How to Become a Medical Assistant in Rhode Island

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How to Become a Medical Assistant in Rhode Island

Many people have doubts about the future vocation upon high school graduation.

As they are entering the world of adults, they need to choose the right career path which can be stressful and confusing.

Advice might be to find a career that will be growing in the future and will offer job opportunities in the coming years.

Others might say that a stable and rewarding profession that you find satisfaction should be your choice.

All in all, the occupation that will always be in demand and whose job prospects look bright is one of a medical assistant.

Job Description

Medical assistants are the people in white who work in doctors’ offices, hospitals, or medical clinics.

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Even though they are not equal to doctors, their role is certainly essential in the functioning of the healthcare facility.

They are the people patients talk to upon arriving at the clinic, who give them first aid or advice about medication and tips for staying healthy.

Besides this, their job is to prepare treatment rooms, take patients’ vital signs, temperature, weight, and blood pressure, clean and sterilize medical instruments and assist other medical staff during the examination and surgery.

Some medical assistants may be asked to do the administrative part of the job including billing, filing insurance forms and updating medical records.

Becoming a Medical Assistant in Rhode Island

The great thing for future medical assistants who do not want to learn and invest more time in medical education is that Rhode Island law does not specifically regulate medical assistants.

They can learn how to do the job while working at the medical premises.

Still, health care providers are those who determine employment qualifications and it might be difficult finding the job without those qualifications.

The minimum qualifications in Rhode Island are:

  • Graduation from medical assistant schools
  • Completion of a medical assistant training program
  • Completion of a medical assistant certification program.

Once deciding to enter the post-secondary education, bear in mind to choose a medical assisting academic program that is accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), so as to be eligible to sit and pass a national certification exam at two Prometric testing centers located in Rhode Island.

They are:

  • Near Providence in Warwick at 2346 Post Road, Suite 104
  • Near Providence in Cumberland at 1300 Highland Corporate Drive, Suite 102A

Requirements

There is not a state determined educational requirement for becoming a medical assistant, but unlicensed medical assistants must be supervised at all times by the licensed doctors and that is not acceptable by the employers who would rather hire a person able to work on his/her own.

So, before entering the working world of medical assisting, students should think about two important attributes that will make them valuable medical assistants:

  • Clinical technician license
  • CMA credential

The three key areas that will be studied during these programs are:

  • General subjects
  • Administrative subjects
  • Clinical subjects

This unifies all the duties that future medical assistants might be asked to perform.

To become licensed, except taking and passing the exam, you will need to fill out an application for licensure and file this with the Rhode Island Board of Clinical Laboratory Science.

Getting a Job

People are eager to have access to health care services wherever they are and as they grow older the demands are even greater.

That is the reason why the demand for medical assistants in Rhode Island can never diminish and is even expected to increase.

The highest concentration of healthcare facilities, and at the same time possible employers, is in the major state’s cities.

The option of working in various facilities and many cities and states makes the job opportunities easily available.

For those licensed ones, the hiring is doubtless and your qualifications can even give you the chance of negotiating the salary.

Medical assistants may look for job opportunities in:

  • Miriam Hospital in Providence
  • Newport Hospital
  • Rhode Island Hospital in Providence
  • Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence
  • Westerly Hospital
  • Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island in Providence
  • Saint Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island in Providence
  • Kent County Memorial Hospital in Warwick
  • Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island in Pawtucket
  • South County Hospital Health Care System in Wakefield
  • Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket

Salary

Medical assistant salaries in every state are influenced by the location, development of the area where the medical premises are and the number of facilities there, as well as the need for health services.

Medical assistants in Rhode Island are in constant demand and it is expected to have benefits when it comes to salary.

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training estimates that the difference in the annual salary of medical assistants is due to the varying degrees of experience among workers and the city’s development, but it is not at all significant.

The table below shows average salaries for medical assistants in major cities of Rhode Island, presenting the difference from one place to another:

Annual Salary Range:
$36K
$36K
$36K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Coventry,RI$36,498
Cranston,RI$36,567
Cumberland,RI$36,567
Narragansett,RI$36,592
Newport,RI$36,528
Pawtucket,RI$36,567
Providence,RI$36,567
Warwick,RI$36,567
Woonsocket,RI$36,533

Duties

Medical assistant job duties involve clinical tasks such as verifying patients’ information by interviewing them, recording their medical history, preparing them for examination, taking blood pressure, weight, and temperature, among many others.

Their duties might vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice, so they might also be asked to perform administrative duties as well, such as answering telephones, filling out insurance forms, handling correspondence and scheduling appointments.

Summary

When deciding whether to start the medical assisting career or not, besides all the above mentioned positive things related to job stability and satisfaction, decent salary and constant employment opportunities, future medical assistants should also have in mind the negative aspects of this job.

The bonuses and benefits such as social security benefits, retirement plans, healthcare insurance might be attractive, but the night shifts, long hours and exposure to dangerous chemicals and stressful situations are an integral part of the job.

All in all, medical assisting is certainly a rewarding career with so much potential.

USA Medical Assisting by State


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