A medical assistant instructor teaches students the needed skills to function as a medical assistant. Classes taught may vary depending on the individual medical assistant program. Some programs offer an associate's degree, others offer a certificate of completion. A medical assistant instructor will usually teach at community colleges, state colleges, and private technical schools.
Medical assistant instructors may be assigned to teach specific classes, such as medical terminology or they may teach several different classes. Some programs are broken up into back-office skills for a medical assistant and front-office skills. Medical instructors may teach both back- and front-office skills.
Back-office skills a medical assistant instructor teaches may include medical coding and medical transcription. A medical teacher will also instruct students how to organize and run a medical office. Information taught may include scheduling appointments and procedures, ordering supplies, and handling billing procedures.
Front-office skills will also be taught by medical assistant instructors. An instructor will teach students how to take vital signs, which include measuring respiratory rate, heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. Medical assistant instructors will also teach students basic medical procedures such as removing sutures, administering vaccines, and measuring blood sugar.
Some medical assistant programs may also include instruction on how to perform an electrocardiogram (EKG), or do venous blood draws. During EKG instruction, a medical assistant instructor will teach students proper lead placement and how to operate the equipment. Instructors will also teach how to locate a vein, prep the site, and perform the blood draw safely.
Legal responsibilities of a medical assistant will also be taught by a medical assistant instructor. Medical teachers will inform students about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Students will need to understand this act to avoid violating patient confidentiality.
It is the responsibility of the medical assistant instructor to teach students principles of infection control and how to prevent the spread of bacteria and illness from patient to patient. Instructors will teach proper disposal of biohazards, such as needles, and correct sterilization techniques of equipment. Instructors will also teach students proper hand washing and how and when to use personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, and goggles.
A medical assistant instructor may also observe students in a clinical site. Students may be working at an internship, performing duties of a medical assistant. Instructors may visit the student and answer question, observe performance, provide correction as needed, and evaluate the student's level of competency.