Medical office assistants combine knowledge of healthcare and medical practices, and clerical skills to make them an invaluable part of the support staff at private practices, clinics and hospitals. Although in Canada, medical billing is generally less complicated than in countries that rely on private insurance options, the many duties of a medical office assistant may involve billing the province and bookkeeping for the rest of staff.
The Health Services Office Administration diploma program at the National Academy of Health and Business prepares students for a rewarding career as an office assistant in various types of medical facilities, and instructs them on the diverse procedures and tasks that are carried out within a medical office environment.
The program introduces and expands on many theoretical concepts that will help students to succeed in a fast-paced medical office environment. This is combined with more practical on-the-job training, and hands on computer training, to ensure students are proficient at and familiar with the latest medical office technology and software.
The Health Office Administration diploma program is approved as a vocational program under the Private Career Colleges Act of 2005. The course consists of 28 weeks of study, coupled with a four week job placement.
Prospective students of the Health Office Administration diploma program should be quick thinking, possess great organizational skills and a high attention to detail, as well as having excellent communication skills and computer literacy.
Some of the topics you’ll cover in the Health Office Administration diploma program at NAHB include:
– Anatomy and medical terminology
– Computer applications
– Word processing
– Insurance, including provincial and private insurance
– Appointment booking
– Interpersonal skills
– First aid
A medical office assistant career offers an incredibly amount of stability and is extremely rewarding. As the need for medical care increases due to the aging population, the need for medical office assistants is going to increase as well. Research estimates medical office assistants to be among the fastest growing careers. Careers in the realm of medical office assistants can be extremely varied, but about 60% of graduates go on to work in the office of a physician or in a hospital setting.
Typical Job Duties
Medical work usually requires a large amount of record keeping, from doing transcriptions of medical reports to keeping a record of every prescription issued. Due diligence protects patients’ privacy and ensures an ease of communication between doctors and other healthcare professionals.
A good medical office assistant must have a basic sensitivity to medical protocol, for example in the matter of hygiene. Many medical reception desks take special steps like a protective keyboard cover and the wide availability of sanitizing wash or masks. Lastly, medical office assistants should have basic medical knowledge, because as a first point of contact with patients they are often the deciding factor in helping an emergency be properly directed to the correct person.