What’s The Difference? Medical Assisting Degree vs. Diploma

Degree vs Diploma | WVJCWhat is the difference between a Degree vs. Diploma

Have you decided to pursue a career in healthcare as a medical assistant, where you can directly impact a patient’s care? WVJC has options to help you decide what type of medical assisting training program best suits your individual needs. Students at WVJC have the opportunity to complete training and earn an associate degree at our campus-based Clinical Medical Assistant program in Charleston and Bridgeport, West Virginia, or our online program. WVJC also offers students the option to earn a Medical Assisting diploma in just nine months at the Charleston and Bridgeport campuses. 

Continue reading to learn more about the differences between earning a medical assisting degree vs. diploma and how a WVJC training program can help you achieve your goal of a healthcare career.

Clinical Medical Assistant Degree Program

Students interested in earning an associate degree by taking accelerated courses should consider one of WVJC’s Clinical Medical Assistant programs. Training programs are offered in various modalities, including campus-based training at the WVJC Charleston and Bridgeport campuses, hybrid-online training through WVJC Morgantown, and online courses with weekend clinicals offered through WVJC Online. 

WVJC’s clinical medical assistant degree program prepares students to enter their careers in two years or less, equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the field. Students in these programs will learn valuable hands-on clinical skills, including taking patient vitals, EKGs, phlebotomy, and more. In addition, students in a hybrid online or online training program can expect to complete coursework virtually, then complete in-person clinical experiences to practice their skills. Toward the end of the program, all WVJC medical assistant students will complete an externship at a local healthcare facility, allowing them to gain real-world experience before entering the workforce.

WVJC graduates prove to employers that they are committed to their education and future career by earning a Specialized Associate Degree in Clinical Medical Assistant. Not only will graduates complete their training with an associate degree, but they will also be prepared to sit for the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certified Clinical Medical Assistant* certification exam. This shows employers that WVJC alums possess the skills and knowledge from their education and have undergone an extra layer of credentialing through an independent agency.

Because WVJC’s Clinical Medical Assistant program is completed in 18 months, students can expect to be academically challenged during their education. However, WVJC offers a robust support system of instructors, career management, and other faculty to guide students throughout their journey. 

Medical Assisting Diploma Program

Students looking for a career training program that allows them to enter the workforce in even less time should consider earning a Medical Assisting diploma from WVJC. The 9-Month Medical Assisting program provides students with the same training as the degree program; however, students are required to complete the program at a more rigorous pace to finish in less time. 

Medical assisting training materials include valuable medical office skills, including front office procedures, processing insurance, scheduling, and HIPAA. In addition to medical office tasks, there are direct patient care tasks such as checking vitals, performing lab tests, phlebotomy, and more. These concepts will be reinforced with hands-on clinical experiences throughout the program, followed by completing an externship at a local healthcare facility toward the end of the program.

In addition to completing their training with a diploma, WVJC alums will also be prepared to sit for the NHA Certified Clinical Medical Assistant certification* exam. This can show employers that you have completed your training in an accelerated format and can apply your skills and knowledge in the healthcare setting. In many cases, earning a certification from a third-party agency can set you apart from the competition, who may only have a diploma.

Students who complete the 9-Month Medical Assisting program and decide to continue their education to earn an associate degree have the option to continue their schooling with WVJC to earn their Specialized Associate Degree in Clinical Medical Assistant. This can give students an advantage because it allows them to earn their diplomas and begin working and earning money while attending school to finish their degree. 

Start Your Career As A Medical Assistant at WVJC!

Now that you know the differences between a degree vs. diploma, have you decided which type of medical assisting training program best fits your needs and career goals? The WVJC team is here to help guide you through the admissions process! So take the first step by Requesting Information today!

*Certification is contingent upon passing this industry certification exam.