There’s a considerable amount of prestige associated with working in the medical industry. For those interested in having a profession in the field, it doesn’t mean these individuals have to spend a decade in school/hundreds of thousands of dollars with the hopes of becoming a doctor. Entering a medical assistant program could lead to a very lucrative career.
Finding A Program
Finding the right medical assistant program is immense. In today’s current climate, much of the normally in-person tutelage is now being done online. These programs vary somewhat in terms of content. However, those entering them are expected to learn a wide variety of very important skills moving forward. These include — but are not limited to — learning HIPAA guidelines/regulations, understanding the proper protocol as it pertains to lab procedures, understanding a patient’s needs (giving medication, performing an EKG, checking for vital signs, drawing blood), and working on various administrative duties.
It’s currently unclear as to how protocol will work for more of the hands-on activities. Much of that will be determined on a state level in correspondence with the situations surrounding the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. However, information sessions normally can be attended via digital video calls. There are various websites which both rank medical assistant programs by state, and also give information on said programs. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to research as thoroughly as possible in order to find the right fit for their needs.
Cost of Programs
Some medical assistant programs can be finished in less than a year. This is a big advantage for those who want to enter the work force as quickly as possible with the goal of earning an income. Some diploma programs can range from 8-to-10 months in length. Based upon the chosen school, costs do vary. Certified medical assistants may have a longer road when it comes to actual time in a program. However, salaries for certified medical assistants are normally larger compared to ones without certification. The exam for CMA (also called the AAMA) is a 200-question multiple choice test offered at the conclusion of primary courses. The general cost of a medical assistant program can range from roughly $5,000 to approximately $15,000. Financial aid is normally offered to those who need it.
When surveying the landscape of potential careers, the medical assistant profession is one of the fastest-growing within the United States. There’s plenty of flexibility as it pertains to both location and actual duties. Aside from dealing with lab work, administrative minutiae, and aiding with patients, degree-earners from this field have plenty of options from a job standpoint. One could strictly be a technician operating EKG machines. Others can function as office managers. Some are even phlebotomists, public health inspectors, or surgical technicians (providing support for doctors in the operating room). As one can see, there’s plenty of flexibility and excitement surrounding this riveting field.
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