MEDICAL OFFICE ASSISTANT AND UNIT CLERK
START A NEW CAREER IN HEALTHCARE IN ONLY 26 WEEKS
BECOMING A MEDICAL OFFICE ASSISTANT OR UNIT CLERK
Prepare yourself for a rewarding career in Canada’s growing healthcare industry with Heritage College’s Medical Office Assistant certificate program. This accelerated program is designed to provide you with the necessary education in just 26 weeks.
At Heritage College, you will have the opportunity to learn from a highly experienced team of doctors, nurses, and healthcare experts. They will impart their valuable real-world knowledge and expertise, equipping you with the skills that employers are seeking in today’s healthcare field. By the end of the program, you will be ready to contribute as a valuable member of a modern healthcare team.
Throughout the program, you will acquire the essential skills needed to oversee healthcare organizations and assist in clinical functions. Core subjects covered include medical terminology, clinical and office procedures, Alberta Healthcare billing, Electronic Health Records, and medical transcriptions. These courses will prepare you to effectively supervise various medical office procedures.
As a non-clinical member of a healthcare team, medical office assistants and unit clerks play a vital role in coordinating information from doctors, nurses, medical administrators, insurance providers, patients, and families. During the program, you will learn medical transcription, scheduling, admissions and discharge procedures, and other clerical duties. Additionally, you will develop important skills such as task prioritization, adaptability, and effective communication strategies specifically tailored for a medical office environment.
Heritage Career College’s Express Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk program, spanning six months, includes a valuable three-week hands-on work experience in a medical facility within your hometown. This practical experience will allow you to apply your skills in a real-world setting and gain valuable insights into the industry. As a graduate of our program, you will receive ongoing support from Heritage College’s Career Services department, which includes assistance with job searches, resume and LinkedIn profile reviews, and interview preparation.
Take the first step towards a successful career in the healthcare industry with Heritage College’s Medical Office Assistant certificate program.
Upon completing Heritage College’s Medical Office Assistant program, graduates acquire the necessary office administration and medical knowledge to effectively manage the front-office operations of medical clinics, nursing homes, or hospital units. Throughout this comprehensive 6-month program, students will:
- Gain valuable hands-on experience through laboratory sessions and practicums, where they will develop skills in sterilization techniques, patient preparation, basic urinalysis, and the accurate recording of vital signs.
- Study essential subjects such as medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology, enabling them to identify and understand various medical issues that patients may face.
- Acquire vital experience in medical transcription, including practical exercises designed to sharpen this highly sought-after skill.
- Explore different healthcare settings, including medical clinics, long-term care facilities, and hospitals, to understand the distinctions between these environments and to prepare for diverse career opportunities within the medical field.
- Learn the regulations and laws specific to medical practice in Alberta, ensuring compliance and ethical conduct in the workplace.
How You'll Learn
Heritage Career College’s Medical Office Assistant certificate program has two delivery methods:
- In-Class: Either five days a week (evening option) or two days a week (weekend option) at Heritage College’s Sunridge campus.
- Online: Lectures and theory delivered online, with online assessments.
This program combines lectures, visual aides, hands-on learning via practical exercises, projects, exams and group discussions into an accessible learning experience. Validation of knowledge is done through exams, practical tests, projects, and practicum evaluation.
Medical office assistants and medical secretaries play integral roles within healthcare teams. Graduates of Heritage College’s Medical Office Assistant program can explore various employment opportunities in the following settings:
- Rehabilitation Institutes
- Medical Clinics and Physicians’ Offices
- Diagnostic Medical Imaging Offices
- Dental Offices
- Long-Term Care Facilities
- Specialists’ Offices
- Veterinary Offices
The specific job responsibilities may vary depending on the type of employment secured. In clinics and hospitals, unit clerks or medical office assistants often serve as the initial point of contact for patients. Graduates from our program can find employment as medical receptionists, unit clerks, medical billing clerks, medical transcriptionists, medical office secretaries, and clinic managers.
To gain further insight into the rewarding career of a medical office assistant, I recommend visiting the medical office assistant career information page on the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website. This government resource provides comprehensive information about the profession, allowing you to explore potential career paths and gain valuable knowledge.
