If you have always dreamed of becoming a healthcare person, who is ready to help people, and you are finishing your secondary education, then it is the right time to think about becoming a part of medical staff.
You might not have time and money to invest in a university degree and become a doctor, but with not so long and expensive further education you can become a medical assistant.
It is a vocation that is not the same as doctors, but still similar and equally important and demanding.
But, before deciding to enter the world of medical assistants, it is important to go through all the education requirements, responsibilities and duties that this occupation entails.
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Many people think that medical assistant job is naïve as they only greet the patients and talk to them about the symptoms and medical history.
But, they do not know all the daily duties that are included before the patients’ arrival and after they go home.
Personal qualities and skills of a medical assistant must be by the duties that this job involves, not only dealing with billings, greeting patients, filling in medical records and scheduling appointments, but also drawing blood, working on the urine samples and assisting doctors and other staff.
A medical assistant can happen to work in larger practices or small private clinics, and some of them are working under the direct guidance and instruction of a doctor while some might be asked to perform less responsible duties on their own.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, medical assistants are not required to become licensed or certified to find a job and learn how to perform it on the spot.
On one hand, this is a great thing for those not interested in further education.
On the other hand, legal requirements should not determine your level of education in case you want to become a professionally qualified medical assistant.
Medical assistant employers tend to hire only licensed ones because they are the most competitive applicants for this position and can efficiently work once they enter the clinic.
There are 11 accredited schools with medical assistant programs in Oklahoma and eight of them can be found in the Oklahoma City area.
If you want to get the license, education and training for medical assistants are available in various community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, and private career training schools.
You should choose only the accredited programs that will offer you eligibility for passing a national certification exam.
In Oklahoma, the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential, sponsored by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is the most famous one, and taking and passing the Certified Medical Assistant Exam earns you the CMA credential.
The topics that are covered both by the curriculum and testing are:
- Professionalism and medical ethics
- Medical terminology
- Medical reception and patient assistance
- Establishing a patient’s medical record
- Appointment scheduling
- Anatomy and physiology
- Infection control and first aid
- Assisting the doctor
- Patient preparation
- Processing and collecting specimens
The accredited associations who offer these kinds of programs are:
- American Medical Technologists (AMT) – sponsor of the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential
- National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) – sponsor of the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) credential
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA) – sponsor of the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) credential
- National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP) – sponsor of the Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) credential
It can be seen that this kind of education gives you the chance of learning everything you need to be employed as a medical assistant and to successfully perform your job.
Getting a Job
You do not need to become nationally certified to find work as a medical assistant in Oklahoma, but medical assistants’ employers are usually looking for credentialed candidates.
All of the candidates have equal chances but the desired professional qualifications can vary and are determined by the employer.
The future of medical assistants is bright, as the need for their skills can never diminish.
In Oklahoma, the employment of medical assistants is projected to grow, since there are numerous facilities where they can work and their number is increasing every day.
The positive thing is that a certified medical assistant might have a chance to choose among many employers, decide which one suits him/her best and even negotiate the salary with the employer.
Medical assistants may look for job opportunities in:
- Mercy Memorial Health Center in Ardmore
- Utica Park Clinic in Broken Arrow
- The mercy health system in Edmond
Medical assistants are the link between a doctor and a patients.
They ensure that a doctor’s office is running smoothly and should be well paid for that.
According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which collects the data related to employment and salary of medical assistants, the salaries of medical assistants differ across the state.
The average salary ranges from $ 29 281 in Altus up to $ 33 059 in Tulsa, but it includes employees with a wide range of education and experience.
Also, the amount of money that medical assistants earn is determined by the development of the region where the facility is located and the pay scale offered by the employer.
The table below shows average salaries for medical assistants in major cities of Oklahoma, presenting the difference from one place to another:Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Performing many tasks at once is not easy at all, and you need to be a very well organized person to manage all the requirements.
The duties of a medical assistant start from early in the morning, before the arrival of the patients, when they do administrative tasks such as answering e-mails, scheduling appointments and update the medical records.
When the patients arrive, they need to take their vital signs, ask about symptoms, measure the temperature, blood pressure and weight and take them to the doctors.
They might also be asked to assists the doctors and other healthcare staff during the examination.
Once the examination is finished, they advise patients about the further taking of medication.