The reasons why many young people are getting interested in the role of a medical assistant are, on one hand, the career in the healthcare field that provides personal fulfillment, that is challenging and exciting, while on the other it does not require years of studies and a lot of effort.
When above all they realize the vast possibilities of employment and further increasing job prospects, then medical assistant vocation looks perfect.
However, very few of them take into consideration the responsibilities that this vocation entails.
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To successfully perform the job of a medical assistant, you need to be organized and efficient, calm and multi-tasker.
The functioning of the clinic depends on your ability to collect blood specimens and prepare them for the lab, provide patient education about health and wellness, draw blood samples and administer medication to a patient.
In some smaller facilities, they are also asked to perform general office administrative duties and procedures.
Medical assistants usually work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, outpatient clinics, and private practices.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in South Dakota
Employers, as well as the law in South Dakota, require further education and experience in the medical field.
This can be achieved through a multitude of certificate, diploma and associate degree programs that exist all around the USA, but they need to be accredited by CAAHEP and ABHES and offer their students the eligibility to sit for a national certification exam upon graduation.
There are three options to choose from: a shorter and less demanding certificate or diploma and a two-year associate degree program, with more advanced education.
Whichever option to choose, the students will learn about the topics that are covered by the curriculum such as:
- Medical law and regulatory guidelines
- Medical business practices
- Medical office finances
- Documentation of patient intake and care
- Diagnostic testing
- Medical assistant pharmacology, etc.
South Dakota is one of the very few states that recognize the importance of having qualified medical assistants.
That is why only those who are qualified are allowed to work in South Dakota.
The Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners is in charge of registering these individuals who are permitted to provide their valuable services.
Medical assistants work under the supervision of an approved medical professional and they can:
- Give first aid
- Work with office equipment
- Assist during examinations
- Collect laboratory specimens
- Administer medications
- Perform certain lab procedures
- Take vital signs
- Perform aseptic procedures
The law also determines that hospitals need to specifically allow medical assistants to work within their premises.
To become a valued member of a health care team you need to graduate from an approved medical assistant training program, find a licensed physician to work for and register with the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners.
The physician who would like to supervise your work will require the minimum qualifications like:
- Associate’s degree in medical assisting
- Bachelor’s degree in the medical sciences
- Master’s degree and advanced graduate degrees in the field of medical sciences
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential
The accredited associations who offer these kinds of programs are:
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
Once achieved, the CMA and the RMA credentials are valid for 60 months, and after this period, you will be asked to renew it.
You can either retake the CMA Exam or earn 60 recertification points or maintain an RMA credential you will need to pay an annual $50 renewal fee and complete 30 Certification Continuing Program (CCP) points every three years.
Getting a Job
In South Dakota, you need to have additional education to get the job of a medical assistant.
With the completion of a medical assistant education program, it is easier to find the job, as you would fulfill the requirements set by employers.
To get the job easily, you should consider joining the South Dakota Society of Medical Assistants (SDSMA), where you can get all the information about employment opportunities.
By getting certified, your employer will be more confident in your skills and you will feel more self-assured as well.
How high the salary of a medical assistant will be is determined by the education level, experience and qualifications, daily performance of serious medical duties and pay rate of the employer.
The fact that this occupation is experiencing the greatest employment growth in the state it can be expected that the pay rate might rise, too.
South Dakota belongs to those states whose medical assistants have lower annual salaries in comparison to other US states.
However, this should not be of crucial importance when choosing a career, as a medical assisting job is not done only to get the salary, but because it brings you personal satisfaction.
You should also have in mind that your qualifications allow you to negotiate a higher salary.
The table below shows average salaries for medical assistants in major cities of South Dakota, presenting the difference from one place to another:Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
The administrative duties that a medical assistant does are appointment scheduling, medical correspondence, medical billing and coding, medical transcription, and managing electronic records.
Clinical duties often include interviewing patients about their illness and symptoms, measuring blood pressure and temperature, administering medicine, and sterilizing supplies and instruments.
Whether one person will be performing both duties or according will be asked to specialize their work in one particular area depends on the number of daily requirements that the clinic has and the size of the facility.
The period when you need to decide on your future career is a very important one and can be stressful, so you should think well before determining whether medical assisting is a good fit for you.
However, have in mind the fact that to effectively do the job, first and foremost you need to care about helping other people and get job satisfaction from it.