Medical Assistant Programs & Certification in Pennsylvania
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be a 16% increase in medical assisting positions in the next decade. That means that this rewarding field has plenty of room for those looking to enter a new career. Medical assistants are responsible for assisting doctors with tasks such as appointment scheduling, communication with off-site medical labs, and preparing patients for medical procedures. If you're looking to enter such a career as a medical assistant in Pennsylvania, this guide will provide you will all of the information you need to know about enrolling in an online program for medical assisting.
Pennsylvania has many medical assistant programs available online, one of which is through West Virginia Junior College. Though the program originates out of state, you will still have all the necessary training needed for work as a medical assistant in Pennsylvania, specifically, the Pittsburgh area. There's also a great medical assistant training program available online through Bloomsburg University. No matter what school you choose, take the time to ensure that the medical assistant program is accredited, is offered at the level you are looking for (certificate/diploma or associate’s degree), and employs experienced faculty.
In Pennsylvania, medical assistants are not required to obtain licensure or certification from state organizations in order to work in the medical field. However, earning certification through a recognized organization can help you stand out when it comes to the application process and enhance your professional qualifications.
To become a certified medical assistant in Pennsylvania, you can follow these general steps:
Education and Training: Complete an accredited medical assistant program that meets the criteria set by organizations such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). These programs typically include both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills.
Certification Exam: After completing your education, you may choose to take a certification exam offered by organizations such as the AAMA or the NHA. These exams assess your understanding of various medical assistant competencies, including clinical and administrative tasks.
Application Submission: Once you pass the certification exam, you can submit your application for certification to the respective organization. Follow their specific guidelines and provide any required documentation, including proof of education, training, and exam results. Pay the necessary fees as specified by the organization.
Certification Issuance: Upon successful completion of the application process and meeting the certification requirements, the organization will issue your medical assistant certification. This certification demonstrates your competency and validates your qualifications as a medical assistant.
While there are no specific state organizations for medical assistant certification in Pennsylvania, obtaining certification from nationally recognized organizations such as the AAMA or the NHA can greatly enhance your professional qualifications and increase your job prospects. These certifications are widely recognized and respected in the healthcare industry, including in Pennsylvania.
To stay updated with any changes or requirements specific to Pennsylvania, you can visit the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine website or contact the Pennsylvania Medical Society. These state organizations can provide information and resources related to the practice of medical assistants in Pennsylvania and any regulatory updates that may affect your career.
Now that you've undergone extensive training and education, you are now ready to start looking for jobs in the field. You can find medical assisting jobs in your area by looking online or reaching out directly to medical facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, and physicians' offices to apply for work. This could include well-known Pennsylvania medical establishments such as Lehigh Valley Hospital, Reading Hospital, and Jefferson Abbington Hospital.
According to Salary.com, the salary range for medical assistants in Pennsylvania is $33,000 to $45,000 per year. Exact salaries will depend on where in Pennsylvania you acquire employment and what level of experience and training you have under your belt.
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