What Subjects Do I Need to Know to Become a Medical Assistant?

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As a Medical Assistant, you’ll perform a wide range of clinical and administrative duties, so you need to have a vast knowledge base to do your job well. But if you’re worried about all of the subjects you’ll need to learn, don’t be. Some of them you’re probably already familiar with—and others you can learn. What subjects will you need to know to become a medical assistant? Science, math, English—all of the common high school classes—and just a bit more.

Science for Medical Assistants

Did you like science in high school? As a medical professional, you’ll need a good understanding of how the human body works. If you haven’t taken subjects like human anatomy and physiology, you’ll need to learn about them in your Certificate in Medical Assistant program. You’ll be assisting doctors and nurses during exams, so you’ll need to understand some basics about how we all tick.

Math for Medical Assistants

Did you know that a Medical Assistant doesn’t just work with patients? They often help out in the office, handling patient intake and billing. While you certainly don’t need to understand advanced calculus, you’ll need to be able to work with numbers and make sure things add up. Sometimes it might be on a patient bill, but other times you may need to make sure what was ordered for office supplies came in in the right amount, at the right price.

Computer Applications in a Medical Office

Most of the office work you’ll do as a Medical Assistant will be on a computer. That’s why you’ll need to be a bit tech savvy and understand some basic computer applications to work in healthcare like:

  • Email—You’ll need to correspond with patients, providers, medical suppliers, vendors, and insurance companies, through email.
  • Word processors—Microsoft Word or Google Docs may be how you write up notes and prepare documents.
  • Spreadsheets—A spreadsheet app like Excel will help you keep up with medical supply inventory and billing and patient information, and more.
  • Electronic health records—Just about every entry you make about a patient will probably be done on a computer or tablet.

English and Writing

You took English in high school and whether or not you enjoyed learning how to build sentences and examine works of literature, they probably helped you become a better communicator—especially through the written word. Good communication skills are important for any job, but they are essential for medical assistants. You’ll be the person who walks patients through their visits and you’ll also work closely with doctors as they interact with patients. You’ll need to speak and write properly and professionally, which will come in handy when you respond to emails or answer phone calls.

Foreign Language

You don’t need to bilingual to be a Medical Assistant, but you never know when that conversational Spanish class will come in handy. A bilingual or a non-English speaking patient may need medical care, and if you can converse with them, even in a limited capacity, you could help ease their anxieties and make them feel better.

Safety and First Aid for Medical Assistants

Maybe you took CPR or First Aid training in high school. Or Maybe you learned it at the local YMCA. Or maybe you haven’t learned it yet. This isn’t a typical part of the high school curriculum, but first aid training can give you a glimpse into what the medical profession is all about—helping people.

If you’re ready to expand your knowledge base and learn all you need to know to become a medical assistant, contact Charter College today. We offer a Certificate in Medical Assistant program in Anchorage, Oxnard, and Vancouver that can be completed in as little as 10 months and an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assistant program when you’re ready for a degree. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.