Best 10-Week Medical Assistant Programs For 2021


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

The decision to pursue a new career or go back to school is usually impacted by two important factors: cost and the amount of time it takes to become job-ready. If you are considering a career in healthcare but don’t know if you have the time or money, a ten-week medical assisting program is an excellent option. Graduates of a 10-week medical assistant program work in administrative and clinical settings and are an essential part of the healthcare team. In this article, you will find information about the best 10-week medical assistant programs for 2021 and learn what it takes to get started on the path to becoming a medical assistant.


What Exactly Is the Purpose of A 10-Week Medical Assistant Program?


The purpose of 10-week medical assistant programs is to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to perform clinical and office management skills needed in the medical assistant role. Students are presented with classroom and clinical instruction to prepare them to take and pass the medical assistant certification exam and perform administrative and clinical tasks. Although the programs are completed in a short time, students experience extensive, comprehensive training so they can contribute to positive patient outcomes and improve the delivery of healthcare within their healthcare facilities.


Top 5 Reasons to Pursue 10-Week Medical Assistant Programs


If you have decided to become a medical assistant, you may be wondering which program is best for you. Perhaps you have questions about the pros and cons of a program that can be completed in a short time, like 10-week medical assistant programs. Here are five of the top reasons to pursue your education through one of these programs.

1. You will learn skills that apply to both administrative and clinical roles. Medical assistants are among the few healthcare workers who provide hands-on care and fill administrative roles conducive to smoothly running a healthcare facility.
2. Learn and earn faster!! Because the programs do not take as long as traditional technical diploma programs, you can achieve the knowledge and skill set necessary to perform as a medical assistant and begin earning money within just a few months.
3. You can use this to launch your medical career. Ten-week medical assisting programs are an excellent way to get started in the medical field. In two to three months, you will be exposed to information that is the foundation of most healthcare programs, and you can apply that knowledge to future academic endeavors.
4. MA Programs are a less expensive option than other healthcare programs. If you want to begin a career in the healthcare field but are worried about finances, ten-week medical assisting programs are a great way to get started without spending tens of thousands of dollars.
5. You can choose from a variety of work environments. Whether you like the idea of working in a rural health clinic, hospital, trauma center, or a fast-paced surgical ward, there is something for everyone who graduates from a 10-week medical assistant program.


How Much Do 10-Week Medical Assistant Programs Cost?


The cost of 10-week medical assistant programs varies from one school to another. When searching for the school or program that is right for you, be sure to ask for an exact breakdown of tuition and mandatory fees. You can also ask a financial aid advisor at the school(s) if there are other expenses you should budget for that aren’t in the general outline of costs. Some programs may give a cost for their program without being clear if the price is inclusive of tuition, fees, and supplies.

For example, the online medical assistant program at Camelot College costs approximately $14,928.58. According to the school's website, the cost includes books and supplies, administrative, technical, and graduation fees, and tuition.

Another featured 12-week medical assisting program is offered at the New Horizons Medical Institute. At NHMI, the current total cost for the program is $7,628, which includes tuition, textbooks, fees, CPR and First Aid certification, a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope, and certification examination fees.


Coursework


Colleges or other learning institutions that offer accredited 10-week medical assistant programs determine which classes will be included in their program's curriculum. While there may be differences in required coursework, accreditation guidelines usually ensure core content is the same or very similar for all programs. Core coursework is the term used in reference to any content or information that builds a foundation of learning. Standard courses offered in most ten-week medical assisting programs include the following.

◦ Medical Terminology
◦ Computer Basics
◦ Electronic Health Records Information
◦ Healthcare Ethics

Examples of some of the coursework at our article’s featured programs are listed below.

At Camelot College, the 12-week MA program is comprised of online coursework and a clinical externship. Classes introduce students to skills including maintaining medical records, performing clerical duties, and assisting physicians with medical procedures. The externship provides students with the opportunity to participate in hands-on skill development, under the supervision of a preceptor, in a medical environment.

Sample Curriculum:

Coding and Billing: Students learn fundamentals of initiating and processing insurance forms, basic theory and coding principles using International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10-CM), Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) to complete medical insurance claims.
Medical Law and Ethics: An introduction to legal and ethical issues medical assistants may face in healthcare settings; Typically includes topics such as licensure and certification of medical professionals and activities designed to demonstrate the correlation of medical office employees to civil, public, and criminal acts, negligence, bioethics, and litigation in the medical profession.
Professional Communication: Focuses on the importance of effective communication; provides students with necessary communication skills which will enable them to provide support to clients in the healthcare setting.
Medical Office Management: This course provides students with the foundation of professional behavior, patient reception and processing, telephone communication, and medical records management.

New Horizons Medical Institute offers an accredited 12-week medical assistant program that provides students with entry-level theory and hands-on training experiences. The program prepares students with the competencies necessary to perform in both an office and clinical capacity.

