor. Direct supervision and hands-on practice of skills in a safe and supervised setting assures that the medical assistant student is going to be well prepared for the “real” job upon graduation from the medical assistant training program.
Formal Training Classes
Medical assisting classes are taught in a typical classroom, auditorium, or laboratory setting where students are provided hands-on experience they will be expected to perform on the job. For example, medical assisting instructors show students various wound cleaning and bandaging techniques and essential safety practices, watch them use materials and equipment, and have them repeat procedures until they meet the specific standards required by the trade.
Most vocational training institutions prefer their medical assisting program instructors to hold a highly recognized medical assistant certification credential and expect several years of hands-on experience in all areas of the medical assisting occupation. Some instructors are former Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) or Registered Nurses (RN), however, medical assisting involves more than typical nursing duties and bedside patient care, and medical office experience is a MUST to teach all aspects of the broad spectrum in administrative and clinical care.
The Medical Assistant Instructor
The medical assistant instructor provides knowledge in a systematic manner by presenting job essential information and practicing clinical and administrative skills, while initiating group discussions, and overseeing required activities they prepare aspiring medical assistants for their future job–for example, medical assisting instructors show students various wound cleaning and bandaging techniques and essential safety practices, watch them use materials and equipment, and have them repeat procedures until they meet the specific standards required by the trade.
A good medical assistant instructor can relate and communicate well with the students, enjoys working with them and is able to motivate them. Additionally, has an inquiring and analytical mind, a strong desire to pursue and disseminate knowledge and must be self-motivated and able to work independently in an environment in which they receive little direct supervision. Not only that! A medical assistant instructor must als be able and willing to take a large porting of the work load home and continue from there, such as preparing hand-outs for lessons, grading papers and quizzes and reading through different research materials and text books to prepare their lectures and exam papers. One of their biggest challenges is to keep up with new and latest medical discoveries and developments in the healthcare industry. Often, they are expected to “be the first to know” about the latest medical news to teach and prepare successful medical assistants for today’s modern medical office.
Keeping Up With Medical Advancements
To keep up with the latest medical advancements worldwide, many medical assistants join a professional membership association to receive medical news and legal updates, representation and access to professional meetings and work shops, peer-to-peer networking platforms and continuing education programs that maintain their certifications. Often they also receive periodicals, newsletters and magazines highlighting medical breakthroughs, family health issues and other important resources and articles that offer solutions to work place situations, problems and medical discoveries.