As a child, many people think about a career as doctors when they grow up.
However, not many of them manage to achieve this goal, due to the expensive university education and great effort that need to be put to become a doctor.
The role of helping others in need is a very important and responsible occupation and if they are eager to work in the medical field, they can still find satisfaction in a medical assistant vocation.
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Even though medical assistants are not equal to the doctors, they are responsible for working alongside them and crucial factors in keeping physicians’ offices running smoothly.
Medical assistants can be found in outpatient and ambulatory care facilities, medical offices and clinics and this profession is experiencing constant growth due to the increase in the number of medical facilities and technological advances in the medical field.
In smaller facilities, medical assistants are asked to handle both administrative and clinical duties, while in larger practices, they specialize their work in a particular area.
Regardless of whether they are performing clinical or administrative tasks, medical assistants work under the direct supervision of a physician when it comes to more serious issues.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in North Carolina
Medical assistant qualification requirements are not written into law.
But, still, many young people decide to enroll in post-secondary education.
One of the reasons is the fact that many realize the seriousness of this vocation and are not ready to try it without prior knowledge and experience.
So, to pursue their happiness in the medical field and making their dream a reality, they enter medical assistant programs offered throughout the country.
Another reason is that certain educational and training requirements are set by employers.
They seek for a person who possesses graduation from a medical assistant training program in North Carolina or holding a medical assistant degree from an accredited medical assistant school.
Also, they will rather hire an individual who has a professional medical assistant certification and previous work experience as a medical assistant, than the one who does not have it.
Because it is an occupation in constant demand, it is the right time to try and become a medical assistant.
Education is the starting point and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) offer a variety of medical assistant schools in North Carolina.
Whichever program you choose, you will have courses related to:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Medical office procedures
- Medical insurance applications
- Pharmacology and drug administration
- Medial laboratory procedures
- Medical assistant administrative procedures
The instructors are usually well-educated, experienced and licensed professionals who work with students in vocational-technical high schools, post-secondary vocational schools, colleges, and universities.
The accredited associations who offer these kinds of programs are:
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – offered by American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) – offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) – offered by the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP)
- Medical Assistant (NCMA) – offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
Getting a Job
The graduation and certification achievement is followed by browsing for a job.
The qualifications that the employers are looking for in a medical assistant vary from one facility to the other, but education will certainly give you priority among other candidates.
Some of the employers might look for the minimum qualifications such as a high school diploma, but the majority will seek professionals with either a CMA or RMA credential.
Many of them also require 1 or 2 years of previous clinical experience.
That is why devotion to classes and education increases your chances of getting a satisfying job that will allow you to earn for living.
Medical assistants may look for job opportunities in:
- Novant Health Durham Internal Medicine Associates
- Duke University Health System at Chapel Hill
- Tenet Healthcare in Hickory
- Rex Healthcare in Raleigh
- Mebane Primary Care
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that medical assistants in North Carolina earn an annual salary from $29,300 up to $37,650.
The first variance in salaries is due to the difference between a certified and non-certified medical assistant.
This salary cannot be precisely determined and it is not the same for all the medical assistants in one facility since the amount of money earned depends on experience and education, working hours and daily responsibilities, as well as the quality of work.
North Carolina does not belong to those states where the salaries of medical assistants are high, but the job is stable and fulfilling which is more important to those wonderful people who perform it.
The table below shows average salaries for medical assistants in major cities of North Carolina, presenting the difference from one place to another:Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
The daily duties of a medical assistant vary depending on their qualifications and specialty.
In some practices, they perform both administrative and clinical duties including:
- bookkeeping procedures and insurance processing
- updating patient records
- sterilization of the equipment, diagnostic testing,
- taking vital signs, and patient care
- assisting physician interventions and examinations, etc.
In some larger facilities, these duties are divided into two or more medical assistants so that they can focus on either of them.
No matter where they work, medical assistants need to possess analytical skills to understand medical charts, billing, insurance billing, and medical coding, they need to be detail-oriented especially when filling in the patient records and above all to be compassionate when interacting with patients.
As the number of older people looking for medical care increases, they will require more medical attention.
This is one of the reasons why you should consider training to become a medical assistant.
Also, it is easily achievable vocation since most schools can give you the education and hands-on experience in less than a year.
But, one of the biggest reasons is that this is a career where they can help other people who need you.
So, this is a rewarding, fulfilling and a career filled with compassion.