What Kind of Subjects are Covered in an MA program?

Posted by Athena Career Academy on Apr 24, 2018

 What Kind of Subjects are Covered in an MA program

The office and examining-room skills of medical assistants make them valuable additions to group practices, clinics, and similar facilities. Medical assistants offer a less-expensive alternative to nurses and free up physicians to handle more complex tasks.

As a Medical Assistant, you'll be a well-respected professional playing a crucial role in the world of healthcare. The coursework covered in your MA education sets the foundation for a successful career. Keep reading for information on the subject covered in a typical medical assistant program.

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Fundamentals of Medical Assisting

A medical assistant is often the first person a patient sees in a clinical setting. This course covers the basics of delivering care: recording vital signs, charting, recordkeeping, and a basic physical exam. You can also expect to learn methods and fundamental clinical proficiency. 

Anatomy and Physiology

It is important for medical assistants to know the ins and out of the human body. Therefore, you will take a course in anatomy in physiology to gain fluency in the language. Anatomy refers to what a part of the body is. Physiology refers to how and why it works. This course gives students the information needed to understand how, when and why some patient care, treatments, and procedures are necessary. It also helps to explain how certain treatments, procedures and care affects patients.

Medical Terminology

In a medical terminology course, you will review terms and anatomical structures, and learn about the most common diseases and disorders of various body systems.  Medical assistant students also learn common abbreviations used in health care. And they learn about prefix and suffix meanings, which helps to decipher words that are not commonly used. All of this is important when communicating with patients, treatments, medications, procedures and medical conditions.


Psychological Aspect of Patient Care

Classes that pertain to patient care are also included in a medical assistant training program. Techniques for performing direct patient care are taught to students. MA students are shown how to perform patient assessments, obtain vital signs and gather a patient’s medical history. Medical Assistants need to have a handle on basic psychology as it relates to healthcare, and recognize the various cultural perspectives on illness, stress and caregiving.


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving process medical assistant students earn. This class prepares individuals to deliver timed compressions to a person's chest cavity when that person is in cardiac arrest. CPR doesn't restart a heart during cardiac arrest, but it can keep a person's blood flowing throughout his or her body. 

First Aid

With first aid, a medical assistant student will learn how to respond to specific situations, which will help you care for people in crisis as they wait for medical professionals to arrive. You will gain an understanding of first aid best practices for a wide range of conditions, including: 

  • Asthma emergencies
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Burns
  • Choking
  • Diabetic emergencies
  • External bleeding
  • Environmental emergencies
  • Heart Attack
  • Poisoning
  • Neck, head and spinal injuries
  • Stroke
  • Seizure

Common techniques for performing certain treatments, such as applying a bandage or splint, may be included in this course. 

Government economists expect jobs for medical assistants to grow much faster than the average for all careers through 2020. The profession will grow as the U.S. population gets older and more people need medical care.

Now that you’ve got the vital statistics on the path to becoming a medical assistant, it’s time to take action. Call Athena Career Academy today to learn about the program and start your journey toward becoming a medical assistant.

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Topics: Clinical Medical Assistant