If you have finished secondary education and are looking for a career in health care, considering yourself ready and capable of working with patients, doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, then medical assistant vocation may be your cup of tea.
Since, there is a high demand for novice medical assistance in the USA, finding employment would not be an issue.
Besides plenty of employee benefits, this job is great due to a large salary and job security.
What is even better is the fact that you can reach a medical assisting career
in less than two years by being trained and educated for work.
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Medical assistants are people who work in medical offices, hospitals, and urgent care centers.
Their job demands analytical and problem-solving skills, to understand and follow medical charts and diagnoses, to be detail-oriented and precise especially when taking vital signs or recording patient information as well as technical skills, meaning the ability to use basic clinical instruments and computers.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Arizona
For those interested in gaining knowledge related to medical assisting, programs are widely available in community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, and universities, but they need to pay attention to the accreditation of those programs, due to the fact that they might not be eligible for taking the certification exam after finishing the program.
Education usually takes about 1 year to complete and get a certificate or diploma, while 2-year programs lead to an associate’s degree.
Programs are designed to have both lessons in a classroom and laboratory.
Some people interested in the medical assistant profession, who cannot afford further education, but have a high school diploma, can learn their duties on the job.
That is why high school students who already know what they want to become medical assistants take courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy during their curriculum, to get acquainted with their future duties.
Still, post-secondary education improves your preference by employers and certification will enhance your marketability, leading to better employment.
Besides the fact that medical assistants do not have to possess any kind of educational certification, employers are more interested in hiring a graduate from postsecondary education programs.
Medical assisting programs will offer academic and clinical training related to:
- Human anatomy, physiology, and pathology
- Medical terminology
- Record keeping and accounting
- Laboratory techniques
- First aid
- Medical law and ethics
When it comes to medical assisting programs, there are two options, a certificate program, and an associate’s degree.
When deciding between these two, you should bear in mind that even though a certificate program is quicker, you will not have access to other courses and educational opportunities during your program as you would with an associate’s degree.
It is also very important that your school is accredited so you can sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam.
The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers certification to graduates of medical assisting programs which are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) after they take and pass the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam.
In Arizona, there are exemptions from medical assistant training requirements before taking the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam and those are people who:
- I completed an unapproved medical assistant program before February 2000 and was employed as a medical assistant since the completion of the program.
- Worked as a medical assistant for the same physician for at least 2,000 hours before February 2000.
- Completed a medical services training program in the U.S. Armed Forces.
To achieve national certification, you need to take and pass the examination administered through either:
- The American Medical Technologist (AMT) offers the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential.
- The American Association of Medical Assistants offers the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential.
Getting a Job
For people who want to become medical assistants very important thing is finding the job that will match their needs and lifestyle, and earn them enough money for a decent living.
Medical assistants can work in a variety of health centers and they are expected to hire more medical assistants to handle administrative and clinical duties.
That is why medical assistant employment is projected to grow 29 percent.
To improve your job eligibility, you can acquire specialized skills that other medical assistants may not have.
The possible employers of medical assistants in Arizona are:
- Joseph’s Medical Group, Phoenix
- Valley Anesthesiology Consultants, Phoenix
- Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale
- Banner Medical Group, Phoenix
- District Medical Group, Phoenix
- Arizona Medical Group, Peoria
The salary of a medical assistant depends on the medical degree of a certified medical assistant, location of the working facility and the responsibilities that are entrusted to him/her.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that medical assistants in the US might get higher salaries due to the increasing need for health care.
The average salary is followed by health and dental insurance, vacation pay, retirement benefits, and more.
When it comes to Arizona, the salary varies from $ 31 534 in Prescott, up to 35326 in Lake Havasu City.
The table below shows average salaries for medical assistants in major cities of Arizona, presenting the difference from one place to another:Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
|Lake Havasu City,AZ||$35,326|
A medical assistant might be asked to instruct patients on taking injectable medication, to prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician, take electrocardiograms, keep medical records, and take care of the patients before and after the intervention.
Considering all the obligations that a medical assistant deals with during the day, he/she needs to be able to multitask.
That is the reason why patience and good communication skills are necessary to be able to work with patients and other health professionals.
Not many people can work in the medical field and many of them do not have the necessary skills to be successful, so if you find yourself dedicated and service orientated, able to stand all the above-mentioned requirements that becoming a certified assistant might be just the job for you.