Formal training in medical assisting, while generally preferred, is not always required. Some medical assistants are trained on the job, although this is becoming more and more less common than in the past. Applicants usually need a high school diploma or the equivalent. Recommended high school courses include mathematics, health, biology, typing, bookkeeping, computers, and office skills. Because medial Assisting students must acquire both administrative skills, and competencies, and clinical skills and competencies prior volunteer experience in the healthcare field, or working as a nurse assistant or home health aide can be very helpful.

Although there is no licensing for medical assistants, some States require them to take a test or a course before they can perform certain tasks, such as taking x-rays. Employers prefer to hire experienced workers or certified applicants who have passed a national examination, indicating that the medical assistant meets certain standards of competence.

There is no easy recipe for making the perfect medical assistant; in fact, it takes hard work, interest, uniqueness, and a dedication that comes from deep within. Some may think it all starts at the medical office, where the medical assistant works diligently, side by side with the physician and other health care professionals, applying all skills learned. But this could not have been achieved without the knowledge and willingness to share with others during your training. In other words: Your success begins in the class room, and continues at the work place! A typical curriculum usually includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

1.) Anatomy and Physiology
(a) Anatomy and physiology of all the body systems
(b) Common pathology/diseases
(c) Diagnostic reatment modalities

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