Are you thinking of becoming a nurse but are unsure if you can take on the challenges of learning big medical terms, anatomy & physiology, and clinical procedures? Not sure if you can handle yourself well in a medical environment even though you long to be able to help and care for patients? Well, here is a way you can go about it that will not be overwhelming to the already frightened individual.

The role of a Medical Assistant is very similar to that of an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse). Even though there are differences, the similarities in both training and job descriptions cannot be trivialized. While medical assistants focus on both clinical and administrative duties (filling out paper work for the patients), the LPN’s focus in solely clinical where they work under the direction of a Doctor or Nurse and tend mainly to the care of the patient.

Let us start from the foundation. Both professionals are required to have a sound understanding of the medical lingua and are also trained in anatomy and physiology. Learning all of these at a go might be intense and discouraging. Being an MOA student exposes you to the fundamentals of these very necessary medical courses and lays a solid foundation on which your studies in nursing can be built.

Patient interaction and basic clinical skills including taking patients’ vitals, taking patients’ information, running some tests and assisting in minor office surgeries are where the similarities lie in both professions. These are skills that are taught to and expected that the Medical assistant as well as the LPN should have in order to function in their various roles.

It is also a prerequisite for every Medical Assistant student to undergo externship at various medical facilities to get hands on training and experience in the medical environment. This kind of exposure prepares you immeasurably (physically, mentally and clinically) to handle the pressures that come with working in a hospital or Physician’s Office.

So, if you are uncertain about taking the nursing course head on or you have some time to spare as you wait to get into school, don’t waste any more time. Take a course in Medical Office Administration as it is a very good platform that can launch your career in nursing or any other Allied Health Vocational Profession.

Reasons why Microsoft Office skills are an asset to the MOA/Unit Clerk

In today’s world, businesses compete best when they keep up with technological advancements. The medical office is no exception. Most individuals are pretty comfortable with the basics of Microsoft office applications and are hesitant to spend anymore time or money taking a few classes to upgrade their skills. Here are some reasons why the Medical Office Administrator/Assistant should not underrate MS Office Suite training.

1. Transferable skills.

The Microsoft Office Program is largely used by healthcare facilities and its popularity is only one reason why you should know MS Office. It is of interest to know that according to International Data Company (IDC), Microsoft Office skills was in the top 3 skills looked for by employers. That makes knowledge in MS Office applications a skill that can be taken to new jobs within and outside the medical field.

2. Increased efficiency and productivity.

There is no need to spend time fidgeting around the system when you are already knowledgeable in the program. Time is saved and spent performing other valuable tasks which will make you invaluable to the medical team. Programs like Excel, as an example, not only allows you to be able to enter data but also to be able to run quick analysis and make sound business decisions.

3. Ease of communication.

Collaboration with the medical team is better and more effective using Microsoft tools. Using the co-author feature on Word documents helps you work on the same document at the same time with other colleagues. This drastically reduces or even completely eliminates the chances of errors occurring and overall, improves quality of service delivered.

4. Confidence boost.

It can be a bit of a confidence crusher to not know how to use Word or Excel or PowerPoint when they are so popular in the work place. Training in MS Office can give you the confidence backed up by the right skills needed to thrive in your career as an MOA/Unit Clerk.

5. Increased earning potential.

A certification in MS Office could mean the difference between getting employed and getting rejected by employers. It gives your resume a boost that attracts employers who may be willing to pay extra for that skill set.

If you want a career in medical office administration, you will want to take advantage of the opportunity given at ABHI to acquire or enhance your knowledge in Microsoft Office Programs. Not sure how to start? Check out the MOA/Unit Clerk program offered at Alberta Business and Health Institute.


“Saving lives” is a duty that is expected from all healthcare professionals and can be demanded at anytime and in anyplace. This is a duty that requires only some basic knowledge and two hands. You do not want to be the medical assistant that cannot do anything to help a choking child in a restaurant or an adult victim of cardiac arrest.

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a life saving procedure that comprises of chest compressions and artificial ventilation usually done to a person experiencing cardiac arrest (sudden loss of heart function for a myriad of reasons). According to the American Heart Foundation (AHA), sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States and Canada. In order to be done correctly and effectively, proper training is needed.

Majority of the time, these incidences occur outside a medical facility. Without immediate intervention in the form of CPR, these patients will have little or no chance of survival pending the arrival of the EMS. With proper training, however, these chances are significantly increased (from a mere 6% to an incredible 74% according to First Aid For Life UK) as you just might be able to save a life!

Most employers, be it within or outside the medical field, require certification in CPR. Having this certification in the bag will definitely give you an edge at work.

Equipping yourself with the right CPR skills gives you the needed confidence to take on life adventures with friends and family. You, as well as others, will be relaxed knowing that you are prepared (mentally and physically) to handle any heart-related emergency that may occur. Doing your best is always better than doing nothing.

It is very clear at this point that being certified and trained in CPR is a step in the right direction. To get these skills as well as other basic skills used in the medical field, check out our Medical Office Assistant/Unit Clerk program at ABHI.


Being a medical assistant means that you will be required to work in an interpersonal setting where you have to constantly interact with patients and co-workers. Soft skills are necessary to help you interact harmoniously with others and are necessary for a successful career in this field. Having these skills will enhance the way you communicate and relate with everyone around you. Hiring a workforce with excellent soft skills, as well as technical skills, is a top priority for any healthcare organization.

So what skills are required in healthcare?

Communication skills: Effective communication is the backbone to the efficient running of any organization including a healthcare facility. A good Medical assistant/Unit Clerk should be able to display competence in effectively interacting with people from all backgrounds using the appropriate lingua (medical and non-medical alike). You must be able to carry on a conversation while displaying professionalism, intellect and clarity on the subject matter.

Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another, advances humanism in healthcare. Empathy transcends knowledge of a patient’s ailment; it encompasses a connection that includes the mind, body and soul.

Team player: Healthcare services are usually rendered by teams of professionals. Being able to work with a team of professionals of diversified specialties is a skill that is axiomatically relevant to the profession of Medical Assisting.

Flexibility: The nature of patient care is dynamic; those in the industry must be able to adapt to ever changing conditions. You will often have to go ‘above & beyond’ in the care and service of others.

Being organized: This trait is valuable in any organization but your timeliness in the medical field could literally mean the difference between life and death of a person. Lives could literally depend on your time management skills!

Self-confidence: A medical assistant must always exude confidence in their abilities. You cannot earn the trust of another if you lack trust, and in essence, confidence in yourself. Nobody will want to be looked after by a person who comes across as unsure of his/her abilities.

The focus of most schools is transferring hard/technical skills to students. Here at ABHI, we are working endlessly to produce well grounded students who are equipped with hard skills set as they are with soft skills set.

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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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