Upcoming Start Dates
September 20, 2023 - Evening Online
October 6, 2023 - Weekend In-Class
October 10, 2023 - Morning Online
October 20, 2023 - Weekend In-Class
October 26, 2023 - Morning Online
November 1, 2023 - Evening Online
November 15, 2023 - Evening Online
December 5, 2023 - Morning Online
700 Total Hours
580 Theory | 120 Practicum
Your education is one of the most important decisions you make in your life. It’s an investment in your future, and it can pay you back in dividends.
At Heritage College, we work with you to ensure you can afford the education you need to transform your life. We have helped many students get financial aid, and our team is ready to help you make the right decisions for your future as well.
Our admissions team will work with you to determine the options that best fit your own personal financial needs and situation. This program is eligible for Canada Student Loans, other forms of government funding, and scholarships. We can advise you on provincial student loans, personal lines of credit, RESPs, and our own in-house student financing. We work with you to ensure you are securely funded before you start your program, so you start your program confident you will be able to see it through to the end.
Heritage College’s Medical Office Assistant & Unit Clerk program is eligible for government funding and student loans in:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia
You can visit our Tuition and Financial Aid page for more information on how we can help you afford your education. Please also visit our Scholarships and Grants Page for information about current financial aid opportunities exclusive to Heritage College students.
The Medical Office Assistant certificate program at Heritage College is an approved Vocational Program licensed by Alberta Advanced Education.
No high school diploma? No problem!
Heritage College does not require a high school diploma for our mature admissions pathway. There is no English proficiency test required for this program beyond our Wonderlic Skills Test and our admissions interview.
Standard admission is for students who have graduated from high school or another educational institute within the past one (1) year.
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Applicants must be 18 years of age (for residents of Alberta and Saskatchewan) or 19 years of age (for residents of British Columbia and Manitoba) when they submit their application.
- Applicants must demonstrate minimum academic achievements by submitting one of the following:
- an Alberta high school diploma, verified by transcript
- a non-Alberta high school transcript from another province in Canada
- a General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.)
- Applicants must have a current (completed within the previous three months) Police Information Check (PIC). This check must be submitted before admittance to the program. The existence of a criminal record may postpone or prevent fieldwork placements, therefore subsequently affecting a potential student’s successful completion of the program.
- Applicants must successfully complete an interview with the Program Lead, which will determine a potential student’s personal suitability to the program goals and outcomes.
- Applicants must demonstrate a minimum level of computer knowledge and skills.
You can find additional information about our admission requirements on our Admissions Page.
Medical Office Assistant certificate program students complete a 3-week, 120-hour hands-on work experience at one of our partner clinics, laboratories and medical centres. Starting March 2020, our MOA practicums no longer offered at hospitals or long-term care centres due to COVID-19-related restrictions.
To take part in this practicum, students must meet the following requirements:
To successfully graduate from the Medical Office Assistant certificate program, students must:
What our grads say...
Fill out the following form and one of our Admissions Advisers will get in contact with you to answer any questions you have.
MEDICAL OFFICE ASSISTANT ANDUNIT CLERK COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
This is only an outline of our Medical Office Assistant program. For more information about our curriculum, please contact our admissions advisers.
This course covers professionalism in business communications with an emphasis on correct English grammar, spelling and punctuation. Students also develop proofreading skills. Business communications exercises will further sharpen keyboarding skills.
Over this course, students learn essential computer knowledge and skills, helping them to maximize efficiency in the fast-paced healthcare industry. This course develops proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. Knowledge of Microsoft Office provides the necessary backbone needed to manage a variety of administrative healthcare tasks.
This course involves an introduction to human anatomy and physiology. Taught in a hands-on manner, students will learn through descriptions, illustrations, videos, flashcards and exercises. Students learn the basic structure of medical terminology through developing an understanding of root words combined with prefixes and suffixes. System-associated terminologies follow with corresponding abbreviations, pathologies, clinical and diagnostic procedures. Upon completion of this course, students learn to:
- Identify, spell, and pronounce the basic components of medical terms.
- Understand the structures and physiology of body systems.
- Name, spell, define pathologic conditions, drugs, lab or diagnostic tests, and therapeutic procedures related to the systems studied.
