If you are considering a future in healthcare, enrolling in medical assistant programs is a fantastic choice for many reasons. According to a survey done by the Healthcare Intelligence Network, medical assistants were highlighted as necessary and vital parts to patient care.
Medical Assistant Programs are Waiting for You!
Demand for Certified Medical Assistants or CMA, or MA in some cases, is growing faster than the national average for healthcare professionals and all other jobs at a growth rate of 23%! The time could not be better for enrolling for a medical assistant program, either online or in a traditional classroom setting.
Below we will cover everything about medical assistants and how to get started in this field!! In just a few easy steps we will show you an easy, no-hassle path to medical assistant education from the comfort of your computer, phone or tablet.
Selecting Accredited Medical Assistant Programs
The accrediting bodies for CMA schools are the (CAAHEP) Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the (ABHES) Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Your program must be listed with either of these organizations or you will not be eligible for taking the CMA examination for certification. Which means you cannot get a job.
13 Questions to ask Prospective Medical Assistant Schools
So Here are the 13 Questions!
Here are a few questions you will want to ask each school you speak to. These questions may not seem important, but trust us. They can be in some situations.
Not everybody has the same situation, and some may not be aware of what their actual needs are. These 13 questions will cover you in a time where it is easy to forget to ask. Our mission is to set you up for success!
- 1 – Are There Online Programs?
– Doing a online vs. campus class cost comparison will benefit you in making your school choice. Online CMA courses have many benefits besides cost. They save time too!
- 2 – What Type of Degree is Available? – (Certificate or Associates)
– There are advantages to each program. Be sure to follow up with the counselor at each school in depth for this one. It is the single biggest choice to make outside of deciding to work as a medical assistant.
- 3 – How Much Does it Cost?
– Be realistic and ask for detailed breakdowns from each school. This is a key reason why you need to talk to multiple schools. You can see big variances here. Be aware.
- 4 – Can I Afford it?
– Do not get in to something you cannot afford.
- 5 – How Much are Books?
– Make sure to bring this cost up from the start. It can be forgotten.
- 6 – Are There Job Placement Programs?
– If there are, it can be a game changer for some. No a deal breaker because they are rare.
- 7 – Are Internships Available?
– Great benefit. Will really help you if available.
- 8 – What are the Class Sizes?
– Knowing what to expect and how to maximize your learning experience is critical to your performance.
- 9 – Is Tutoring Available?
– A real benefit for the tough times in the process.
- 10 – How Long Will it Take to Finish Your CMA Program?
– Certification programs take about a year on average and associate’s degree programs generally take 1-2 years to complete, depending on your educational background.
- 11 – Do They Help you Prep for the Medical Assistant Certification Examination?
– Another huge benefit if available. Any help outside the regular classroom hours is where you will really see the improvement. The path to certification can be easy with a little prep.
- 12 – How do Your Students Score vs National Average?
Knowing the curriculum and staff has a history of preparing working medical assistants is crucial.
- 13 – What is the Full Time Job % for Graduates of Each School?
– Important to now that former grads are actually using the certification or degree they earned from the school.
What Does a (CMA) Medical Assistant do?
What Does a CMA Do?
Certified Medical Assistants work alongside doctors and physicians. Most commonly, they work in healthcare clinics and offices. But they are becoming more and more popular and valuable to doctors everyday!
Here is a detailed list of what you can expect to do on a daily basis and we provide a scope of the work that may be asked of you. Remember that each state has regulations that may determine what you can and cannot do. We provide resources to see where you fit in there.
Common Medical Assistant Duties
Not every one of these duties will be done by every medical assistant. Some will be done more than others. Some states allow for more of some of the tasks than others will allow. And all doctors and physicians use their CMAs differently. But this is the scope of the job.
- Use CPU Software
- Answer Phones
- Greet Visitors and Patients
- File and Update Patient Records
- Some Medical Coding (Basic)
- Schedule Patient Appointments
- Arrange all Laboratory and Specialist Usage
- Collect Patient Medical History
- Minor Patient Explanations
- Preparing Patients for Examination
- Assist the Needs of the Physician or Doctor
- Collect Specimens
- Perform basic Lab tests
- Patient Instruction
- Handling and Giving Medication per the Physician or Doctor
- Authorize Prescription Refills
- Venipunctural Procedures
- Remove Sutures and Dressings from Patients
Employment Outlook for Medical Assistants
|Certified Medical Assistants||Data from www.bls.gov|
|2015 Median Annual Salary||$30,590|
|2015 Median Hourly Wage||$14.71|
|Entry-Level Education Requirement||Postsecondary non-degree award|
|Total Employment in 2014||591,300|
|Employment Change by 2024||138,900|
|Percent Change in Employment||23%|
Now Go Find Your Medical Assistant Program!
With the insight provided we have prepared you to talk to medical assistant programs and get your new job path started! Good luck from CMAprograms.org!