(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Medical office specialists are often among the first faces that patients see as soon as they enter a clinic. Compassion, care and a genuine desire to help others are a few of the traits that define those in this profession.

Remote learning at Texas State Technical College has made earning a Medical Office Specialist certificate accessible for these prospective students in the comfort of their own home. The program allows students the chance not only to start a rewarding career, but also to experience the hands-on learning that TSTC prides itself on.

“In our program, the instructors make themselves readily available to each student by offering virtual office hours and virtual learning labs every week at various times,” said TSTC’s Health Information Technology department chair Sarah Brooks. “The program also utilizes a variety of real-world software applications that students will gain hands-on experience in.”

Medical office specialists heavily rely on the use of computers and technology. While their direct contact with patients is minimal, they are still a vital piece of the puzzle that keeps a clinic running smoothly.

“A medical office specialist’s main job function is to ensure the information found in the patient’s electronic medical record is timely, complete and accurate,” said Brooks. “This is typically a fast-paced working environment with little downtime.”

Though online learning does offer an advantage because of the ability to study at home, it is necessary that students understand that earning a degree or certificate remotely does require focus.

“Self-discipline, self-motivation and time management are traits that are critical in being successful as an online student,” added Brooks.

Despite not being physically on campus, Brooks reiterated that potential and current students in these programs need to know that TSTC will be right beside them through their journey.

“Students need to know they are not alone,” she said. “Our instructors and students work together as a team, sharing their work, life and educational experiences during the online learning process.”

To learn more about TSTC’s online Medical Office Specialist certificate, visit tstc.edu/programs/HealthInformationTechnology.

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