The changing landscape of healthcare in the United States offers an incredible opportunity to men and women of every age to become medical assistants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, new careers as a medical assistant are increasing at a rate three times the rate for other jobs on the average. To take advantage of this development, individuals need to understand the expectations of those clinics, practices, and offices that have these openings. 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.
Getting your Degree/Credentials
Starting with credentials for the medical assistants, newcomers to the field need an associate’s degree from a recognized program offered at a reputable institution. When this degree is completed, there are three possible tests to verify one’s skill level. 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.
Leading Schools in Arizona
In the state of Arizona there are programs offered at a variety of colleges and universities. These are some of the programs. The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) recognizes the programs at Anthem College in Phoenix which gives a degree, Brown Mackie College in Tucson, and Pima Medical Institute in Mesa and Tucson which grants a certificate. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHE) recognizes the programs awarding a degree at Central Arizona College in Apache Junction, and Kaplan College located in Phoenix offers a diploma. There are another six schools in the state preparing medical assistants whose programs have yet to be approved.
The Arizona Medical Board does not require licensure or certification for practice as a medical assistant under their jurisdiction.
Remember only your careful planning will ensure successful employment in this emerging career. While this summary focuses on your 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.
School Listings for Arizona
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