Online health care aid programs, commonly referred to as medical assistance programs, prepare students for careers working alongside medical personnel. Most of the tasks performed by health care aids involve clerical work, sorting through patients files, setting up appointments, and managing the day-to-day functions of private practices and hospitals.
Health care aid degrees are offered by a school’s health and medicine program. While they do prepare students to work in clinical settings, health care aid degrees are not equivalent to nursing degrees since medical assistants don’t perform any treatments on patients and don’t need to become registered nurses. However, they will need to master medical terminology so that they are capable of updating patient’s charts, explaining treatment options, and advising patients as to how they must administer their medication. Likewise, they may assist a physician with minor medical functions, such as taking vital signs, drawing blood, and conducting X-rays.
Health care aids may find positions in hospitals, private clinics, nursing homes, and out-patient facilities. Degree programs in this field provide a faster route toward careers in clinical settings than those required for other health professions. Students in this degree program will take a variety of hands-on courses such as radiography, anatomy and physiology, medical ethics and law, and medical administration courses.