Numerous people find it perfect that there are a few different paths to achieving the goal of becoming medical assistants in the USA.
Each path has its advantages and disadvantages and people should thoroughly think before deciding which one to take.
One huge advantage for those who do not want to study more after secondary education is that a high school diploma or GED is enough for getting the job.
At the same time, medical assistant schooling and certification can be of crucial importance during the work if you are lucky enough to find a job without it.
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Medical assistants perform both duties of a secretary, meaning that they are doing administrative work, but they are also the right hand of a physician during medical procedures, as well.
Various skills, knowledge, eagerness to learn and advancing in the medical field are necessary to do the job well.
Love to help people in need should be followed with attention to detail and strong analytical skills.
Their daily job focuses on giving first aid, measuring blood pressure and temperature, doing lab work and dealing with blood samples.
Some of them are performed under the supervision of a physician but some are done without the help of a doctor.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Montana
For those who believe that further education has its benefits, becoming a certified medical assistant is not such a difficult task, even though it might be time-consuming and require studying.
One positive thing that might encourage you to put the effort into getting certification is that you are likely to be paid more once hired since your qualification will be higher than of those without certification.
A medical assistant in Montana can perform only the following duties with a physician nearby:
- Invasive procedures
- Administers medicine
- And allergy testing.
But he/she is not allowed to:
- Do invasive procedures without the physician on-site
- Monitor conscious sedation
- Administer fluids or medications
- Administer blood products.
Educational programs can be enrolled in vocational-technical schools, online institutions, at colleges and universities and they usually last from 10 months to 2 years, during which a medical assistant would learn about:
- Medical terminology
- Diseases of the human body
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Medical office management, among many other things.
In Montana, the physician determines the competence of the medical assistant before assigning administrative and clinical tasks since there is no formal educational requirement.
To safely and responsibly perform their assigned duties, medical assistants should be graduates of accredited medical assisting programs, or they must possess sufficient experience, education, or training.
They can choose from the certificate, diploma, or associate degree program, and they are all designed to prepare students to become capable of doing medical assistant tasks.
The programs may differ slightly in length and detail but a program must be accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
In Montana, there are currently 2 CAAHEP-accredited medical assistant programs.
Students learn about:
- Preparing examination rooms and patients for examination
- Cleaning and sterilizing instruments
- Doing laboratory tests
- Giving injections and medicine to patients
- Completing insurance forms and bills
- Operating x-ray and EKG machines
- Maintaining medical records
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
- 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
As there are no formal requirements for further education, many people who are not interested in additional education decide to look for a job in this field.
Still, 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 because employers tend to look for assistance with knowledge and experience to perform this extremely serious duty.
The Montana Department of Labor and Industry the number of employed medical assistants is expected to increase and the job openings in Montana are numerous.
The struggles to find the right employer are not often for those who possess a certification, but still, they should pay attention to the factors that can influence a medical assistant’s salary and job opportunities.
Medical assistants may look for job opportunities in:
- Vincent Healthcare, Billings
- Peter’s Hospital, Helena
- Patrick Hospital, Missoula
- James Healthcare, Butte
- Northwest Healthcare, Kalispell
- Northern Montana Hospital, Havre
- Holy Rosary Healthcare, Miles City
- Community Medical Center, Missoula
- Bozeman Deaconess Hospital
- Billings Clinic
- Benefits Health System, Great Falls
As job opportunities for medical assistants are expected to rise during the years to come and many secondary school students are considering medical assistant education and certification as their future aim, the salary is also likely to change.
When choosing a future employer, you should think about the salary and the things that might affect it like a geographic location, population density, and several medical facilities in that area.
According to the United States Department of Labor, the average medical assistants starting salary is $24,910, while more experienced employees receive up to $34,320
The table below shows average salaries for medical assistants in major cities of Montana, presenting the difference from one place to another:Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Avg. Annual Salary
Regional Salary in Montana
|Avg. Annual Salary
|Avg. Hourly Pay
|Top 10% Annual Salary
|Bottom 10% Annual Salary
|Great Falls, MT
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Medical assistants are performing a very serious job and helping people in need is such an important occupation that you need to dedicate your life to it.
A career as a medical assistant is the promising one and there is no better time to get the education and training and start a career in this exciting field.
Education will provide you with the preferred qualifications related to medical assisting administrative skills and skills involving assistance in inpatient care as well, as you will be an important part of the healthcare facility whose functioning will depend on you.