Medical assistants are some of the most depended on and appreciated members of the healthcare industry. They work side by side with doctors, nurses, and physician’s assistants to make sure patients receive the high level of care and service that they are due. Though the unemployment rate is still very high nationwide, the medical assistant profession is growing, and the growth is expected to continue. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of medical assistant jobs is expected to increase by 29% over the course of the next 8 years, making it one of the most stable career choices available.
Although Virginia medical assistants earn close to the national average salary of $30,780 annually, there are a couple of cities in Virginia that pay much more. For example, Charlottesville pays medical assistants an annual wage of $34,000!
Medical assistants can be found in any hospital, physician’s office, university, research facility, or specialty care facility. Though their roles depend on the business, they commonly perform an assortment of administrative and clinical tasks, including admitting patients, taking patients’ vitals, handling lab work, operating x-ray equipment, performing non-crucial injections, and contacting insurance companies.
Virginia has many accredited programs with the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Core programs will teach students how to perform light bookkeeping, familiarize students with basic medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and basic lab work practices. Virginia has a state organization that is affiliated with AAMA, called the Virginia Society of Medical Assistants (VSMA). It is VSMA’s goal to help develop medical assistants and protect the integrity of the medical assistant profession in the state of Virginia. The organization provides guidance for prospective and current students, as well as resources for existing medical assistants to look for jobs and continue to develop themselves professionally. The VSMA provides a great way for medical assistants to network with one another.
With the expected increase in number of jobs for medical assistants in the nation, now is a perfect time for interested individuals to begin the pursuit of getting the long-term, stable career they’ve always wanted. From recent high school graduates, to seasoned adults looking for a change in career, the medical assistant profession is suitable for everyone interested in becoming a key role in the nation’s medical industry. With the help and support of VSMA, medical assistants can find suitable programs, jobs, and a network of other medical assistants that can offer professional and personal support throughout their career.
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