High Demand for Medical Assistants
June 1, 2015 09:20 AM
What is a Medical Assistant?
Spotlight on Career Opportunities
Interested in a career in the healthcare field? Not interested in working nights and weekends? Maybe medical assisting is right for you. Medical assistants are healthcare professionals uniquely qualified to complete administrative and clinical tasks in the healthcare setting. And because they are a more versatile medical professional, they often work in a physician's office. Most medical assistants enjoy a more traditional work schedule, Monday through Friday. No nights. No weekends.
Job duties and responsibilities include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records (electronic and paper), billing patients, and coding. But that’s not all. Medical assistants also take vital signs, obtain patient medical histories, draw blood, give medications, assist the physician with minor surgical procedures, and prepare patients for examinations under the direction of a physician. Lauren Mitchell (see photo on the right), a CPTC Medical Assisting student, was performing a routine laboratory procedure when we caught up with her at a local clinical site.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook*, the 2012 median pay for medical assistants is $14.12 per hour and $29,370 per year. Medical assisting graduates have a great employment outlook. In fact, the demand for medical assistants is expected to increase. Nationally, the expected growth for employment of medical assistants from 2012 to 2022 is 29%.
According to the Department of Labor, " this is a much faster than average growth for all occupations." "The growth of the aging baby boom population will continue to spur demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians will hire more medical assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing them to see more patients."
Coastal Pines Technical College offers the medical assisting program in Waycross and Brunswick. Full-time students can graduate in three semesters, with the final summer term designated as a clinical rotation in a physician’s office. The program is open for new students every fall semester (August).
In the photo on the left, Kristin Sweat, a current student at Coastal Pines Technical College, is shown performing administrative duties as part of her clinical rotation.
Graduates of the Waycross campus program are eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification exam offered by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Graduates of the Golden Isles campus program are eligible to take the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification exam via the American Medical Technologist (AMT) or the National Certified Medical Assistant certification exam via the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).
Medical Assisting, Waycross campus, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).