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sameenafarhen

U.S. Career Institute Medical Assistant Program: Is It Worth It?

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Hi everybody,

I am a current Pre-PA student and I have a couple of questions about online medical assistant courses. The course I am talking about in particular is U.S. Career Institute's Medical Assistant program. I came across this course and I was wondering if anybody has had any experience with this company, and if you have, how did you like it? This course is a lot cheaper than other courses in the area I live in (Bay Area), and seems like a good deal for the price. (My local CC is teaching a medical assistant course for over $2500 while this website charges about $1240 for the whole course plus textbooks) This program also has a 9.3 out of 10 star rating on Trustpilot, and everybody seems to be raving about it online.  Another reason why I am interested in this program is because it has very flexible coursework which is great for my busy schedule. I would really appreciate it if somebody can advise me regarding this website, as I am still very new to the PA and medical world. 

 

Thank you in advance! ?

Sameena

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I went through USCI for the medical school and it has its pros and cons. It is a very easy program. I completed it in less than a month and that was going slow. You could easily decide to crank this out in a weekend and have no problems doing so. It does a fairly good job at presenting material, especially if you have experience in the medical field and just need to get a certification. 

The problem with this program is that it does not go very in depth with hematology or EKGs, both of which are big parts of the certifying exam. 
 

Now on to the exam. Because this program does not offer an externship, you are only allowed to sit for the CCMA Exam (Certified Clinical Medical Assistant). This is a nationally recognized certification but not every employer will accept it. Where I am from, the big hospital systems and all of their offices would not accept the certification. However, I was able to get some amazing experience at two different urgent cares with the experience.

Obviously you dont get any hands on experience during the training, so the hardest part is trying to find a way to learn the clinical skills. I was lucky to have a job already in the medical field and some of the nurses trained me on the clinical skills. Also I took a job at a larger urgent care that put all of its employees through training which helped alot. 

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Thank you for the reply! 

As for the clinical experience, I have completed roughly 500 hours while volunteering as a medical assistant at a pediatricians office. I was able to take vitals, assist in bandaging and wound care, and load shots for the other staff to give. The doctor also allowed me to train with her medical students while she taught them how to administer vaccines on a dummy arm.

The only problem was that I was not able to administer the shots, and I want to experience a field outside of pediatrics (work at a hospital or a large out patient clinic, for which I need a certification). Do you think my previous experience can help me in any way when it comes to landing a job in the bigger clinics, or would you recommend taking another medical assisting course which provides externships?

Also, are you aware of any other online program that offers a medical assistant externship and which goes in-depth on hematology and EKGs?

Once again, I really appreciate your reply

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I am not aware of any other programs that would offer you an externship. I dont know of school that would send you out to train in a clinic having never evaluated your clinical skills beforehand. With that being said, I think that having your certification should open plenty of doors, it did for me. At least in my state, there is no requirement for a medical assistant be certified. So a lot of practices, especially private ones and urgent cares will hire non-certified medical assistants and train them. So having your certification could help land you a job where they intend on training you anyways. 

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