Columbia MO Medical Assistant Programs

Learn about the different medical assistant programs offered in Columbia, MO. Find out which one is right for you and your career goals.

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Columbia MO Medical Assistant Programs: A Comprehensive Guide

Whether you’re just beginning your healthcare career or looking to make a change, medical assisting is a stable and rewarding profession. Columbia, Missouri is home to several well-respected programs that can help you start or further your career in this field.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about becoming a medical assistant in Columbia, MO. We’ll start with an overview of the profession and then move on to discuss training programs, licensure and certification, and job outlook and earnings potential. By the end of this guide, you should have a good idea of whether medical assisting is the right career for you and, if so, how to get started.

What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

Medical assistants are important members of the healthcare team. They work closely with doctors and nurses and perform a variety of tasks, from administrative duties to clinical tasks.

Medical assistants usually have an associate degree or certificate from an accredited program. Some states have certification requirements for medical assistants.

The duties of a medical assistant vary depending on the size and type of medical practice. In a small medical practice, the medical assistant might do a little bit of everything, from scheduling appointments to taking X-rays. In a large medical practice or hospital, the medical assistant might specialize in one area, such as insurance billing or patient education.

Most medical assistants work full time, and some work evenings or weekends.

The Duties of a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are unlicensed individuals who perform basic clinical and administrative tasks in medical offices. They work under the direction of a licensed health care professional, such as a physician, nurse, or physician assistant. Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate, although some states may require certification. Certified medical assistants have completed an accredited program and passed a standardized exam.

The duties of medical assistants vary by state and employer, but they typically include taking medical histories and recording vital signs, assisting with examinations and procedures, scheduling appointments, handling correspondence, billing and coding insurance forms, and handling laboratory specimens.

The Educational Requirements for a Medical Assistant

To become a medical assistant, you will need to complete a medical assistant program. These programs are available at many community colleges, technical schools, and online schools. The length of the program will vary, but most last between one and two years.

In order to enroll in a medical assistant program, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent. Once you have completed your medical assistant program, you will need to pass a certification exam in order to become certified. Once you are certified, you will need to renew your certification every few years.

The Certification Requirements for a Medical Assistant

There are several different types of medical assistant programs available in Columbia, MO. Depending on your desired career path, you may need to complete a certification program. The majority of employers prefer to hire medical assistants who have completed a certified program.

The requirements for certification vary by state, but most programs require completion of an accredited program and passing of a medical assistant certification exam. Some states also require medical assistants to complete a certain number of continuing education credits every year to maintain their certification.

The best way to learn more about the specific requirements for certification in your state is to contact the Missouri Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (MOCA). MOCA is responsible for accrediting medical assistant programs in Missouri and can provide you with information on the specific requirements for certification in your state.

The Salary of a Medical Assistant

In 2018, medical assistants earned a median annual salary of $33,610, which is much higher than the median annual salary for all occupations of $36,200. The lowest 10 percent of medical assistants made less than $24,280, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $47,860. Salaries vary depending on location, employer, experience, and education.

The Job Outlook for a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are in high demand due to the aging population and the Affordable Care Act. Job growth is expected to be much faster than average at 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2016, there were 646,100 medical assistants employed in the United States, and that number is expected to grow to 837,700 by 2026.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants perform both clinical and administrative tasks in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. They are a vital part of the healthcare team, working closely with physicians, nurses, and other medical staff to provide patients with the best possible care.

If you’re considering a career as a medical assistant, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making your decision. Here are some of the key points to consider:

Pros of Being a Medical Assistant
-You can make a difference in people’s lives.
-The job outlook is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of medical assistants will grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026 — much faster than the average for all occupations.
-You don’t need a lot of education or training. Most medical assisting programs can be completed in less than two years, and many employers will provide on-the-job training.
-You can work in a variety of settings. Medical assistants can find jobs in doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities.
-The job is diverse and interesting. No two days are alike for a medical assistant. You might see patients, take vitals signs, administer injections or medications, schedule appointments, billing and coding insurance forms, or perform basic lab tests.
-You can advance your career. With experience and additional training, you may be able to move into management roles or become a certified medical assistant (CMA).

Cons of Being a Medical Assistant
-The job can be stressful at times. Dealing with sick patients and their families can be emotionally challenging. And working long hours or overnight shifts may be required in some settings.
-The work is physical. Medical assistants may have to lift or turn patients who are injured or ill. They may also have to stand for long periods of time during surgeries or other procedures.
-There is potential exposure to infectious diseases. Medical assistants who work in hospitals or clinics may come into contact with dangerous pathogens on a daily basis

10 Reasons to Become a Medical Assistant

A recent study by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) shows that medical assistants are in high demand, with 61% of employers planning to hire more medical assistants in the next 12 months. Here are 10 more reasons why becoming a medical assistant is a great career choice.

1. You can make a difference in people’s lives.
2. Medical assistants are in high demand.
3. The job outlook for medical assistants is excellent.
4. You can earn a good salary as a medical assistant.
5. You can get started in your career quickly.
6. There is potential for career advancement as a medical assistant.
7. You can work in a variety of settings as a medical assistant.
8. Medical assisting is a challenging and rewarding career.
9. You can make a difference in the healthcare system as a medical assistant

5 Reasons NOT to Become a Medical Assistant

While there are many reasons to become a medical assistant, there are also some potential drawbacks that you should be aware of before making the decision to enter this field. Here are five reasons why you might not want to become a medical assistant:

1. You Don’t Like Working with People
As a medical assistant, you will be working closely with patients on a daily basis. If you don’t enjoy interacting with others or if you have trouble dealing with difficult people, this may not be the right career for you.

2. You Don’t Like the Sight of Blood
While medical assistants don’t typically perform surgeries or assist in other procedures that involve a lot of blood, they do sometimes have to deal with bloody tissues and other body fluids. If the sight of blood makes you queasy, you may want to consider another line of work.

3. You Don’t Like Working Long Hours
Medical assistants often work long hours, especially if they work in a hospital setting. If you prefer a 9-5 job with no overtime, this probably isn’t the right field for you.

4. You Don’t Like Working Weekends or Holidays
Many medical facilities are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which means that medical assistants often have to work weekends and holidays. If you prefer a Monday-Friday schedule with no weekends or holidays, this may not be the right career for you.

5. You Don’t Like Dealing With Insurance Companies
As a medical assistant, you will often have to deal with insurance companies when billing patients for services rendered. If you find this type of paperwork confusing or frustrating, it might be better to choose another line of work.

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