Medical Assistant Programs in Kentucky
Becoming a certified medical assistant (CMA) is not required to work as a medical assistant in the state of Kentucky, but it is highly preferred by most healthcare employers and can be done in as little as one to two years. The quickest route to becoming certified is to find an accredited medical assistant program in Kentucky at a vocational school or community college or junior college. There are also medical assistant programs available online. Or, for even more training, you can earn an associate degree in medical assisting, which takes about two years. It is important that the medical assistant program be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or a related agency such as the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) so that you will be eligible for the certified medical assistant exam or the registered medical assistant exam. Once you have completed your education in medical assisting at an accredited medical assistant school in Kentucky, you are qualified to take the certified medical assistant exam. Either prior work experience or this medical assistant training is a prerequisite in order to register for the medical assisting certification exams.
Medical Assistant Training in Kentucky
Training in medical assisting covers many skills, as medical assistants usually have diverse duties. Administrative and clerical skills are important. In a medical assistant program, you will learn the basics of record keeping, billing, medical coding, and running an office and dealing with patients, insurance companies, and other healthcare workers. Clinical medical assistant training is also important, especially for smaller offices or clinics where there is less specialization among CMAs. Medical assistant programs will provide instruction in assessing patients, taking vital signs, taking blood, and assisting with other procedures. Basic anatomy and medical and pharmacology terms are also taught. Preparing patients for procedures and teaching them about procedures or how to take medications are other examples of things they will need to be prepared to do.
The outlook for medical assistants in Kentucky is excellent. There were just over 7,000 medical assistants working in Kentucky in 2008. This is projected to grow rapidly for many years. Not only is the entire healthcare sector growing rapidly, but medical support positions like this are growing at some of the fastest rates. One reason for this is the growing aging population, which will need more medical care than the state’s healthcare workers can currently meet. According to the 2000 U.S Census, 12.5% of Kentucky’s population was age 65 or over, which is higher than many states. Another reason is the cost-efficiency of using medical support staff. The health benefits for workers in this field are good, and the average salary for a CMA in Kentucky is $27,360, though this will increase with experience and can also vary by location and employer. Get started in this secure field by choosing a CMA training program that is right for you.
Another rapidly growing field in Kentucky is Medical Billing and Coding. You may also want to check out the Medical Billing and Coding programs in Kentucky.
(Sources: American Association of Medical Assistants, Kentucky Rural Health Association)