If you believe that you are a person who can be responsible for using a wide range of tools and technology while interacting with all types of people, detail-oriented and skillful problem-solver able to manage a combination of administrative and clinical duties, who can expect that a typical working day might provide challenge and excitement, but also plenty of rewards, then your aim should definitely be the medical assistant career.
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Medical assistants are people who work in all types of medical facilities and are an important part of a healthcare team.
Their job is to interact with everyone, patients to doctors and even pharmacists.
They constantly work under pressure and their colleagues and patients depend on them.
The role of a medical assistant is multi-faceted and organization is the first activity including a review of the day’s schedule with the physician, paperwork, and organization of patient charts.
Their daily job is to prepare any examination rooms and refill supplies, as well as checking phone messages and emails.
When patients start arriving, the majority of the day will be spent interacting with them, greeting them, entering information into their medical records, preparing them for their examination.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Mississippi
High school education might be enough for getting into the field of medical assisting, but further knowledge will be necessary if you want to reach success in performing this job.
Entering any of the post-secondary education programs would be an ideal option, even though it might take you some time and you will need to put some effort to pass the examination, but the benefits that you will have after it is great.
The two most widely accepted accrediting bodies for medical assistant programs are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
They accredit medical assisting programs at the diploma, certificate, and associate degree levels:
Associate degree programs last longer but provide an extensive education in medical assisting. A diploma program lasts less than a year, is good for those pursuing an associate degree in medical assisting in the future.
A certificate program, the shortest option, is ideal if you want quick entry into the profession.
The State of Mississippi does not demand any kind of formal education related to the medical field for future medical assistants, but it is common for employers and physicians to seek medical assistants who hold one or more national credentials as proof of education and experience.
A medical assistant in Mississippi can an unlicensed professional, still, it is always beneficial to complete an education especially if you are eager to pursue more advanced degrees in the healthcare field.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) offers 2 accredited programs, while the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) offers 4 accredited programs in Mississippi.
All these programs are focused on:
- Legal concepts
- Operational tasks
- Roles, functions, and responsibilities
- Patient care tasks under the direct supervision of a physician
- Diagnostic procedures
- Administrative procedures
- Examination techniques
- Surgical procedures, etc.
The finishing of these programs offers you the eligibility to sit for and pass a national credential exam, to gain the certificate, but before you enter the working world, you should finish an externship to get clinical experience.
The externship gives you the chance of working with professional medical assistants and getting experience in a real-life clinical setting.
The accredited associations who offer these kinds of programs are:
- American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- American Medical Technologists.
- The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel In Ophthalmology: Certified Ophthalmic Assistant
- The American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants: Podiatric Medical Assistant, Certified
- National Healthcare Association: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
- National Center for Competency Testing: The National Certified Medical Assistant
Getting a Job
When the job opportunities are in question, it is a positive thing to know that there are approximately 80 openings for medical assistant jobs in Mississippi.
Healthcare is a field where qualified staff will always be needed and since this sector is growing, the job outlook for this career is promising.
This means that medical facilities experience a greater number of patients and more educated staff is lacking.
Medical assistants are always needed to handle all the tasks and those educated ones should not worry about getting the job.
Medical assistants may look for job opportunities in:
- University of Mississippi Medical Center
- University Physicians Pavilion, Jackson
- University Physicians, Grants Ferry, Flowood
- University Physicians, Lakewood Medical Center, Jackson
- University Physicians, Women’s Specialty Care at Mirror Lake, Flowood
- University Physicians, Northeast Jackson
- Jackson Medical Mall, Jackson
- Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base
- Baptist Memorial Hospital, Southaven
- Memorial Hospital at Gulfport
- Southwest Mississippi Medical Center, McComb
- Dominic Hospital, Jackson
The annual salary of a medical assistant belongs to the higher ones according to the level of education needed.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many factors affect how much a medical assistant can make.
Geographic location, city’s development, citizens’ income, and work environment are just a few of the possible influences.
Medical assistants in some cities earn more due to the higher cost of living, so the annual salary in Tupelo is just $ 29 074 while in Southaven it reaches $ 32 555.
The table below shows the salary of a medical assistant in the state of Mississippi annually since it varies from one city to another.Annual Salary Range:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
The personal characteristics that a medical assistant should possess are to communicate effectively and have good judgment, to be organized, fast and effective with the workload, to remember and understand that he/she is part of a team and act accordingly.
The list of the main duties they are supposed to complete is longish.
Before patients arrive, they deal with administrative needs, checking and sending emails and working on billings and insurances.
Upon the arrival of patients, they start working with them, explaining test results and setting up or preparing them for appointments.
After each patient leaves, they will need to clean the exam room or bring any specimens to the lab.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Medical Assistant