Medical Assisting

Where do medical assistants work?
Medical assistants are employed in physicians offices and outpatient clinics. They may work in administration or patient care, sometimes both. Medical assistants may also work as unit secretaries in hospitals, as phlebotomists, and as lab, EKG and pharmacy technicians.

How much will I earn?
The average starting wage for the 2008 graduating class was $12.50-$14.50 per hour.

Will I be able to give shots and draw blood?
As part of your program you will learn to draw blood, test specimens and give injections.

How does a medical assisting student practice his/her skills?
Students practice by demonstration, simulation and practice on classmates.

Do I need a physical and hepatitis vaccination before I start the program?
The requirements for physical and immunizations will be discussed during program orientation when you are asked to set up your CastleBranch account.

What courses should I take in high school?
Biology, accounting, typing, English and computer classes would be helpful.
Some High Schools offer Health Care Academy, which cover some core courses.

What Kirkwood courses can I take before beginning the program?
You can take Professionals in Health; Health Skills I; Keyboarding I; Basic Anatomy and Physiology; Microcomputer Literacy; First Aid Concepts; Fundamentals of Communication or equivelant; Medical Terminology (4cr) and AAS degree requirements/electives.

Do I have to take these courses prior to entering the program?
No. These courses are all included in the regular program.

Can I earn a degree?
Many students coming into the program have enough previous course work which allows them to pick up a few required courses and graduate with their degree.

Can I work without my certification?
Most employers require certification within one year of employment.

Can I transfer courses to Kirkwood from another college?
Have the institution(s) send an official transcript to Kirkwood s Enrollment Services office for evaluation. You will be notified if any of your courses transfer.

Where is my Externship?
Clinic sites will be within Kirkwood's seven-county service area. Faculty determine the assignment of students to Externship sites and a clinical agreement is established with the site. Liability insurance coverage is provided by the college. Students are supervised but not paid for their Externship experience, it is part of the medical assistant curriculum.

How much study time will I have outside of class?
A good rule of thumb is two hours of study for each hour of class. You will also need to allow at least two hours a week to practice Health Skills for performance testing during the first semester.

Will I need a uniform or any special supplies?
For Med Lab, Clinical Procedures and Externship experience, you will wear ceil blue scrubs, a white lab coat, white leather shoes and hose/socks and a name badge. You will need a watch with a second hand and a stethoscope for these classes.

Do I need proof of CPR?
You must provide proof of a completion of a recognized CPR course. It must be at the  Healthcare Provider level.

What about tatoos and piercings?
In lab and Externship, all tatoos must be covered.  Only one small earring per ear; no other piercings are allowed.

Is a backround check required?
Yes, this is part of the admin office procedures course and will be completed through CastleBranch.