Medical assistants work under the supervision of a physician. They perform a variety of duties including: taking vital signs, recording patient information, and assisting the physician during examinations.
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Podiatric Medical Assistant – assists podiatrists in making castings of feet and in surgery.
Ophthalmic Medical Assistant – assists ophthalmologists with eye care.
Medical assistants often work in clinics, physicians' private offices, and hospitals. They assist physicians in the care of patients. They gather patient information, take vital signs, prepare patient exam rooms, maintain patient records and charts, and give the physician instruments as needed during examinations and procedures. Some medical assistants are trained to perform injections and to operate diagnostic testing equipment such as X-ray machines and electrocardiographs (EKGs). Medical assistants also answer telephones, arrange for patients' hospital stays, schedule appointments and perform other clerical tasks. They may work full or part-time although many work 40 hours a week. Some medical assistants may work in the evenings or on weekends.
High school students should study health, biology, mathematics, computer applications, and other related courses. A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Formal programs are offered at vocational/technical schools, colleges and universities. Individuals can earn a certificate or diploma from a one-year program or an associate degree from a 2-year program. Course work may include classes in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, transcription, and accounting, as well as instruction in first aid, clinical and diagnostic procedures and laboratory work. Upon completion of a formal training program, individuals may become a Certified Medical Assistant through the American Association of Medical Assistants, or a RMA through the American Medical Technologists. Medical assistants specializing in podiatry or ophthalmology can become certified through the American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants or the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology.
Blackhawk Technical College
Bryant-Stratton College - Bayshore
Bryant-Stratton College - Milwaukee
Bryant-Stratton College - Wauwatosa
Chippewa Valley Technical College
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Herzing University - Brookfield
Herzing University - Kenosha
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College
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Madison Area Technical College
Mid-State Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Milwaukee Career College
Moraine Park Technical College - Beaver Dam
Moraine Park Technical College - Fond du Lac
Nicolet Area Technical College
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Rasmussen College - Green Bay Campus
Rasmussen College - Wausau Campus
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
University of Wisconsin - Marshfield
Waukesha County Technical College
Western Technical College
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College - Ashland
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College - New Richmond
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College - Rice Lake
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College - Superior
American Association of Medical Assistants
20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1575
Chicago, IL, 60606
312/899-1500 or 800/228-2262
American Medical Technologists
10700 West Higgins Rd., Suite 150
Rosemont, IL, 60018
American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants
1000 W. St. Joseph Hwy., Suite 200
Lansing, MI, 48915
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