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.
More Information about Medical Assisting Programs in Virginia
Medical Assistant Education in Virginia: Requirements, Programs, and Career Outlook
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in healthcare that doesn’t require years of schooling, becoming a medical assistant might be a good option. Medical assistants play a vital role in healthcare facilities by performing administrative and clinical tasks. If you’re living in Virginia and interested in becoming a medical assistant, this article will guide you through the necessary steps.
Medical Assistant Education Requirements in Virginia
In Virginia, there are no state-specific education or training requirements to become a medical assistant. However, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a medical assistant program from an accredited institution. Some employers may also require certification from a nationally recognized organization like the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
Medical Assistant Programs in Virginia
Several schools in Virginia offer medical assistant programs that can provide you with the necessary education and training. These programs are available at community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. Here are a few schools that offer medical assistant programs in Virginia:
- Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) NOVA offers a medical assistant certificate program that can be completed in two semesters. The program includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take the certification exam offered by the AAMA.
- Centura College Centura College offers a medical assistant diploma program that can be completed in 8-9 months. The program includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training in a clinical setting.
- Bryant & Stratton College Bryant & Stratton College offers an associate degree program in medical assisting. The program includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. Students who complete the program are eligible to take the certification exam offered by the AAMA.
Career Outlook for Medical Assistants in Virginia
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 19 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. In Virginia, the average annual salary for medical assistants is $34,720, according to the BLS.
Medical assistants in Virginia can work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, physician offices, and outpatient care centers. Some of the job duties include taking patients’ vital signs, assisting with medical procedures, scheduling appointments, and managing medical records.
Becoming a medical assistant in Virginia is a great career option if you want to work in healthcare without years of schooling. While there are no state-specific education requirements, completing a medical assistant program from an accredited institution can increase your chances of getting hired. With a growing demand for medical assistants, job opportunities are expected to remain strong in Virginia.