When going through job offers in a country, it can be noticed that a lot of employment proposals are related to medical science.
Numerous employers are seeking to hire medical assistants, both with and without certification or associate’s degree.
However, to be successful while performing this serious role, you will need to be certified from a medical assistant program.
The job openings are estimated to grow in the future, so maybe it is now the right time to try your luck in this field if you consider yourself a responsible person ready to daily deal with administrative duties and medical tasks.
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If you happen to be a successful candidate who will get the job, your responsibility would be greeting and discussing the symptoms and medication with the patients, obtaining their records and test results, preparing examination rooms and assisting the doctor.
Your duty would be treating patients from newborns to senior citizens, by giving them injections or administering medications, so the basic understanding of patient care and medical terminology will be a huge advantage for you.
Even though medical assistants work side by side with doctors, nurses and other staff sometimes they need to give first aid and help the patient without the help of a doctor.
That is when the acquired knowledge takes place.
To be ideal candidates for this job, you need to possess varied skills including administrative, technical, communication and medical.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Colorado
As it is already mentioned, you do not have formal requirements for becoming a medical assistant, but there are limitations in providing care and duties to be performed.
People who are interested in becoming medical assistants should look for renowned instructors who are both academically and professionally qualified to transfer their knowledge to younger generations.
This is possible through various programs offering you not only the knowledge but hands-on experience during the courses.
Program is designed to teach you to assist physicians and perform routine office tasks such as:
- Take medical histories
- Record vital signs
- Explain treatment procedures to patients
- Prepare patients for examination
Since the students will be asked to work both front-office and back-office tasks, that is the reason why they study a complex of both medical assisting administrative skills and skills involving assistance patient care.
So, the curriculum might include the classes related to clerical as well as the medical field:
- Examination techniques
- Clinical aspects of coding and billing
- Surgical procedures
- Medical office laboratory procedures.
These programs offer you the eligibility to earn a national credential, but you will be required to take and pass a medical assistant examination, to gain the certificate.
The future medical assistants in Colorado have a chance to choose among three educational programs, a diploma, certificate, or associate degree program.
All of them will provide you with the skills mandatory for an effective medical assistant.
Which of them will be chosen, depends on the candidate, and his/her willing to advance the knowledge after finishing the program or not and the amount of time that he/she can devote to this kind of education.
The certificate programs are the shortest in duration, but the associate degree program might be a better solution, even though it lasts longer.
The most important is to choose programs that are accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and there are currently 7 CAAHEP-accredited medical assistant programs and 5 ABHES-accredited programs in Colorado.
The most widely recognized professional certifications for medical assistants in the U.S. are:
- National Center for Competency Testing: The National Certified Medical Assistant
- National Healthcare Association: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
- The American Association of Medical Assistants: Certified Medical Assistant credential
- The American Medical Technologists: Registered Medical Assistant credential
- The American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants: Podiatric Medical Assistant, Certified
- The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel In Ophthalmology: Certified Ophthalmic Assistant
Getting a Job
Once the studies are finished and the certificate gained, people start looking for a satisfactory job which will meet their lifestyle.
Since most employers prefer graduates of formal programs in medical assisting, the priority is always given to these kinds of candidates.
By possessing a certificate, diploma or associate degree you will be more favorable among all the other applicants without it, and you can expect the higher salary once hired.
However, you need to expect higher responsibilities as well.
Medical assistants may look for job opportunities in:
- Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, Littleton
- Medical Center of Aurora
- Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital, Denver
- Denver Health Medical Center
- Rose Medical Center, Denver
- University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora
- Exempla St. Joseph Hospital, Denver
As in any other occupation, the salary depends on numerous factors, such as education, experience, responsibilities, work setting and working hours.
Those employees that are qualified for jobs by possessing a diploma or an associate’s degree have higher education are awarded a more generous average annual salary.
Also, those who work night shifts and at weekend are given higher wages.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment estimates that the average annual wage of a medical assistant ranges from $ 31 948 in Pueblo up to $ 34 854 in Westminster.
The table below shows the salary of a medical assistant in the state of Colorado annually since it significantly varies from one city to another.Annual Salary Range:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Medical assistants might work in a clinic or doctor’s office and hospitals. They are valuable members of a team whose working hours are usually from Monday through Friday, but there are also facilities where they need to work in the evening and at weekends and holidays.
The duties that a medical assistant has to perform are :
- Educating patients by providing medication information and instructions
- Answering client questions both at the office and over the telephone
- Scheduling appointments, interventions and surgeries
- Maintaining a safe, secure and healthy work environment
Medical assistant needed skills and proficiencies are:
- Supply Management
- Customer Focus
- Medical Teamwork
- Computer literacy
- Billing procedures
- Insurance regulations, among many others.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Medical Assistant