Certified Medical Aide Classes and Courses Overview
Medical aides, commonly referred to as medical assistants, may become certified through various organizations, but most commonly upon completion of a Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) approved college program and a national American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) certification exam. Courses are typically offered through certificate-only programs or as part of an Associate of Applied Science degree.
List of Common Courses
Medical Terminology Course
The medical community uses a unique set of terminology, and certified medical assistants (CMAs) must be familiar with the language in order to be successful. During this course, students learn common vocabulary used in medical offices, their correct spelling and pronunciation, as well as their definitions. A further breakdown of word structure will also be covered as prefixes, suffixes and root words are reviewed.
Medical Assistant Administrative Procedures Course
Administrative assistants are typically in place to keep an office running smoothly, and medical aides are no different. The administrative procedures course covers basic administrative skills necessary for any office, such as appointment scheduling, phone communication, transcription and billing. However, this course provides position-specific training as well, with an emphasis in medical record management and coding. Upon completion, students will be more prepared to manage the day-to-day functions of a medical office.
Clinical Office Procedures Course
The other half of a medical aide's duties are on the clinical side. The focus of this course will be placed on common medical office procedures that aides will participate in on a daily basis. Students will learn techniques for obtaining patient medical histories, taking vital signs and administering first aid. These tasks are of assistance to the physician when diagnosing, treating and prescribing medication for patients.
Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology Course
Because medical aides also provide a basic level of support to the physician, they must have knowledge of the fundamentals of anatomy and physiology. The focus of this course will be on the function of the human body, structure of the body systems and common diseases. Students will gain knowledge of the disease process so they are better able to identify and control infection. Focus will then shift to common medications used for treatment of different types of disease.
First Aid and CPR Course
Most CMA programs require students to complete training in first aid, CPR or both. Many programs combine the two into one interactive, hands-on course for students to learn the basics of cardiac and respiratory care during an emergency. Typically, courses result in a Heart Saver CPR card from the American Heart Association.
Introduction to Pharmacology Course
Pharmacology refers to the science of drugs and their uses and effects. This introductory course covers the basic principles of pharmacology, including effects on the body, drug interactions and potential side effects. Students will learn about drug classifications and generic names. Medical aides, however, do not administer treatment to patients but may provide instructions for patients to follow.
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