There are few professions as fulfilling as that of being a medical assistant. Medical assistants work alongside nurses and doctors to give patients a level of care and service that they deserve in their time of need. Medical assistants can be found in a variety of offices and clinics, such as hospitals, universities, physician’s offices, research facilities, insurance carriers, and specialty healthcare services. The profession is split into two main parts, administrative and clinical, though most medical assistants will perform a variety of tasks in both areas.
Some administrative tasks include light bookkeeping, ordering supplies, scheduling patients, filing patients’ health history information by following the appropriate rules and regulations, and providing patients with excellent customer service. Some clinical tasks include taking vitals, administering non-critical injections, operating x-ray equipment, cleaning medical tools and examination rooms, and handling lab work.
Participating in a medical assistant educational program will teach you how to perform all the above tasks and more, including familiarizing yourself with medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and medical laws.
The medical assistant profession is experiencing incredible growth and is expected so see even more growth over the next several years. In fact, The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that the number of medical assistant jobs in the country will grow by 29% over the next 8 years, making now the best time to begin your journey toward establishing a long and stable career.
In addition to exceptional availability, Washington also has much higher wages than the national average of $30780, at $35000 annually which makes Washington a great place to get started with this profession.
Washington supports its own branch of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), called the Washington State Society of Medical Assistants (WSSMA). WSSMA is a great resource for prospective, students, and graduated medical assistants who need support in continuing their education, looking for jobs, or who just want a network to touch base with fellow medical assistants.
With its high annual salary and expected growth in the job market, becoming a medical assistant in Washington is a very smart move for those who want a stable career and to be able to help support their families. There are many programs available for students to enroll in and get a quality education to aid them in their journey. With the support of WSSMA, medical assistants are able to commit to the medical assistant profession with confidence and a network of help and advice.
More Information about Medical Assisting Programs in Washington
Medical assistants play a critical role in healthcare settings, from assisting with patient care to administrative duties. Becoming a medical assistant in Washington requires completing a recognized medical assisting program and obtaining certification. In this article, we will discuss the medical assistant education options available in the state of Washington.
- Certificate Programs
Certificate programs are a common option for those seeking a career as a medical assistant. These programs can be completed in as little as nine months and typically cover both administrative and clinical skills required for the profession. Most programs require a high school diploma or GED, and some may have additional prerequisites, such as completing coursework in anatomy and physiology.
Some of the certificate programs offered in Washington include:
- Seattle Central College: Seattle Central College offers a Medical Assisting certificate program that can be completed in three quarters. The program includes both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience.
- Spokane Community College: Spokane Community College offers a Medical Assistant Certificate program that can be completed in as little as three quarters. The program includes classroom instruction, laboratory work, and a clinical externship.
- Renton Technical College: Renton Technical College offers a Medical Assistant Certificate program that can be completed in nine months. The program includes both classroom and clinical instruction, as well as an externship.
- Associate Degree Programs
Associate degree programs are another option for those seeking a career as a medical assistant. These programs typically take two years to complete and offer a more in-depth education in medical assisting, including general education courses in addition to core medical assisting coursework. Many employers prefer candidates with an associate degree in medical assisting.
Some of the associate degree programs offered in Washington include:
- Lake Washington Institute of Technology: Lake Washington Institute of Technology offers an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting degree program that can be completed in two years. The program includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience.
- Bates Technical College: Bates Technical College offers an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assistant degree program that can be completed in two years. The program includes coursework in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and clinical procedures, as well as a clinical externship.
- Online Programs
For those who prefer a more flexible schedule or live in a remote area, online medical assistant programs may be a good option. Online programs offer the same coursework as traditional programs, but allow students to complete coursework and clinical experience remotely. It is important to note that some online programs may have in-person requirements, such as clinical externships.
Some of the online programs offered in Washington include:
- Penn Foster College: Penn Foster College offers an online Medical Assistant diploma program that can be completed in as little as nine months. The program includes coursework in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and clinical procedures, as well as a clinical externship.
- Rasmussen College: Rasmussen College offers an online Medical Assisting Associate’s degree program that can be completed in as little as 18 months. The program includes coursework in medical law and ethics, pharmacology, and laboratory procedures, as well as a clinical externship.
In conclusion, becoming a medical assistant in Washington requires completing a recognized program and obtaining certification. Whether you prefer a traditional in-person program or an online option, there are many education options available to fit your needs and goals. Researching and comparing programs can help you find the best fit for you to start your career in medical assisting.