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Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant Resources

Though Medical Assistants do not work extensively with medical codes, some basic coding knowledge is required. The following eBooks are a good reference for looking up medical codes.

 The databases below will provide you access to full-text articles from professional magazines and journals.


The following resources can be used to find medical images:

Flashcards are a fabulous way to test your knowledge and identify where you may need additional practice.  For tips on how to create and effectively use flashcards, watch the quick 10-minute video below.  For resources to create your own flashcards, click here or check out the links below the video.


Consult the Study Skills page in the Student Success Guide for tips on how to study on the go, find helpful study tools, and be a successful Rasmussen student (as told by other students!). You may also want to consider forming a study group with your online classmates.  Click here to find out how!

If you want additional help brushing up on Health Sciences or general education topics such as math, consider signing up for FREE tutorials from Khan Academy. 

Medical Assistant Career Information

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MA Interview Question Preparation

Tell me about yourself. This is one of the most commonly asked interview questions. Be sure that you are speaking to your “professional self” when responding to this question. Rely on your resume as an outline to respond to this question. DO NOT talk about your personal life (i.e. I am a mom…. I am (age)…. etc.)

Why did you choose a career in this field? Discuss your interest in the Medical Assisting field, how school has helped to solidify your decision about working as a Medical Assistant and any personal or professional examples that help to support your passion for Medical Assisting.

What experience do you have in this field? Speak to your MA labs and courses, any healthcare experience that you have, and any transferable skills, volunteer experience or internship/externship experiences that are relatable as well.
What do you know about our organization/company? Know the company’s current issues, their mission statement and the major players in the industry. DO YOUR RESEARCH. This is your opportunity to use compliments (within reason) and news-worthy information to outshine the rest of the competition. I can’t state enough to DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Why do you want to work for our organization? Similar to the last question, you need to know information about the organization, the position and your skills and qualifications. Be prepared to align your professional mission to their mission and speak to how you will make a positive impact.

Please describe your strengths and a weakness. Nobody wants to admit to having a weakness. I always suggest starting out with a weakness that does not directly impact the job that you are interviewing for and let them know what you have been doing to improve upon that weakness. FOR EXAMPLE: Perhaps you have a fear of public speaking or speaking in front of large crowds; this will not directly impact your job or your patients. You might be able to state that you have been working on overcoming this fear through the group presentations within your schooling, but still feel that this skill could use additional work. Then go on to speak about a couple of your strengths that directly correlate to Medical Assisting.

Can you give an example of your problem-solving ability? Give a specific example of where you used critical thinking and problem solving to find an innovative way to work out an issue with positive results.

Tell me about your ability to multitask. An employer wants to know that you know how to manage your work day when things comes up that distracts you; an employer wants to know that you can prioritize, time manage and complete your primary tasks – caring for your patients. Have a really good example to share when crafting a response.

Why did you leave your last position? This is not the time to divulge all the dirt on your old boss, coworkers, or your poor work conditions. Even if your last job was the worst job you ever had, nobody needs to know this. If you have nothing positive to say, just keep it short and respectful and say you left to pursue other opportunities. You can talk about what you learned, how you grew with your previous employer, and what has prepared you to take the next step in your career.

What would your co-workers say about you? This may be a difficult question, but given some time to think about it, you will probably remember something amazing someone said about you. Use that information here. It is kind of like having your co-worker there speaking on your behalf. Be confident about your abilities and successes.

Give an example of a time you had to deal with an angry co-worker, customer or patient that was upset. How did you handle the situation? Be sure to give an example about a time when you diffused the situation on your own without having to take it to your supervisor.

Have you ever been in a situation where you struggled with another employee? Always remain positive when describing previous co-workers or supervisors. Think about a time that you had a disagreement with a co-worker and describe how you negotiated, talked through things and came to a mutually satisfactory resolution. This questions is designed to show your ability to react in a professional and direct manner. Be sure to explain your role, the situation and what you learned.

You noticed your preceptor has not washed their hands prior to patient care/ didn’t glove for an injection. How would you handle this situation? A good response to this question will show your ability to think quickly and in a clever way without compromising respect for the provider or draw attention of this to the patient.

Can you give me an example of a time that you went “above and beyond” your normal responsibilities? This example should be something specific which translates to quality needed to succeed in the position. You can speak to extra time that you took to do something well to support someone else, or how your attention to detail on something made a positive impact on the team overall in some way.

What experience and comfort level do you have with electronic health records? You should be able to recall skills and information from your courses in regard to EHRs and you can mention any computer experience from prior jobs, school, volunteer work and how quickly you learn and adapt to new software technology.

