Medical Assistant Program, Austin TX and Beyond: The Skills You’ll Learn

With a 29% projected job growth rate, medical assistants are in high demand, but only if they are trained properly. Prospective medical assistants should consider a technical training program to prepare them for certification and a career. In a medical assistant program Austin TX, you’ll learn:

Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Clinical Skills

With rising costs, benefit reductions, and growing chronic disease rates, hospitals and health clinics are struggling to make ends meet. Medical assistants can help hospitals keep costs under control by quickly attending to patients and performing basic medical procedures. This allows them to get patients with minor illnesses and injuries out of the hospital, reducing overall patient visit times and strain on hospital resources. To do this effectively, however, medical assistants must understand basic anatomy and clinical skills. Most medical assistant program Austin TX focus on teaching their students to draw blood, carry out basic medical tests, and prepare, administer, and authorize prescriptions.


Communication and Customer Service Skills

As chronic diseases make up an increasing portion of healthcare costs, one of the most effective ways for hospitals to lower spending while improving patient outcomes is to expand patient education. By teaching patients how to prevent or manage chronic conditions, hospitals can reduce the number of patients who develop these conditions and minimize the risk that those with chronic diseases will need emergency room care. Medical assistants are perfectly situated to provide patients with this education. A medical assistant program will teach you the communication skills to explain complex medical facts to patients with little to no prior knowledge.


Microsoft Word and Electronic Health Records Skills

Hospitals and clinics are increasingly relying on electronic patient records, and many have placed all of their patients’ information online. Medical assistants are in charge of recording the bulk of patients’ personal information, medical histories, and test results, and thus must be trained to file electronic records accurately. Health recording skills are particularly important in hospitals that are currently transitioning from paper records to online ones. Doctors and nurses don’t have the time to convert medical records into a digital format on their own, and thus trust medical assistants and other specialists to do it for them.


Health Insurance, Ethics, and Laws

Medical assistants are in charge of filling out and coding insurance forms. Assistants must thus be on the lookout for fraud, unclear insurance policies, and other issues that can create legal and ethical complications for their hospitals. A medical assistant program Austin TX will likely place particular emphasis on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which establishes national health transaction standards and helps hospitals eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse. Because medical assistants also perform medical procedures, they must understand how to perform those procedures and handle medical equipment safely and legally.

Besides learning proper insurance and caregiver conduct, medical assistants must also be aware of environmental and public health regulations. Clinical assistants are in charge of disposing of medical waste and contaminated equipment, and must be able to do so in a way that meets all environmental statutes. Medical assistant programs will teach you to dispose of waste without endangering your community or ecosystem.


All of these skills are crucial to success as a medical assistant, but don’t choose a school based solely on its ability to teach you them. Beyond basic medical and legal knowledge, assistants must be able to work in fast paced environments, retain large amounts of information, and maintain a positive attitude under difficult circumstances. To find a medical assistant program Austin TX that will prepare you for these challenges, contact the Southern Careers Institute today.

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