Explore a Career as an Administrative Medical Assistant

Explore a Career as an Administrative Medical Assistant

Learn what it takes to have a successful career as an administrative medical assistant. This course explores the job of an administrative medical assistant (AMA) in a doctor's office—from appointment scheduling and chart creation to medical billing and coding—to give you an inside-view of the job.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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Learn what it takes to have a successful career as an administrative medical assistant in the exciting and high-demand world of healthcare.

In this course, you will master the basics of scheduling patients' appointments, surgeries, and hospital admissions. In addition, you will discover how to create, maintain, and file medical charts. You will also find out how to verify patients' insurance, create encounter forms (charge tickets), post charges, obtain pre-authorizations from insurers, and schedule return visits.

After that, go behind the scenes as you learn how to apply diagnostic and procedure codes to patients' accounts and bill their insurance companies. Next, explore additional accounts receivable tasks including posting payments and adjustments, billing secondary insurance, and following up on unpaid insurance claims. You will also learn what a day sheet is, why it's important, and how to keep track of all your patient accounts on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.

Finally, delve into the basics of keeping a medical office running smoothly—from ordering supplies to scheduling staff meetings and making travel arrangements.

If you're organized, a "people person," and interested in a secure job in the healthcare field, a career as an administrative medical assistant may be just what you're looking for. This course will set you on the path to that career and help you determine which aspect of medical information management, such as patient contact or billing and coding, suits you best.


Looking for a fun, challenging job that's always in demand? If so, AMA (administrative medical assisting) may be just the field for you! In this lesson, you'll look at the exciting job opportunities for AMAs, the variety of careers they can choose from, and the different settings where they can work.

The law and medicine go hand-in-hand, so this lesson will teach you the laws that you'll need to know if you become an AMA. The lesson will cover everything from contracts to malpractice and will also delve into HIPAA (a federal act that affects everyone in the health care field).

In this lesson, you'll explore the office equipment and computer hardware that you're likely to use as an AMA. In addition, you will delve into software—both standard office programs and the specialized software used in the field of medical information management.

If you think filing is a bore, this lesson will change your mind. You will discover what the rainbow of colored stickers on a medical file means, and you will even practice creating a patient chart yourself. You will also find out why medical offices love lateral files, and you will master the tricky rules of alphabetizing. (Yes, it's more challenging than it looks!)

Now that you're an expert on the outside of a patient chart, it's time to look inside. In this lesson, you will find out which forms go in a medical record and just where to put each one. In addition, you will learn about two styles of note-taking: SOAP and CHEDDAR. Finally, you will delve into the topic of medical record audits and find out the legal way to correct a patient's chart.

It's time to introduce the star of the show: the patient. You will learn everything about a patient encounter. This lesson will focus on the phone skills you can use to make appointments, handle questions, and soothe angry callers. Next, flip open the appointment book and explore the tricks for scheduling patients easily and efficiently. Finally, you'll follow a patient's visit from start to finish, and see how many tasks an AMA does during that appointment.

This lesson will start in the waiting room, where you will learn more about the tasks a receptionist handles—from opening and closing a medical office to keeping the reception area ship-shape. After that, understand barriers to communicating effectively with patients, and you will discover ways to overcome them. The lesson will conclude with a fun and creative jobs that AMAs do: creating informational brochures and teaching aids.

Medicare, Medicaid, managed care, commercial insurance—what does it all mean? In this lesson, you will find out! First, you will learn the meaning of terms like managed care, capitation, and fee-for-service. Next, you'll explore government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Workers' Compensation, and TRICARE. By the time you're done, you will have a good feel for the many types of insurance an AMA handles every day.

Have you ever studied an insurance claim form? If so, you know it contains dozens of mysterious questions and checkboxes. As part of this lesson, you will come face-to-face with one of these claim forms and learn how to conquer it. By the end of the lesson, you will know how to fill in each field of the CMS-1500 claim form. In fact, you will even get to try it yourself!

Medical coding is a hot field for AMAs, so it's a great specialty if you're looking for job security. In this lesson, you will take a quick look at diagnostic coding and see why it's both fun and challenging. Explore the ICD-10-CM, talk about the detective work involved in abstracting a diagnostic statement, and explore the steps of coding a diagnosis.