- Identify and define commonly used medical abbreviations and terminologies associated with major systems of the body.
Over the length of this course, students develop necessary medical office clerical skills. These skills are applicable in a variety of medical settings such as medical clinics, private offices, specialist offices and hospitals.
Upon completion of the course the student will be able to:
- Schedule appointments
- Conduct inventories
- File reports correctly
- Assess office equipment functions
- Scan, fax, route phones and other crucial office tasks
- Have a clear understanding of their role in different medical settings
- Understand the growth of the healthcare environment
- Develop a Policy and Procedures Manual
- Demonstrate practical interpersonal communication skills
- Ensure a healthy work environment and prevent work-related injuries
- Demonstrate cultural tolerance and understanding
- Work with patients who have challenging or special needs
In this course, students will learn how to:
- Relate microbiology in asepsis, sterilization, and disinfection procedures
- Take and record vital signs
- Prepare patients and assist physicians in medical procedures
- Properly collect specimens and complete requisitions
- Complete basic diagnostic urinalysis
- Recognize medical instruments and take inventory of essential medical supplies
- Ensure Quality Assurance in a healthcare environment
Students in this course learn core business administration competencies, including banking procedures, payroll management and financial management.
This course provides students with an understanding of the structure of health services in Alberta. It covers the Health Information Act, as well as other laws governing healthcare practise and the area of medical law and ethics in the province.
Over the length of this course, students familiarize themselves with various letters and reports routinely dictated by medical professionals. This course covers proper formatting, sentence structure, punctuation, grammar and spelling. Students develop listening, comprehension, editing and proofreading skills. Also included is the importance of confidentiality in medical practice.
Building upon completion of the Medical Terminology, Medical Office Administration Procedures, and Clinical Competencies courses, this course reinforces medical terms and procedures and further improves keyboarding skills.
Upon completion, the students would have learned to:
- Understand the basic concept and rules in medical transcription
- Place the utmost importance on confidentiality
- Set up and use a transcription machine
- Edit and proofread commonly transcribed medical reports
Students develop the skills needed to help physicians prepare claims for services insured under Alberta Health Insurance Plan (AHCIP).
Upon completion, the student would have learned to:
- Identify insured and uninsured services under AHS
- Prepare claims and understand the necessary materials needed in all claims.
- Update submitted data
- Verify a patient’s coverage
- Understand Alberta’s Statement of Assessment and Statement of Accounts
- Use Price Lists, Procedures List, Diagnostic Codes and Explanatory Codes
In this course, students learn how to handle electronic medical records, appointment booking, and procedure billing in an electronic patient database. This includes hands-on experience with both the Med Access EMR and the Alberta Netcare system.
This course covers the non-clinical, administrative tasks performed by Unit Clerks and Unit Coordinators in hospital nursing units. Working under the direction of a Nurse Manager or Unit Manager, Unit Clerks are essential in coordinating activities in the unit. Unit Clerks monitor patients’ medical records, assist in transcribing doctor’s orders, and participate in new patient intake. Professional and interpersonal skills are vital in helping medical and non-medical staff, patients and visitors.
Over the length of this course, students will learn:
- The basics of Hospitals, Medical Centers, and today’s Health Care Systems
- Personal and Professional Skills, including Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Workplace Behaviours, Management Techniques and Problem-Solving Skills
- How to read a Patient’s Chart, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Kardex
- A Unit Clerk’s role in processing Doctors’ Orders, including Electronic, Handwritten or Pre-printed
- Medical Abbreviations
- Nursing Observation Orders, Patient Activity and Positioning
- Nursing Intervention and Treatment Orders
- Nutritional Care Orders
- Medication Orders
- Laboratory Orders
- Diagnostic Imaging Orders and Other Diagnostic Studies
- Treatment Orders and other miscellaneous orders
- Admissions, Preoperative and Postoperative Procedures
- Discharge, Transfer and Post-mortem Procedures Reports
- Infection Control, Emergency Management, and Special Services
This course teaches job search skills and helps students understand the labour market. It includes coaching in writing effective resumes and cover letters. Students also participate in mock interviews to correct and refine skills, increasing employment readiness.
- Job search strategies
- Resume and cover letter writing
- Mock interviews and retrospective reviews
- The role of social media in job hunting