Medical Assistant 1B: Medical Assisting in Action

Nursing Assistant
Career Pathway Course Units

Unit 1: Healthcare & the Law

How does the legal system influence the healthcare world? A quick answer to someone on the outside may be “not much,” but in fact, many legal and ethical aspects provide guidance for all types of medical professionals. From toeing the legal and ethical line to reporting violations, a medical assistant needs knowledge of these topics to stay within the bounds of the profession. When health and lives are on the line, you can bet the law has something to say about it!

Unit 2: Maintaining a Safe Environment of Care

When you go into any healthcare facility, you probably don’t give much thought to how they are keeping you safe. For something we often overlook, safety is actually a major focus for all healthcare workers. As we explore things like infection control, safety standards, and proper body mechanics, we’ll take a magnified look at all the little things that go into safety procedures. Let’s see what it takes to maintain a safe environment for our patients and ourselves.

Unit 3: Pharmacology

Imagine a time when you were sick enough to go to the doctor. You were examined and prescribed medication, went to a pharmacy to get it filled, and took it as directed on the bottle. Sounds fairly simple, right? Actually, it’s really not as simple as it sounds. All kinds of medications are available to treat a range of conditions and can be given in a variety of ways. Medical assistants need knowledge of pharmacology as part of their everyday practicing skills. Let’s discover the ins and outs of the not so simple world of pharmacology!

Unit 4: Patient Care Essentials

Have you ever thought about the coordination required to manage patient flow in a medical facility? With so many patients needing to be seen by providers each day, it takes organization and a team effort to keep things going at the right pace. Medical assistants play a large part since they are often the first friendly face in the process. Knowing the importance of this role, we’ll explore the skills it takes to care for patients throughout this process. While some expertise are contingent on the type of office or healthcare organization environment, others are essential for every situation. Let’s start by investigating patient care essentials.

Unit 5: Procedural Patient Care

If you break down the term medical assistant, you can guess that these healthcare professionals help with things related to the medical field, but what does that mean? Is something stuck in a patient’s ear? Does a patient need education on how to manage their diabetes? How do you help a patient cope with end-of-life issues? From eyes and ears to skin, lungs, and toes, medical assistants help with all types of procedures, instruction, and counseling. As we explore the role of the medical assistant further, we’ll learn the basics of these procedures and the patient care skills it takes to master this profession.

Unit 6: Laboratory Testing

When a patient comes into a healthcare facility seeking answers about their health, providers compile the signs and symptoms to try to determine the cause of the problem. Often those clues aren’t enough, so they turn to laboratory testing. Since this type of testing plays a huge part in diagnosis, medical assistants need knowledge of the types of tests available and how to perform them. As we explore the world of laboratory testing, we’ll learn everything from collection and normal versus abnormal values to quality control for this type of environment.

Unit 7: Other Types of Testing & Care Coordination

As providers evaluate patients to decide on a diagnosis, they use the physical exam and the laboratory results as steppingstones to set them in the right direction. To confirm a suspected diagnosis or to narrow down the possibilities, they turn to other types of testing. As we explore this next step in the diagnostic process, we’ll see how performing an EKG, recognizing normal versus abnormal rhythms, and differentiating between other diagnostic techs are important skills for a medical assistant helping to coordinate this part of the care process. In addition, we’ll see the adjustments needed when educating patients about all aspects of their care.

Unit 8: The Reimbursement Process

When someone mentions working in health care, most people think of working with patients, completing tasks like taking vital signs, performing tests, or providing bedside care. Have you ever wondered how this health care gets paid for? An often overlooked, but just as important, part of the medical world is the reimbursement process. From prior authorizations to coding and billing for services, medical assistants play a big part in making sure things go smoothly and providers get paid for their services.