With the nation continuing to see such high unemployment rates country-wide, individuals are seeking careers that are stable and pay well enough to help them support their families. Medical assistants enjoy a fulfilling and stable career working beside doctors, nurses, and physician’s assistants, and are the backbone of the nation’s healthcare system. Medical assistants can hold a variety of roles, depending on the place of employment. For instance, medical administrative assistants deal mostly with operating the business of the office, such as handling patients’ appointments, communicating with insurance companies, and maintaining inventory of supplies. Clinical medical assistants, on the other hand, take on more of a nursing role. They perform some injections, take vitals, clean equipment and rooms, prepare blood work, handle lab tests, and record patient healthcare history.
Due to the growing use of medical assistants in the industry, medical assistants are being relied on more heavily than ever, causing an increase in the demand for them. Along with the increased utilization, there is also a higher demand for medical assistants due to the aging of the baby boomer generation, and the increased availability of affordable healthcare. In fact, these three reasons are why experts at The Bureau of Labor Statistics expect there to be a 29% increase in medical assistant jobs over the next 8 years.
Though some employers may be willing to hire medical assistants with only a high school diploma or equivalent, it is recommended that candidates pursue education with an accredited program. Core programs will teach students how to perform all the tasks associated with being a medical assistant, including how to code medical information, perform light bookkeeping, administer first aid and injections, be familiar with medical terminology, and learn the basics of anatomy and physiology. Medical assistants also have a variety of potential career locations, such as hospitals, universities and research facilities, physician’s offices, insurance carriers, and other specialized care facilities.
The expected growth in the medical assistant profession makes now the best time to begin your journey toward acquiring a stable career in a respected field. Medical assistants enjoy broad work potential and room for growth and development. There are several programs available through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) that can teach prospective medical assistants the material needed in order to be successful and happy in a fast paced and critical environment. Begin your pursuit of the medical assistant profession today.
More Information about Medical Assisting Programs in Washington DC
Medical Assistant Education in Washington DC: Requirements and Programs
Becoming a medical assistant is a great choice for those interested in healthcare who want to work in a fast-paced environment. In Washington DC, medical assistants are in high demand and the job outlook for this career is excellent. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a medical assistant in the nation’s capital, there are a few things you should know about education and training requirements.
There are no formal education requirements to become a medical assistant in Washington DC. However, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a medical assisting program from an accredited school. This helps to ensure that graduates have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the job duties of a medical assistant.
Medical assisting programs are offered at many vocational schools, community colleges, and technical institutes throughout the DC area. These programs typically take about one year to complete and result in a certificate or diploma. Some programs also offer an associate degree in medical assisting, which takes about two years to complete.
In addition to coursework, medical assisting programs also include a clinical externship. During this externship, students have the opportunity to work in a real medical office or clinic, performing the job duties of a medical assistant under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional.
Although certification is not required to become a medical assistant in Washington DC, it is highly recommended. Certification shows employers that you have met certain education and training requirements and have the skills necessary to perform the job duties of a medical assistant.
The most widely recognized certification for medical assistants is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To become a CMA, you must pass the CMA exam and meet certain education and experience requirements.
Another option for certification is the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential offered by American Medical Technologists (AMT). To become an RMA, you must pass the RMA exam and meet certain education and experience requirements.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for medical assistants in Washington DC is excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 19% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for medical assistants in the DC area is $39,400, with top earners making over $51,000 per year.
Programs in Washington DC
There are several medical assisting programs available in Washington DC, including:
- University of the District of Columbia Community College: Offers a certificate in medical assisting program that includes clinical and administrative training.
- Career Technical Institute: Offers a diploma in medical assisting program that includes hands-on training in clinical and administrative skills.
- Medtech Institute: Offers a diploma in medical assisting program that includes classroom instruction and hands-on training in clinical and administrative skills.
Becoming a medical assistant in Washington DC is a great career choice, with a promising job outlook and a competitive salary. While formal education is not required, completing a medical assisting program and obtaining certification can help you stand out to potential employers. With several accredited programs available in the DC area, pursuing a career as a medical assistant is a viable option for those interested in healthcare.