What is your comfort level in working with a healthcare team and provider? If you are preparing to interview for externship, use any professional examples that you have if you have them. If you do not have any experience in healthcare, then think about teams that you have worked on and use examples from that focusing on support and well as team effort with a positive outcome. Also include anything that you discussed and learned about in your MA program. If you are interviewing post-externship, be sure to focus on your experiences with the team at the externship site.

What does HIPAA mean to you? HIPAA is a huge concern for medical providers and they expect their employees to take HIPAA very seriously. Confidentiality violations can result in extremely expensive fines. Be prepared to talk about specific confidentiality procedures when taking down patient information, walking away from your computer, and speaking on the phone to patients or other medical providers.

Give an example of an obstacle or major problem that you had to overcome. Go over an event or some change in direction professionally that you might have been initially uncomfortable with but that turned into a positive experience.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In today’s competitive job market, interviewers are looking for any “red flag” to use as an excuse not to hire someone. So you could be unfairly eliminated from contention if you answer this question in a way that even hints this is not the one and only job of your dreams. Hiring managers don’t generally enjoy recruiting, hiring, and training new people. It can be a time-consuming and difficult process. Your interviewer does not want to invest time and effort in someone who is already planning to leave for something better as soon as it comes along (whether that’s a job that’s a better fit, grad school, or your own business). Keep your response general and truthful, but broad enough that it doesn’t raise doubts about your commitment to the MA field and the healthcare organization. (EXAMPLE: “My goal right now is to find a position within a healthcare organization where I can grow and take on new challenges over time. Ultimately, I’d like to assume more management responsibilities; but most importantly, I want to work for an organization where I can build a career.”)

What kind of salary do you require? Be prepared to address this type of question if it is asked. Do your research on what the salary range might be for the type of position that you are interviewing for and the city that you will be working in. Be sure to mention the salary RANGE, and mention that your salary is negotiable based on the full compensation package.

Do you have any questions for me? Have a few (or perhaps more than a few) questions prepared to ask the employer. The employer will assume that you are really not all that attracted to the position or the company if you have absolutely no questions. Intelligent questions establish you as a prepared and respectful individual, and that you are truly interested in the position that you are interviewing for, and the company that you are interviewing with. Some examples of question to consider asking at the end of the interview are:

  • How many patients do you assist on a daily basis?
  • What opportunities are there for professional development or advancement?
  • How would you describe a typical day in the office?
  • What are the first priorities for this position?
  • What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role? OR Are there any skills needed for this position that we have not discussed? (This gives you to opportunity to speak more about why you would be a good fit, and emphasize more of your qualifications.)
  • What are the biggest challenges facing the company / department right now?
  • In what way is performance measured and reviewed?
  • What is your timeframe for filling the position? OR what are the next steps in the interview process?
  • How might I contact you to follow up?


  • What does this company do? – you should already know this from your research
  • What are the benefits? – Salary and benefits can be discussed once the position is offered
  • Did I get the job?
  • Why did the last person in my position leave?
  • Is there any way to consider an alternate schedule?

MA Cover Letter Quick Tips

  • Address each letter to a specific person. Make phone calls or research online to find out to whom the cover letter should be addressed to. Dear Hiring Manager will work if you cannot find a name.
  • Avoid gimmicky openings. It usually isn’t a good thing to begin a cover letter with the kind of jazzy openings corporations use in direct mail pieces. While such openings might attract attention, they often appear forced, insincere, or shallow. You’re better off simply stating in the first paragraph why you are writing and why it is in the reader’s best interest to pay attention.
  • Write the way you speak. Important as it is to honor the rules of Standard English, it’s just as important in the cover letters to avoid stiff, bureaucratic jargon. Write to inform, not to impress. (Hint: If you’re tempted to use a word in a letter you wouldn’t use in person, replace it with a more conversational word.)
  • Incorporate information that reflects your knowledge of the healthcare facility and the position that you are applying to.
  • Check and recheck every letter you send for typos, bad grammar, and spelling mistakes; usage and grammar mistakes in letters frequently turn off potential employers, regardless of your qualifications. These errors lead people to conclude that you will likely be careless when performing the job if you aren’t careful enough to avoid mistakes in your search. Find someone, such as your Career Services Advisor, who’s good at proofreading, and ask that person to review everything you write. Use the tools within the technology you are typing with to check the document initially, then let an individual or two review it.

Have trouble viewing the preview above? Click below the download the file.

Trouble viewing the preview above? Click below the download the file.