This lesson will finish up your tour of medical coding with an overview of procedural coding. First, you will learn all about a manual called the CPT and discover how to use it to code everything from surgeries to X-rays to acupuncture. After that, you will examine a second manual called the HCPCS ("hix-pix"), which contains codes for ambulances, root canals, and much more. This lesson will also delve into anesthesia coding, a tricky but rewarding sub-specialty.

The final lesson will conclude with a visit to the business office and focuses on how AMAs keep track of the money coming in and going out. In addition, you will learn about inventory control and supply ordering—two crucial jobs that help keep a medical office running smoothly. Finally, you'll explore payroll management and investigate several jobs that fall under the umbrella of human resources.



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Carline Dalgleish

Carline Dalgleish has worked in medical office administration for over 30 years. She holds a bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems, a master's degree in Leadership, and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Health Information Management. She is a Registered Health Information Administrator and an AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer. Dalgleish is the author of an ICD-10 coding system and also owns her own consulting firm, AnnGrant Educational Services.


I wanted to say that I really enjoyed this opportunity of exploring new skills to add to the ones that I already have. I liked how the set up was of this online class was. It has truly been helpful and appreciated, thank you for always responding and being active as a teacher with us and I have nothing but good things to say. I don't really have a specific area at this time that I want to do being an AMA. I feel like I want to do all I can because I do like it so much. I hope in the near future I will come across a job offer and ne able to put my skills to work.

I learned a lot and the experience was great! Ms. Dalgleish was professional, informative, and encouraging. She was also very kind in her assessments. There were a couple of funny moments as well. In any event, thank you so very much.

It was interesting to learn about the manual billing system 'Peg Board System'. I have heard this term for the first time. Anyway, it is always better to understand the manual way before switching to a computer. Some of us just finished learning the Accounting Fundamentals I in a manual way. Overall, it was great learning. It has certainly given me the confidence to go for certification and, explore different job opportunities in the medical field, paid or volunteer. I would like to sincerely thank our Instructor for responding, and answering our questions. The first post in the discussions from the Instructor also answered most of our questions.

All in all this course is great and convenient for me, as I work two jobs and I'm far from a school that offers this kind of course. This is a great stepping stone for me to enter the healthcare field. I'm looking forward to applying what I learned and to learn more about being an AMA.

I am so happy that I took this class! I enjoyed each lesson and learned so much. I found the AMA job to be a good fit because of my background being a secretary...I am so excited to have found something I'm interested in. Thank you for teaching this class. It was wonderful!

An awesome course! I'm very happy I decided to take this course. I've been at the same job for almost 10 years now and it is time for a change. This course really opened my eyes to what an AMA's job can look like on a daily basis.

I consider my self fortunate to have been given the opportunity to learn about the administrative side of medicine by taking this course. You did a great job of describing the nature of the work of an Administrative Medical Assistant. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wishes to understand the business side of medicine.

This class was very informative and gives a good introduction to the field. I also appreciated that the information was given in a straight forward manner. Thank you.

I have really enjoyed taking this class. It has introduced me to the world of an AMA, and all the duties they may be exposed to...I am so glad that this class was offered online. I am interested in taking more of these classes...I think the instructor has done a great job covering every aspect of AMA. We covered a lot of very useful material in this class and I wouldn't change a thing. I would highly recommend this class to anyone that is thinking of entering the medical field.

I would like to take this time out to express how much I enjoyed this class. Ms. Dalgleish is an amazing instructor who took the time out to make our learning experience enjoyable as well as educational. She is truly amazing...The resources for us to refer back to is an awesome thing to carry around for future references...Thank you so much, Ms. Dalgleish!

This course has been wonderful, it covers a lot of information in a very efficient manner. Ms.Dalgleish demonstrates a mastery of the subject. She imparts her knowledge in a very simple and friendly way, not to mention her appropriate use of the English language. I have learned a variety of new information not just about AMAs, but about how the medical office and the healthcare system function. It was insightful indeed.

First of all, thank you for giving us such in-depth knowledge of AMA in such a short time. I have always enjoyed your classes. Sometimes the information seems to be a lot but slowly we realize that all of it is important and very useful making the course more than exploring a particular career. Thank you once again for all the effort you have taken to make it so informative and easy to understand.

Self-Guided Course Code: T9111
Instructor-Moderated Course Code: mim