online medical assistant certification

Can You Earn a Medical Assistant Certificate Online?

Medical assisting is one of the fastest-growing careers in healthcare, with an estimated 104,400 job openings projected each year for medical assistants. Not to mention, medical assisting is one of the fastest tracks you can take towards a career in health and medicine. Medical assistants typically need just a postsecondary certificate and training to launch a successful career.

Many people are drawn to the medical assisting field because of this benefit: You do not need to spend a long time in medical school, as you can complete a certificate program in just a matter of months. At Goodwin University, for example, students can achieve their medical assistant certificate in as few as 12 months’ time, and do so from an accredited and reputable program. What’s more, is that they can also benefit from online flexibility.

If you are working, managing a family, or simply have obligations that require flexibility, you may have asked, “Can I pursue my medical assistant certificate online?” The answer is yes – to some degree.

Online medical assisting certificate programs are available and ready to train aspiring caregivers like you. However, remember that medical assisting is a highly hands-on, health-focused field. Therefore, some practical, clinical training is necessary – and included in most medical assisting certificate programs.

On a daily basis, medical assistants are responsible for a range of administrative and clinical tasks. These professionals record patient histories, measure patients’ vital signs, assist with patient examinations, and sometimes administer medications. They may prepare laboratory tests, order office inventory, and update electronic health records (EHRs). Learn more about medical assistants here.

In order to effectively prepare for a career as a medical assistant, both classroom and clinical training is recommended. Some of this training can be completed online.

Online and Clinical Components of a Medical Assistant Program

Like many healthcare training programs, medical assistant certificate programs are typically broken up into two formats: classroom learning and clinical training experiences. This enables aspiring medical assistants to gain essential knowledge in their classes, as well as put their learnings to practice in a practical setting.

The classroom component of medical assistant certificate and degree programs can be completed on-campus or online, depending on your preference and your school. Some schools offer a hybrid format of both on-campus and online medical assisting courses. This gives students the best-of-both-worlds, allowing for in-person face time and hands-on training, as well as the flexibility of studying from home.

The clinical component of medical assisting certificate programs, meanwhile, cannot be offered online. This is simply because some skills require experience and practice. If you plan to work in a hospital or private practice, you will not be able to learn patient care skills in an online environment. In a fully-online program, you will not be able to use the technical instruments or operate the care technology used by modern medical assistants. This requires hands-on practice.

It’s no surprise, then, that most employers today are seeking medical assistant candidates who have had some hands-on experience in a laboratory or patient care setting. This is because these candidates know how an office or lab operates, how to do daily tasks, how to use medical devices, how to interact with patients or team members, all in addition to their fundamental knowledge and skillsets.

An Online-Focused Medical Assistant Certificate Program

If you are seeking an online medical assistant program, we recommend looking for one that is online-focused: a program that positions you to earn your medical assisting certificate, with the majority of the curriculum offered online. However, a great medical assisting program will still offer a clinical component, in order to best prepare you for this hands-on career path. Having that hands-on experience under your belt will help you feel more confident and readied to take on this career.

Goodwin University’s medical assisting programs, starting in the Fall of 2022, are online-focused. About 70 percent of the medical assisting curriculums will be offered online, to ensure our students benefit from maximum flexibility. The remaining 30 percent of the program will be offered in-person, to provide students with the ever-important and valuable clinical training.

At Goodwin, online medical assisting courses can be found in the following topics:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Medical Insurance and Coding
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical Office Management
  • Psychology
  • Human Biology

Meanwhile, clinical course components which require in-person training include:

  • Medical Office and Patient Care
  • Diagnostic Procedures
  • Laboratory Procedures

Additionally, all medical assisting students – even those taking primarily online courses – must complete an internship before earning their certificate. An internship is an opportunity for medical assisting students to take all that they’ve learned and put it into practice in a real-world healthcare setting. Of course, this must be completed in-person.

At Goodwin University, the medical assisting internship course involves 160-hours of hands-on and career-oriented experience. Students select a healthcare setting in Connecticut – such as a physician’s office or health clinic – and work under the supervision of trained clinical staff. They can enhance their learning laboratory and diagnostic skills, as well as enhance their skills in patient care. The clinical internship experience provides students with valuable employment experience, increasing their marketability after graduation.

Are you ready to launch a career as a medical assistant? Learn more about Goodwin’s online-focused medical assistant programs in Connecticut. Visit us online to request more information, or call 800-889-3282 to learn more.