Medical assistants are multi-skilled allied health professionals specifically trained to work in ambulatory settings, such as physicians' offices, clinics, and outpatient care centers. These multi-skilled personnel can perform administrative and clinical procedures. Clinical duties include assisting with examinations, recording vital signs, preparing patients for various procedures, sterilizing instruments, maintaining examining rooms, drawing blood, recording electrocardiograms, removing sutures and changing dressings. Administrative responsibilities of the medical assistant include answering telephones and greeting patients, maintaining medical records, performing medical coding, completing health insurance forms, scheduling appointments, and preparing medical and financial reports.
The UAA Medical Assisting program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Assisting, as well as preparation for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination and an Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Medical Office Coding. The UAA 40-credit CMA Examination Preparation course of study is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756, (727) 210-2350. Students who complete the UAA CMA Examination Preparation courses, as outlined below, are eligible to sit for the CMA examination. Please note: Individuals who have been found guilty of a felony, or pleaded guilty to a felony, are not eligible to take the CMA examination; however, a waiver may be granted by the American Association Medical Assistants (AAMA) Certifying Board in cases of mitigating circumstances.
In order to perform medical assisting duties, a student should have good manual dexterity, visual ability to locate patient veins and interpret color changes, and good hearing acuity. Most medical assistants should be able to lift in order to assist patients, and be able to bend, reach, and kneel; many medical assistants are required to stand for long periods of time.
Other employment opportunities for which the Medical Assisting program provides training include medical transcriptionist, medical receptionist, medical coder, and health insurance specialist. Medical terminology courses are valuable for all health science students and may be taken by anyone entering a health occupation. Formal admission to the Medical Assisting program is not required for all courses.