The medical assistant vocation is a highly respected one and usually, people who are doing this kind of job are believed to be generous, caring and selfless.
Those are people who care for others’ health, who have an eye for detail, efficiently follow directions and have good communication and technical skills when accomplishing their daily duties.
This vocation requires both medical and technical knowledge since medical assistants in smaller clinics work on both administrative and clinical duties, and where you will find the job cannot be predicted.
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The medical assistant’s job is versatile.
Their less demanding duties include office work, answering phones and filing insurance forms on one hand, as well as greeting patients and talking to them to get acquainted with their medical history.
On the other hand, their more responsible obligations include drawing blood and preparing lab tests and administering injections and assisting other healthcare professionals.
The effective functioning of the clinic is entrusted to them.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Indiana
Besides the fact that the law of Indiana does not require post-secondary education for future medical assistants, it is necessary to point that knowledge about this field is always beneficial and useful.
The quality of this kind of education is very important and future medical assistants should choose accredited colleges and universities which offer you the chance of passing the certification exams accredited by the CAAHEP or ABHES upon completion.
Learning from the experienced instructors about professionalism, psychology, and communication, medical terminology, medical reception and appointment scheduling, human anatomy and physiology, nutrition and pharmacology among many other things makes you able to understand essential concepts necessary to succeed in the medical assistant profession.
There is three option of getting educated:
- Certificate programs are the shortest ones and offer less information than the other two.
- Diploma programs are designed for assistants who want to continue to an associate’s program in medical assisting.
- Associate degrees which are more advanced program related to everything from nursing to medical administration.
When the law of Indiana is in question, medical assistants do not have to be licensed, but their specific duties must be performed under the supervision and direction of a physician.
Medical assistants in Indiana are not allowed to make a diagnosis, prescribe treatment, administer medication and practice independently.
That is why numerous individuals decide to enter an accredited medical assistant training program whose curriculum includes lessons about:
- Computers and medical office software programs
- Medical calculations
- Medical assistant laboratory and clinical procedures
- Administration of a medical office
- Anatomy and physiology
Medical assistant credentials that can be preferred by employers of medical assistants are:
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) organized by American Medical Technologists(AMT)
- Medical Assistant (NCMA) organized by The National Center for Competency Testing(NCCT)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) organized by The National Healthcareer Association(NHA) sponsors the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA). To earn this you will need to pass the CCMA Exam.
- Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) organized by The National Association of Health Professionals(NAHP)
The finishing of these programs is not enough since each agency sponsoring the different medical assisting credentials have their maintenance requirements:
- To maintain a CMA credential you will need to earn 60 recertification points or retake the CMA Exam.
- To maintain and RMA credential you will need to earn 30 Certification Continuing Program(CCP) points every three years.
- To maintain an NCMA credential you must pass annual Continuing Education (CE).
- To maintain a CCMA credential you need to complete at least 10 Continuing Education(CE) credits every two years.
- To maintain the NRCMA credential you must complete at least two Class A Continuing Education Units(CEUs) each year.
The most widely recognized professional certifications for medical assistants in the U.S. are:
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
Getting a Job
The increasing demand for medical care in the future due to the larger number of ill and old people will force the doctors to expand their practices and to hire more medical assistants to be in charge of both administrative and medical duties.
People without post-secondary education can find the job, but it is sure that those who possess certification not only can find a job more easily but also their salaries would be higher.
Medical assistants, depending on your education, experience, and capabilities, can look for jobs in various medical premises, such as hospitals, clinics or private offices.
One thing is certain, more physicians seek medical assistants who are qualified and fully prepared to perform several medical duties once hired, without the need to train them.
Medical assistants might find work in:
- Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis
- Indiana University Health in Muncie
- DeKalb Health in Auburn
When the salary of a medical assistant is in question, the more prominent facility has greater obligations, thus affecting the salary.
Job experience is one of the driving forces that affect the salary and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development estimated that the medical assistants with entry-level experience earn $ 21 181 per year, with average-level experience $ 24 844 and with advanced-level experience $29 587.
Some medical assistants earn less than $ 31 746, while some of their colleagues earn more than $ 34 326.
The table below shows the salary of a medical assistant in the state of Indiana annually since it significantly varies from one city to another.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Medical assistants are in charge of both working with patients and providing assistance to doctors.
They need to handle and complete paperwork of the medical office and be able to multitask, always ready to face new challenges.
How specific and responsible their role would depend on their education, skills, and eagerness to learn and advance more in the medical assisting field.
Besides interacting with patients, some of their other duties are:
- Measuring blood pressure
- Working on X-ray and EKG machines
- Dealing with bills
- Bookkeeping etc.
Medical assistants work part-time or full-time, night shifts and even during weekends, depending on the facility’ s working hours.