Medical Assisting Program Questions

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Questions You Should Ask About Instructors of Medical Assisting Programs

Looking to become a medical assistant? Texas has no shortage of quality medical assisting schools, but never select a course unless you’re confident in the person teaching it.

Before you choose a course, ask the following questions about its instructor:  

Can this instructor break down complex concepts?

Medical assisting programs often last no longer than a year, during which time they must teach you enough medical and technical knowledge for you to understand most hospital functions. Instilling complex medical knowledge in a year is no easy task. Even the most knowledgeable instructors won’t be able to do it if they lack the rhetorical skills and patience to explain complex concepts to the uninitiated. You should thus never choose instructors based solely on their degrees or knowledge. Talk to a prospective instructor’s former students, and ask them how easy it was to understand the instructor. If possible, meet with instructors in person, ask them about what they teach, and pay attention to how they explain it to you.  

How much practical experience does this instructor have?

Successful medical assistants not only need to know basic administrative skills, medical principles, and technical processes, but must also be able to put all of these skills to good use in tandem on stressful, fast-paced days. Dealing with high patient volume requires patience, good memory, and cool-headedness as much as technical knowledge; never trust an instructor who isn’t familiar with these skills. The best instructors have practical experience working as medical assistants or in other fast-paced medical professions, and can teach you tips for remaining level-headed and remembering all the relevant information. Instructors who lack this insight will not adequately prepare you for a career in medical assistance, regardless of how much technical knowledge they have.  

Does this instructor anticipate future trends?

Like all medical workers, medical assistants have to keep up with the rapid technological, economic, and regulatory changes that constantly transform the healthcare industry. At the current pace of change, skills that are relevant today may be obsolete within five years. Good medical assisting programs will thus anticipate future changes, prepare you for those changes, and teach you the research skills to stay up-to-date on healthcare facts. You should thus assess possible instructors to see how much attention they pay to changes in the healthcare industry. Try to get hold of the coursepacks or textbooks the instructor uses and see how often those books reference recent research on healthcare trends. Talk to former students to see what kind of skills they learned and how prepared they are for research. The more dynamic the skills you learn, the more valuable your education will be.  

How motivated is the instructor?

Instructor motivation isn’t trivial, particularly in medical assisting programs. Instructors who view their jobs as a means to an end– for example, doctoral graduates who are only working as medical assistant instructors until they can apply for tenured professorships– are unlikely to invest any more time or energy than the minimum amount required. Instead, look for instructors who have a passion for teaching medical assisting programs. The more excited they are about their jobs, the more likely they are to work with you after class, write you letters of recommendation, and correspond with you after graduation.   Instructors are important, but they alone can’t guarantee an effective medical assisting program. To make the most of your education, look for a school that not only has quality instructors but also offers the resources and networking to get you started on a promising career. Contact the Southern Careers Institute to learn more about training as a medical assistant.

This article was published on: 06/25/15 4:32 PM

What SCI Students Are Saying

“I made a complete career change when I started my training at Southern Careers Institute. I needed a stable career to continue providing for my growing family. SCI provided me with the medical terminology and know how that I needed to understand and acquire a career in the medical field. SCI taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now; you always have room to advance and learn.”


Denise S.
Medical Assistant

“I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received from SCI’s Career Services team. I enjoy where I work and what I do. SCI has helped me succeed in life by getting me the necessary education and by making me a stronger and more confident person.”


Raquel S.

“Once I graduated from SCI, I had a sense of accomplishment that helped me through the job search process. SCI provided me with the opportunity to brush up on my skills, extend my accounting knowledge, and they boosted my self-confidence. I went to work two days after my last day of school.”


Annette D.
Business Accounting

“When my youngest child graduated from high school, I told my husband that it was my time. I went back to school to change careers after spending 37 years in the business field. At SCI, the instructors are professional, and they care about what they are teaching you, as well as expect you to give 100% in return. I had problems understanding how to draw in syringes and give injections. I requested extra help from a knowledgeable instructor, and I was able to receive one-on-one training. Today, I draw injections for approximately 100 patients each week. I am very confident in what I’ve learned. SCI has given me the chance to do what I always wanted to do. Thank you for my education. I am doing wonderful.”


Bonnie M
Medical Assistant

“I am now a certified Lab Tech. SCI helped me get an externship, and I came out with a job. After my little sister had cancer, I knew I wanted a career in the medical field that allowed me to help others. I am happy about what I do.”


Sidney B
Medical Assistant

“The best place ever!! Ms.Tonia rocks she is the best teacher… I love going to school my time there is amazing.”


Andrea Garcia

“Southern Careers went beyond my expectations. Very impressed. The assistance I got from Career Services is truly amazing. They really went out of their way to get me placed. They really care and I am grateful to all of them.”


Olga C.

“Southern Careers Institute totally surpassed my expectations. Once I finished school, the Career Services team helped me find a job. I would tell anyone thinking about starting career training that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I wish I would have started my training sooner.”


Valerie D.

“I am very happy with where I am and where I’m going. Through high school, I struggled with math. When I came to SCI, I enrolled in the Business Accounting Specialist program to see if I could do it. SCI provided me with the accounting skills I needed to help me find a career. Now, I have an amazing career and room to grow in the company.”


Crystal H.
Business Accounting

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