The State of Rhode Island Department of Health has a clear definition of the role of the medical assistant who is unlicensed healthcare workers who perform routine administrative, clerical, and clinical duties in various healthcare settings. Those working in hospitals must work in the framework of their licensing. These documents recommend that the employer and the medical assistant enter into a written supervisory agreement that clearly explains the role and the tasks that the medical assistant may perform. Because the medical assistant works closely with the service team and the clients, this professional caregiver with excellent communication skills will find ample opportunities for career advancement and regular salary increases.
In preparing to enter this profession, it is important to look at areas such as quality educational programs, recognized credentialing, and state requirements which differ based on where one intends to practice. Furthermore, the person planning to take this step needs to look at the cost of this investment with respect to time, energy level, and tuition. Careful planning and thoughtful decision making will yield a higher level of long term success in this field.
Beginning the process of becoming a medical assistant starts with finding an academic setting to get the basics and practice the necessary protocols. The three national federations of medical assistants have separate requirements. The title certified medical assistant is awarded by the American Association of Medical Assistant (AAMA) while the title registered is given by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). Both of these groups are recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA). The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) requires continual in-service to maintain their national registration, which is not as well known as the other titles. Furthermore the AAMA has established curriculum requirements for education programs that guarantee that the student has every opportunity for success. Look for this recognition when you are choosing the program that will prepare you as a medical assistant.
There are very few campuses based programs available within the state. The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) recognizes Sanford-Brown Institute located in Cranston and Allied Health Institute which has no campus. The Distance Education Training Council (DETC) approves of the US Career Institute while the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) approved of Pinnacle Career Institute. The Higher Learning Commission North Central Association stands with the National American University. Other campus based institutions have yet to apply for these credentials: Lincoln Technical Institute in: Lincoln, and New England Institute of Technology in Warwick.
Remember, only your careful planning will ensure successful employment in this emerging career. While this summary focuses on getting your training at a traditional school, take a look at the increasing number of schools across the country that are developing online programs to prepare you as a medical assistant.
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