Medical Assistant at WGU
Are You Considering a Career as a Medical Assistant?
The healthcare industry is growing faster than ever. If you’re thinking about a job in the medical field, or ready to take the next step in your healthcare career, now’s a great time to explore your education options.
Medical assisting is a great fit for anyone who enjoys both the administrative and clinical side of patient care. Of course, if you’re passionate about healthcare and helping people, there are many other career paths to consider, too.
While WGU doesn’t currently offer a medical assistant certificate, our Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Services, and Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management programs can prepare you for a career similar to medical assisting. If you’re already a medical assistant, or aspiring to be one, these degree programs can help you build on your skills and broaden your career choices. Graduation from one of these accredited programs will be crucial in helping you advance your career.
Pathways to a Career as a Medical Assistant
Similar to nurses, medical assistants work alongside doctors to do a variety of tasks from assisting with minor procedures and checking patient vitals to prepping exam rooms and communicating with patients throughout their medical journeys. However, as a medical assistant, you’ll be expected to handle more administrative tasks like bookkeeping, billing, and updating medical records. This means in addition to your clinical skills, you’ll need to possess strong organizational and clerical skills, as well as the ability to multitask.
If you’re looking for a more advanced job in the medical field, there are many degree paths that can prepare you for a career similar to medical assisting. .
Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
A health information management (HIM) degree will prepare you for the high-demand field of healthcare information technology and management. You’ll learn how to use data to influence decisions, improve patient outcomes, and create a better future in healthcare. Similar to medical assisting, you’ll be working with the details and administrative elements of healthcare, helping patients navigate their journeys to wellness.
Some of the jobs this degree prepares you for that are similar to medical assisting include:
- Healthcare administrator
- Case manager
- Health records manager
Why Choose WGU?
Why should you choose a health information management or healthcare management degree over a medical assistant certificate from a medical assistant school? Here are a few reasons a WGU degree is a smart choice.
- It’s affordable. Our low, flat-rate tuition is charged per six-month term and covers as many courses as you complete in that time.
- It’s accessible. Along with our already-low tuition, our scholarships and financial aid make college even more affordable.
- It’s at your pace. Thanks to our competency-based education, you can pass courses by proving what you know instead of classroom time, meaning you can speed up your program and graduate faster.
- It’s career focused. Our degree programs are designed with your employment and success in mind, so the skills you learn will translate directly to your healthcare career.
Which Degree Should You Choose?
Health and Human Services – B.S.
An online health degree program for students who are committed to making a...
An online health degree program for students who are committed to making a difference for patients in a variety of ways.
- Time: 95% of students finish similar programs faster than the traditional 4 years.
- Tuition: $4,085 per 6-month term.
- Courses: 29 total courses in this program.
Sample careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:
- Care coordinator
- Patient advocate
- Health services coordinator
- Patient educator
- Community health educator
This degree allows you to work inside the healthcare industry, while also directly working with patients who need help.
Nursing (Prelicensure) – B.S.
A one-of-a-kind nursing program that prepares you to be an RN and a...
A one-of-a-kind nursing program that prepares you to be an RN and a baccalaureate-prepared nurse:
- Locations: Due to in-person clinical requirements, students must be full time residents of FL, IN, TX, MO, ID, IA, KS, OH, NM, NV, or UT to enroll in this program. The coursework in this program is offered online, but there are in-person requirements.
- Tuition: $6,430 per 6-month term for the first 4 terms of pre-nursing coursework and $8,755 per 6-month term for the remaining 4 terms of clinical nursing coursework.
- Time: This program has a set pace and an expected completion time of 4 years. Certain coursework may be accelerated to finish faster.
- WGU offers the prelicensure program in areas where we have partnerships with healthcare employers to provide practice sites and clinical coaches to help teach you and inspire you on your path to becoming a nurse.
- If you don't live in one of our prelicensure states or don't qualify to apply, consider getting our Bachelor's in Health and Human Services instead. This degree allows you to work inside the healthcare industry, while also working directly with patients who need help.
Health Information Management – B.S.
A program designed for future leaders in HIM....
A program designed for future leaders in HIM.
- Time: 63% of grads earned this degree in 36 months or less.
- Tuition: $4,085 per 6-month term.
- Courses: 36 total courses in this program.
Some careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:
- Director of informatics
- HIMS chief
- Information systems auditor
- Outpatient coder
- Health records manager
This CAHIIM-accredited program makes you eligible for the RHIA exam.
Frequently Asked Questions About Being a Medical Assistant
As a medical assistant, you’ll be responsible for a variety of administrative and clinical tasks, including:
- Taking vitals
- Explaining treatment procedures to patients
- Preparing patients for their exams
- Taking medical histories
- Assisting physicians
- Collecting and preparing lab specimens
- Updating medical records
- Coding and filling out forms
- Billing and bookkeeping
It depends on your interests and career goals. CNAs work directly with patients on a day-to-day basis helping them do things like bathe, get dressed, and eat meals. Medical assistants do more clerical tasks, such as keeping patient records up to date, answering patient questions, or taking medical histories.
If your goal is to become a medical assistant, then a specific medical assistant school and certification is your obvious choice. But if you want to expand your healthcare knowledge and future career opportunities, a degree in nursing, healthcare management, or healthcare coordination could be a smarter choice.