Looking for an exciting, rewarding and in-demand career? Look no further than the medical and healthcare industry. Advances in medical treatments and prevention come at a lightning-fast pace. Consider this – hand-washing wasn’t a common medical practice to prevent infection until the 19th century! Today, we are making great strides in gene therapy, spinal cord treatment, early cancer detection and disease prevention.

With so many different types of medical assistants, you can choose which specialty most interests you. And, according to the US Department of Labor, medical assistants are in high demand, with a job outlook projected to grow 23 percent over the next 10 years, and they can command a solid average salary.

Basic course work for all medical assistant Associate of Science degree can be completed through City College’s Medical Assisting Degree Program. Core courses include anatomy and physiology, clinical lab procedure, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and medical emergencies, exam room procedures, pharmacology and phlebotomy, and medical terminology. This degree program also requires a 150-hour externship to make sure that you are completely prepared for your new career. With an in-house health lab and an emergency medical services lab, City College prepares you for the equipment and surroundings you will encounter during your externship.


Medical assistants’ coursework in anatomy and physiology


Considered one of the oldest branches of medical science, the ancient Greeks ushered in the first systematic study of human anatomy around 5 B.C. While their discoveries were rudimentary by today’s standards, they paved the way for modern medical studies.

While both fields are branches of biology, anatomy is the study of the structures of the human body, and physiology is the study of organs, organ systems and their interconnectedness. The basic coursework includes the neuromuscular, digestive, and cardiovascular systems, along with the diagnosis of disorders that may affect these systems.

Available jobs can include assisting in the dental, nursing and physical therapy fields, as well as hospitals and doctors’ offices.


Types of medical assistants’ coursework in clinical lab procedure


Are you more interested in the study of medicine than its practice? Clinical lab procedure coursework prepares you for three different career paths. A lab assistant analyzes physical samples in either a clinical or private research setting to assist in disease detection. A clinical lab technologist focuses on testing cells for pathogens. And a certified lab assistant performs procedures to secure physical samples and then analyzes those samples.

Coursework involved in this career path includes preparing patients, instrument sterilization techniques, executing routine lab procedures, and the proper use and disposal procedures for biohazardous materials.

Career settings for this type of medical assistant range from hospitals and clinics to the universities and research facilities.


Different types of medical assistants’ coursework in CPR and medical emergencies


This fast-paced career choice has you thinking on your feet as seconds matter during a medical emergency. You may be called upon to take a patient’s vital signs and medical history, or explain the details of recommended treatments. You may also administer injections, take x-rays or draw blood work.

Coursework includes the various legal and ethical aspects of medical treatments and strong communication skills in addition to the traditional study of biology, medical procedures and pharmacology.

Students in this field can explore careers in nursing homes, hospital emergency rooms, and urgent care facilities.

Types of medical assistants’ courses in exam room procedures


If you prefer the more intimate setting of a doctor’s exam room, you have several options available to you. Medical assistants organize and clean exam rooms, and they can also be responsible for specimen collection. This type of medical assistant ensures that a clean specimen is secured by protecting it from outside contaminants. Some types of medical assistants work with the physician to perform minor surgical procedures in the exam room.

Coursework can include some front-office programs and procedures such as computerized medical office management, soft skills such as interpersonal relations and bedside manner, and organizational skills to keep the patients and the physicians on schedule.

Potential areas of employment include family health care offices and community clinics.

Different types of medical assistants in pharmacology and phlebotomy


With nearly 50 percent of Americans using at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days, pharmacology plays a vital role in a patient’s short- and long-term treatment. Pharmacology medical assistants calculate medication dosages and educate patients regarding the medications and dosages.

The two main types of medical assistants in phlebotomy are those who draw blood from a patient and those who document the procedure for the person drawing the blood. Each person plays an important role. The person drawing the blood possesses the skill set to create a sterile environment, locate a viable vein or artery, and take the sample with minimal harm to the patient. The person documenting the process ensures that the proper number of vials are drawn and that each vial is clearly labeled for testing.

Coursework in pharmacology places an emphasis on strong math and science skills to calculate correct dosages and to prevent adverse reactions in patients taking multiple medications. For phlebotomy, medical assistants require a thorough knowledge of the vascular system.

Career choices in this field of study are bountiful, from working in mental health facilities and pharmacies to ambulances and ambulatory blood banks.

Medical assistants in medical terminology


What is the difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism? Earn a medical assistant degree in medical terminology, and you will learn that hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive, flooding the patient’s system with hormones, and that hypothyroidism is the opposite, leaving the patient hormone deficient. Proper medical terminology can mean the difference between life and death in the exam room.

On the office side, proper medical terminology creates an accurate log of each patient’s visit. The correct terminology also allows the coders to ensure that the office or hospital is properly reimbursed for the procedures that are performed.

Coursework may include basic grammar such as suffixes and prefixes in order to properly identify medical conditions, typing and dictation, medical insurance, and office procedures.

Available career choices range from the front office of your family physician to coding and billing at a major medical facility.

Choosing your career is one of the most important and exciting decisions you will ever make, and the right education can make it that much more rewarding. Visit City College’s Medical Assisting Degree Program to see the wide range of options, degrees, certificates, and training programs available to you as you embark on the journey to your dream job!