Sample Curriculum:

Medical Anatomy and Physiology: Students learn about how the body is structured and the functions of different organs and body systems. This course provides information to develop an understanding of how, when, and why patient care, procedures, and treatments may be necessary.
Phlebotomy: In the phlebotomy class, students learn about common blood vessels, laboratory equipment and supplies, safety techniques, and specimen collection.
Medical Terminology: This course teaches students medical terms they will use to communicate with other healthcare workers about patients, medications, procedures, and medical procedures. Students learn commonly used abbreviations and root word meanings to help them understand the meaning of medical terms.
Medical Healthcare Roles: In this class, students learn the role and responsibilities of a medical assistant and other members of the healthcare team and how effective teamwork can improve patient outcomes.


Hands-On Clinical Experience


The best 10-week medical assistant programs featured in this article require students to participate in an externship as part of the curriculum. Medical assistant externships are an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in a healthcare setting. During externships, students practice clinical skills such as taking vital signs, assisting patients with ambulation, bathing, feeding, and dressing. Students also practice administrative duties, including scheduling appointments, using electronic health records, and filing insurance claims for billing.

The curriculum for the online 12-week medical assistant program at Camelot College consists of 96 clock hours, including 71.5 academic credit hours and a clinical externship. Students at New Horizons Medical Institute complete 380 clock hours, including 86 hours of lab simulation and 80 hours in a clinical externship.


Admission Requirements


Admission guidelines for 10-week medical assistant programs are determined by each school and are typically based on state guidelines designated for the medical assistant’s scope of practice. Although some criteria for admission may differ, minimum requirements are usually consistent among all programs. For example, applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and submit to a background check and drug test.

Camelot College requires applicants to provide the following.

◦ Immunization Record showing all immunizations are up to date per state guidelines
◦ Financial Aid Award Letter or other proof of funding
◦ Attend an interview with program faculty

New Horizon’s Medical Institute requires applicants to be at least 16 years old to be considered for admission to its accredited 12-week medical assistant program. Applicants should also submit the following.

◦ Provide a copy of a government-issued photo ID
◦ Copy of social security card
◦ Fill out a registration package and sign a tuition agreement



FOLLOWING ARE THE 2 BEST 10-WEEK MEDICAL ASSISTANT PROGRAMS (ONLINE & CAMPUS) FOR 2021

(These 10-week programs are ideal for individuals who wish to become a medical assistant in 10-12 weeks.)

1. Camelot College - Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Online)

Program Type: Certificate

Program Length: 12 Weeks



2. New Horizons Medical Institute - Norcross, GA (Campus)

Program Type: Certificate

Program Length: 12 Weeks



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Career Opportunities After Completing This Program


After completing a 10-week medical assistant program, there are several options for job opportunities you may wish to pursue. Medical assistants are employed in healthcare facilities, including physicians' offices, hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care clinics, and nursing homes. The two main medical assistant roles are administrative medical assistant and clinical medical assistant.

Administrative Medical Assistant: A medical assistant in this position has more of an administrative role than a clinical one. Administrative medical assistants fill an essential role in the business side of healthcare delivery facilities. Some job duties may include making appointments, manage patient records, and make sure billing and coding are done promptly to ensure payment for services is received.
Clinical Medical Assistant: The role of a clinical medical assistant is focused on patient care. CMAs assist nurses and doctors by preparing patients for examinations, taking vital signs, and obtaining blood or other specimens for lab testing. Clinical medical assistants work with patients directly to assist with treatment for a broad range of medical issues.

Medical assistants can choose the patient population or type of facility where they prefer to work. Some medical assistants may prefer to work with children and find employment in pediatric clinics. Others may be interested in the care of the elderly and choose to work in a nursing home or assisted living facility. There are truly limitless possibilities for medical assistant job opportunities.


Average Salary for Medical Assistants


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics students who have graduated from accredited ten-week medical assisting programs can expect to earn an average salary of around $37,000. As you gain experience in this field your salary will continue to rise further.

Hourly $17.75
Monthly $3,080
Annual $36,930
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Job Outlook for Graduates of This Program


Multiple sources indicate an expected growth in medical assistant job opportunities in the next five to eight years. RaiseMe estimates graduates of 10-week medical assistant programs will see growth in job availability of 29% from 2016 to 2026. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an increase in jobs by 23% from 2018 to 2028. Although there is a six percent difference in the projected growth, even the lower projection of 23% by the BLS is considered much faster than the average jobs.


Bottomline


If a career in the medical field is something you’ve dreamt of, but you’ve been putting it off, there is no time like the present to get started. By enrolling in one of the best 10-week medical assistant programs for 2021, you can become a medical assistant in no time!


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


If I enroll in an accredited 10-week medical assistant program, do I need to get certified?

While not all states require medical assistants to be certified, employers naturally prefer candidates who are. Anyone who aspires to become a medical assistant is encouraged to reach out to their state board that regulates medical assistants and verify the necessary credentials for medical assistants in their state.

How do I choose from the best ten-week medical assistant programs?

Choosing a medical assistant program may feel daunting if you aren’t sure what to look for or which questions to ask. Consider what you want to do when you become a medical assistant and seek a program that meets the educational needs to help you prepare for that role. If cost is a concern, ask about financial aid or scholarship offers. Most importantly, be sure to verify if the program is accredited. Addressing these three key factors will make your choice much easier.


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.