Stable, fulfilling, and easy-to-acquire careers are hard to come by in today’s economy. The medical assistant profession is one of the few that can offer prospective candidates the opportunity to work elbow-to-elbow with doctors and nurses to care for patients in a fast paced and high stakes environment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to see the number of medical assistant jobs increase by 29% over the next 8 years for several reasons. First, with the introduction of The Affordable Care Act, less fortunate families that did not have access to healthcare are able to access medical support. Second, the baby boomer generation is growing older, requiring more severe and frequent medical attention. Third, medical offices are continuing to rely more and more on the skills and expertise of medical assistants. For example, medical assistants are equipped to take patients’ vitals, handle bloodwork, contact insurance companies, schedule appointments, clean and prepare medical tools and rooms, operate x-ray equipment, and perform bookkeeping for the office. Medical offices all over the state of West Virginia are using medical assistants to keep up with the growing workload of the industry.
Though the annual salary for medical assistants in West Virginia is much lower than the national average, $25,000 versus $30780 respectively, the state offers opportunities for individuals to earn higher pay. For example, many employers may be willing to hire those who have not completed further education to become a medical assistant, but candidates can secure their jobs and potentially earn higher wages if they pursue medical assistant education programs. Accredited programs teach students about anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, how to perform basic first aid, and how to file patient medical history by following medical ethics and law practices.
In addition to participating in an accredited educational program, the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) also offers the Medical Assistant Certification (CMA), that verifies candidates understand how to perform the meaningful and sensitive tasks of a medical assistant. Acquiring a CMA can result in more job opportunities and higher pay for candidates.
Begin your journey of acquiring a stable and growing career today. Medical assistants perform a series of broad tasks, requiring both an administrative and clinical background, which make them the backbone of the medical industry. For those interested in a career opportunity with unlimited growth and development potential, and compensation tied directly to a candidates certifications, the medical assistant profession is a great choice.
More Information about Medical Assisting Programs in West Virginia
Medical assistants are an essential part of the healthcare industry, and they play a crucial role in providing quality patient care. In West Virginia, the demand for qualified medical assistants is on the rise. With an aging population, the healthcare industry is growing, and medical assistants are needed to help healthcare facilities provide quality care to their patients. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a medical assistant in West Virginia, read on to learn about the education and training requirements for this rewarding profession.
Education and Training Requirements for Medical Assistants in West Virginia
In West Virginia, there are no specific education or training requirements to become a medical assistant. However, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a post-secondary medical assisting program. These programs typically take one to two years to complete and may result in a diploma, certificate, or associate degree.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are two organizations that accredit medical assisting programs in the United States. It is recommended that you choose a program that is accredited by either of these organizations, as it ensures that the program meets high standards of quality.
Medical assisting programs cover a range of topics, including anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, medical law and ethics, pharmacology, medical billing and coding, and clinical procedures. In addition to classroom instruction, these programs may also include a clinical practicum, where students gain hands-on experience in a healthcare facility.
Certification for Medical Assistants in West Virginia
While certification is not required to work as a medical assistant in West Virginia, it can improve your job prospects and increase your earning potential. The most widely recognized certification for medical assistants is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential, which is awarded by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
To be eligible for the CMA exam, you must have completed a medical assisting program accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES. Additionally, you must have completed an externship or have worked as a medical assistant for at least five years. The CMA exam covers topics such as general medical assisting knowledge, administrative procedures, and clinical procedures.
Other certifications for medical assistants include the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential, which is awarded by the American Medical Technologists (AMT), and the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) credential, which is awarded by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).
Job Outlook and Salary for Medical Assistants in West Virginia
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for medical assistants in West Virginia was $31,130 as of May 2020. However, this can vary depending on factors such as education, certification, experience, and location.
The job outlook for medical assistants in West Virginia is positive. The BLS projects that employment of medical assistants in the state will grow 14.7% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by an aging population and the increasing demand for healthcare services.
Medical assisting is a rewarding and in-demand career in West Virginia. While there are no specific education or training requirements to become a medical assistant, completing a post-secondary medical assisting program and obtaining certification can improve your job prospects and earning potential. With a positive job outlook and the potential for career advancement, medical assisting is a great career choice for those interested in the healthcare industry.