Medical Assistant School Curriculum
The medical assisting program provides an overview of the wide range of responsibilities that medical assistants undertake. It is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare industry, which is both exciting and challenging. This program equips students with the skills and knowledge to assist physicians in both clinical and administrative duties.
The business aspect of the course includes topics such as insurance reporting, office accounting, and medical records, while the clinical instruction covers the preparation of patients for examination and treatment, routine laboratory procedures, and the use of the electrocardiograph machine. In addition, students will study the history and various healthcare opportunities, learn about professional workplace behavior, ethics, and legal aspects of the healthcare industry. The program also provides hands-on clinical experience within healthcare facilities in the surrounding communities, allowing students to use some of the latest technology and tackle constant challenges while delivering quality service to patients.
The specific curriculum for medical assistant programs can vary by school and program, but generally includes a mix of classroom instruction, hands-on training, and supervised clinical experience. Some common topics that may be covered in a medical assistant curriculum include:
- Medical terminology: Students learn the basic vocabulary used in the medical field, including terms related to anatomy, physiology, and medical procedures.
- Anatomy and physiology: This includes the study of the structure and function of the human body, including the major systems such as the cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems.
- Medical office procedures: Students learn about the administrative tasks performed in a medical office, such as scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records, and handling insurance claims.
- Medical coding and billing: Students learn how to code medical procedures and diagnoses for billing purposes, and how to navigate insurance requirements.
- Clinical procedures: Students learn how to take vital signs, administer medications, perform basic lab tests, and assist with medical procedures such as injections and minor surgeries.
- Pharmacology: Students learn about the different types of medications and their uses, as well as proper dosage and administration.
- Medical ethics and law: This includes discussions of legal and ethical issues related to patient privacy, informed consent, and medical malpractice.
- Communication skills: Students learn effective communication techniques for working with patients, medical staff, and other healthcare professionals.
- Professional development: Students learn about job searching, networking, and maintaining professionalism in the workplace.
A medical terminology course is an essential component of many healthcare-related programs, including medical assistant programs, nursing programs, and other allied health programs. The course teaches the language used in medicine, including medical terms, abbreviations, and symbols.
In a medical terminology course, students learn the meaning of root words, prefixes, and suffixes used in medical terms. They also learn about the structure and function of various parts of the body, such as organs, tissues, and cells, and how medical terms are used to describe these structures and functions.
The course covers a wide range of medical terms related to different medical specialties, including cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, and others. The course may also cover common medical abbreviations and symbols, and how they are used in medical records and reports.
Medical terminology courses may be taught in a traditional classroom setting or online, and typically involve a combination of lectures, assignments, quizzes, and exams. In addition to lectures, many courses also use interactive tools such as flashcards, videos, and games to help students learn and retain the material.
A solid understanding of medical terminology is critical for many healthcare careers, as it enables healthcare professionals to communicate effectively with other members of the healthcare team, as well as with patients. Knowledge of medical terminology also helps healthcare professionals to understand medical reports, research papers, and other documents related to the healthcare industry.
Anatomy and Physiology
Anatomy and Physiology is a core course in many medical assisting programs. This course is essential as it provides students with an understanding of the structure and function of the human body, which is critical for healthcare professionals.
In an Anatomy and Physiology course, students learn about the different systems of the human body, including the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, nervous, and endocrine systems. They also learn about the structure and function of the different organs and tissues in the body, including the heart, lungs, liver, and brain.
The course covers a range of topics related to anatomy and physiology, including cell biology, histology, and the structure and function of the different body systems. Students learn about the different processes involved in maintaining homeostasis in the body, such as the regulation of body temperature, blood pressure, and pH levels.
Anatomy and Physiology courses may be taught in a traditional classroom setting or online, and typically involve a combination of lectures, lab exercises, assignments, quizzes, and exams. In addition to lectures, many courses also use interactive tools such as models, simulations, and videos to help students learn and retain the material.
