For people considering the fact of becoming medical assistants in the USA, there are a few different paths to achieving this goal, each of them having their advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages are that they need at least a high school diploma or GED and a certification as a medical assistant is not required, which is great for those who are not interested in more medical assistant schooling.
This also means that you will be trained during the work, so you will be paid to learn.
However, further education has its benefits as it is more difficult to find a job without it and you are likely to be paid less since your qualifications are not as high as of those with certification.
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Besides the fact that many people think that medical assistants are like secretaries, doing administrative work, they should know that medical assistants are the right hand of a physician during medical procedures and this is completely true.
They must be skillful, knowledgeable, eager to learn and advance in this field, attentive to details and should possess strong analytical skills.
Above all, they need to love to help people in need.
Rare are those who would mention that medical assistants do not always work under the supervision of doctors.
Duties like giving first aid, measuring blood pressure and temperature, doing lab work and dealing with blood samples are performed without the help of a doctor.
They represent an important part of the healthcare facility and the perfect functioning of daily activities is highly dependable on them.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Minnesota
As there are no formal requirements for further education, many people who are not fond of additional education decide to look for a job in this field.
When considering not obtaining a medical assistant certification they should know that the chances of getting the job are lower and their salary will be minor, too.
Educational programs can be found in vocational-technical schools, online institutions, at colleges and universities and they usually last from 10 months to 2 years.
During those courses, a medical assistant would learn about:
- Medical terminology
- Diseases of the human body
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Medical office management, etc.
Each of the certificate, diploma, or associate degree program is designed to prepare students to become competent medical assistants even though they may differ slightly in length and detail in clinical and administrative studies and they are all followed by an externship or practicum.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development include medical assistant duties such as:
- Preparing examination rooms for patients
- Cleaning and sterilizing instrument
- Performing laboratory tests
- Giving injections and treatments to patients
- Receiving payments
- Completing insurance forms
- Operating x-ray and EKG machines
- Ordering medical supplies and materials
- Scheduling appointments
- Maintaining medical records
There are 19 CAAHEP-accredited programs and 15 ABHES-accredited programs in Minnesota.
There is also a host of associate degree programs (A.S. and A.A.S.) accredited by ABHES in Minnesota.
Whether the future medical assistants will be asked to work front office or back-office tasks depend on the facility itself, so they need to be able to perform both administrative and clinical duties.
So, these programs provide them with the preferred qualifications related to medical assisting administrative skills and skills involving assistance in inpatient care as well.
The most widely recognized professional certifications for medical assistants in the U.S. are:
- The American Association of Medical Assistants: Certified Medical Assistant credential
- American Medical Technologists: Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
- National Center for Competency Testing: The National Certified Medical Assistant
- National Healthcare Association: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
- 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
Across the state of Minnesota, job opportunities for medical assistants are expected to rise during the years to come and that is why many secondary school students are considering medical assistant education and certification as their future aim.
The efforts to find the right employer should not be demanding for those who possess certification.
Since they might even get the chance of choosing a future employer, they should pay attention to the factors that can influence a medical assistant’s salary and job opportunities.
This can be a geographic location, population density, and several facilities in that area.
Medical assistants can work in hospitals, ambulatory care centers, and private physicians’ offices and the need for their occupation is never-ending.
Medical assistants might find work in:
- University of Minnesota Physicians, Minneapolis
- Duluth Clinic, Duluth
- Allina Health Medical Clinic, Coon Rapids
- Park Nicollet Clinic, Burnsville
- Mayo Clinic, Rochester
- Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis
- Mercy Hospital, Coon Rapids
- University of Minnesota Medical Center, Minneapolis
- Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud
- North Memorial Hospital, Robbinsdale
- Johns Hospital, St. Paul
- Fairview Southdale Hospital, Edina
It is expected that the number of medical assistants employed in Minnesota grows in the years to come as the new medical facilities are constantly opening.
This might cause an increment in the average annual salaries of medical assistants.
Medical assistants in Minnesota enjoy comfortable salaries and according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for medical assistants was around $33,000.
The lowest salary is in Saint Cloud with $ 31 900, while the highest one is in Minneapolis $ 36 704.
The table below shows the salary of a medical assistant in the state of Minnesota annually since it significantly varies from one city to another.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
So, if you think that helping people is such an important occupation that you are ready to dedicate your life to it, then a career of a medical assistant is the perfect one for you.
Additionally, there is no better time to get the education and training necessary to start a career in this exciting field since the job prospects are ideal and the salary is more than decent.
If all the above mentioned seems like by your personality, you should look for your place among these wonderful people.