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How Long Does It Take to Become a Medical Assistant?

A medical assistant student wearing a lab coat.

Becoming a medical assistant can be the beginning of a long and satisfying career. In high demand throughout the healthcare sector, graduates of medical assistant programs can work in a variety of health specialties and settings. The length of time spent in a training program often depends on the student’s choice of schedule. Prism Career Institute in Cherry Hill and Egg Harbor Township in New Jersey and Philadelphia, PA, offers one of the shortest training programs in the area. Here, we’ll discuss our program and the road to graduation.

Requirements for the Medical Assistant Program at Prism Career Institute

With a training program that can be fulfilled in just six months, students at Prism Career Institute complete 720 hours of study in 24 weeks of instruction. Included during that time are 425 lecture hours and 135 laboratory hours that provide thorough knowledge in several core subjects, such as:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Hygiene and infection control
  • Taking patient histories
  • Recording vital signs
  • Standard clinical procedures
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical ethics

Taught by knowledgeable instructors, this program is designed to give students a well-rounded foundation for their future.

Our Medical Assistant Program Offers Remote and Hands-On Learning

While most classes are offered during the day at Prism Career Institute, the program includes opportunities for students in the medical assistant program to learn remotely with blended classes. This includes recorded lectures, video demonstrations, and virtual lab and clinic experiences.

Additionally, hands-on training is required. Students spend 160 hours in an externship in preparation for a medical assisting job in the future. Externships enable students to gain experience with medical assistant career paths and build professional networks for job referrals. Prism Career Institute uses local agencies, health centers, and medical offices for externship placement, always taking into consideration the student’s ability to travel back and forth from the healthcare site.

Our Medical Assistant Program Offers Opportunities for Specialization

Included in the medical assistant program at Prism Career Institute are opportunities for students to specialize in several important aspects of the profession. These include the following:


Students receive 90 hours of instruction and experience in phlebotomy, which refers to drawing blood from patients. This is a skill required in many healthcare facilities and a variety of professional roles.

Medical Records

In the records management portion of the medical assistant program, students take 40 hours of instruction that covers the most up-to-date electronic medical records (EMR) systems. In four units, they are taken through features navigation, front-office applications, clinical care aspects, and a detailed coding and billing unit.

Opportunity for Certification Exam

Graduates have the opportunity to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). After the student’s required medical assisting externship is completed, Prism Career Institute will pay the exam fee. Additionally, study resources are provided for students who register for the certification exam.

Job Roles for Medical Assistants

Medical assistant jobs are integral to almost every aspect of patient care. These healthcare professionals work within larger institutions, such as hospital departments, urgent care sites, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. They also find work in physician offices and small group arrangements. There is a need for medical assistants whenever patients or clients have appointments and receive care. They run the offices, take care of medical record entries, collect specimens for laboratory testing, aid in exams and treatments, and assist with diagnostics, such as EKGs and radiologic imaging.

Invest Your Time and Become a Trained Medical Assistant

With the excellent educational opportunities offered in the medical assistant program at Prism Career Institute, students can invest a relatively short amount of time to create a fulfilling new career path. Our outstanding staff and career services department can explain why Prism Career Institute may be the best choice for someone who wants to pursue this healthcare career.

Prism Career Institute has campus locations in Cherry Hill and Egg Harbor Township, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA. If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, don’t wait to enroll. Find out more about the convenience, flexibility, and quality of our medical assistant program. Contact us today.