The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners is located in the capital city of New Orleans. They have no guidelines for medical assistants working in the state. Therefore it is the responsibility of the candidate for these positions to prepare themselves by choosing a well established program and seeking approval from one of the national certifying agencies.
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.
Credentials for the medical assistants are usually provided by national associations. The title certified medical assistant comes from the American Association of Medical Assistant (AAMA) while the title registered is awarded by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) also sets standards which include in-service to maintain their national registration. 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.
In Louisiana a wide variety of colleges and universities have diplomas, certificates and associate degrees that prepare individuals to work as medical assistants. Here are the names and locations of those which are approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) at this time: Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, and Career Technical College in Monroe and Shreveport. The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) recognizes the programs offered at Eastern College of Health Vocations in New Orleans and Shreveport, Fortis College in Baton Rouge, Herzing University in Kenner, and MedVance Institute in Baton Rouge. A few of institutions are available that have yet to apply for these credentials like Virginia College in Baton Rouge and Biloxi.
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.
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.
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