Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant Overview

If you like helping people, experience the rewards of caring.

Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 31% from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will likely continue to spur demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians may hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients*.

The Medical Assisting program prepares students with the knowledge, technical skills, computer proficiency, and work habits necessary for entry-level employment in various healthcare positions.

Students gain proficiency in both administrative and clinical skills through interactive and “hands-on” learning including a “real world” externship experience. Student studies include:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Computer Applications
  • Clinical Procedures

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U./S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition

For more information about this program and its outcomes, please see the program description in the University Catalog. Medical Assisting Program Description

What You Can Learn in Medical Assistant

Graduates in the Medical Assistant field may assume a range of responsibilities including:

  • Administrative – Initial contact with patients, scheduling appointments, receiving and processing payments, preparing billing statements, and handling mail. Experienced graduates may function in supervisory or managerial capacities including personnel selection, hiring, and evaluation.
  • Clinical – Assisting the physician with patient care responsibilities such as taking medical history and vital signs, preparing the patient for examination, and assisting the physician during patient examination and surgical procedures. Additional clinical duties may include collecting and performing various laboratory tests, administering medications, performing diagnostic procedures such as EKGs, and patient education.

Where You Can Go in Medical Assistant

Upon completion of the program, Medical Assistant graduates are qualified to take professional certification exams. Entry-level employment opportunities available for graduates include physician offices, clinics, and related healthcare settings.

The following are the employment rates as reported to the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) for the July 31, 2012 – June 30, 2013 period.

  • Northern Virginia, VA – 76%
  • Richmond, VA Moorefield – 70%
  • Richmond, VA Emerywood – 71%
  • Virginia Beach, VA – 74%
  • Newport News, VA – 85%
  • Charlotte, NC – 72%
  • Charlotte, NC Concord – 72%
  • Greensboro, NC – 79%
  • Charleston, SC – 70%
  • Raleigh, NC – 80%
  • Greenville, SC – 93%
  • Columbia, SC – 77%