A strong foundation in anatomy and physiology is essential for many healthcare careers, including medical assisting, nursing, and physical therapy, as it enables healthcare professionals to understand the structure and function of the body and the underlying mechanisms of disease. Understanding anatomy and physiology also helps healthcare professionals to make informed decisions about patient care and treatment.
Clinical procedures is another core course in medical assisting programs. This course is essential as it provides students with the necessary skills to perform various clinical procedures and assist physicians in medical settings.
In a clinical procedures course, students learn about various clinical procedures, including vital signs measurement, phlebotomy (blood draws), administering medications, and assisting with medical exams. They learn how to properly prepare patients for exams, take accurate measurements, and maintain proper documentation. Students may also learn about medical equipment and how to use and maintain it.
The course covers a range of topics related to clinical procedures, including infection control, medical asepsis, and the proper handling of hazardous materials. Students may also learn about patient privacy laws, medical ethics, and how to provide emotional support to patients.
Clinical procedures courses may be taught in a traditional classroom setting or online, and typically involve a combination of lectures, lab exercises, assignments, quizzes, and exams. In addition to lectures, many courses also use interactive tools such as simulations, case studies, and role-playing exercises to help students learn and retain the material.
A strong understanding of clinical procedures is essential for medical assistants as they are often responsible for performing various clinical tasks and providing patient care in medical settings. Understanding clinical procedures also enables medical assistants to work effectively with other members of the healthcare team, including physicians, nurses, and other allied health professionals.
Medical Billing and Coding
Medical billing and coding is an essential aspect of the healthcare industry, as it involves ensuring that healthcare providers receive payment for the services they provide to patients. Medical billing and coding professionals work in medical offices, hospitals, and insurance companies, and their primary responsibility is to translate the medical procedures and services provided to patients into codes that can be used for billing and insurance purposes.
Medical coding involves assigning codes to the various medical procedures, diagnoses, and treatments provided to patients. These codes are used to communicate with insurance companies and other third-party payers to ensure that the correct payment is received for the services rendered. The codes used for medical coding are standardized, and the most commonly used coding system is the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding system.
Medical billing involves submitting claims to insurance companies and other third-party payers to request payment for the medical services provided to patients. The medical billing process involves verifying patient information, verifying insurance coverage, and accurately coding and submitting claims to insurance companies. Medical billing professionals need to be knowledgeable about insurance policies and regulations, as well as the rules and regulations related to government-funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
In summary, medical billing and coding are critical functions in the healthcare industry, and skilled professionals in these areas are in high demand. A career in medical billing and coding requires a solid understanding of medical terminology, anatomy, and medical coding systems, as well as proficiency in technology and software used in the industry.
How is the Medical Assistant Curriculum Evaluated?
The medical assistant program will utilize a blend of teaching methods including lectures, skills demonstrations, computer simulations, and clinical internships. The curriculum covers both administrative and clinical applications, In addition, students may be required to participate in both independent and group work, engaging in a variety of medical simulations to strengthen their understanding and skills.
Besides quizzes, unit tests and exams, the following may also be evaluated:
Class Participation: Active participation in class discussions and exercises can be an important aspect of the learning experience and contributes to the overall employability.
Scenario Exercises: Hands-on activities and scenario exercises include CPR and first aid, computer simulations in customer service, financial office management, and medical records, medical history interviewing, patient education, and other essential clinical skills required in healthcare practices. Role-playing is required for these exercises.
Employability Skills: This relates to your professionalism and readiness for the workforce. This category encompasses a range of skills including effective communication, time management, cooperation in class, ability to follow instructions, independent work, taking care of the worksite, following safety rules, problem-solving, and bringing necessary materials to class. Additionally, students may be required to demonstrate skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills required for employment in healthcare, computer literacy, decision-making skills, strong work ethic, positive attitude, independence, self-presentation, satisfactory attendance, and teamwork.
Clinical competencies: These may also be tested and evaluated through scenario exercises, hands-on activities, CPR, virtual computer simulations of proper medical record handling, financial management, patient triage and history taking, exam preparation, procedural testing, and clinical ratings.