Medical Assistant Programs in Texas
If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant in Texas, you have selected a great career choice in a booming health industry. There are different ways to become a medical assistant in Texas. Legally, no certification or licensing is required and it is possible to obtain any necessary training on the job. However, most healthcare employers are seeking qualified candidates who have at least some training, and preferably a certification. Training and certification demonstrates to an employer that you have a dedication to the profession as well as the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the required duties of a medical assistant in their office or clinic.
Medical Assistant Training Programs in Texas
Medical assistant programs are offered at vocational schools, junior colleges, community colleges and in online formats throughout Texas. It usually requires nine months of study to complete, unless you pursue an associate degree, which is more specialized and requires two years. If you are seeking official certification from a professional organization for a truly competitive edge, then you can take the proper steps to become a certified medical assistant (CMA) with the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or a registered medical assistant (RMA) with the American Medical Technologists organization. In general, obtaining medical assistant training will set you apart from the job candidates with no training and provide a better opportunity for those higher paying, more desirable medical assistant jobs in Texas.
In order to become a CMA, you need to make sure you obtain your education from an accredited school. Accreditation is determined by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). There are many CAAHEP-certified programs in the state, and you can check the CAAHEP website for updates. Additionally, online medical assisting programs are an option when accompanied by an externship. You will find the online medical assisting programs offered in Texas listed below. Once you complete or nearly complete your training, you are eligible to register for the certification exam. This is given by the certifying board of the AAMA. When you pass this, you will be a CMA. Another option is to earn a diploma or associate's degree in medical assisting from a nationally accredited program and become a registered medical assistant (RMA) with the group titled American Medical Technologists (AMT).
Medical assistant programs will cover both the clinical and the clerical side of medical assisting, because medical assistants’ job duties can vary depending on their job and place of employment. A good medical assistant can perform the many different tasks necessary to help an office run smoothly. For example, you will be trained in office administration, medical billing, record keeping, patient and insurance communication, medical terminology and basic pharmacology. You’ll also learn how to assess patients, draw blood, take blood pressure, prepare patients for procedures, administer medications, and assist physicians, among other duties. Medical assistants can work in outpatient clinics, hospitals, physicians’ offices, or specialists’ offices, such as that of a chiropractor, podiatrist, or optometrist.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean salary for medical assistants in Texas in 2008 was $26,490, and the mean hourly rate was $12.73. This can of course climb with some advanced training and added responsibilities. The outlook for this job is excellent. BLS cites that there are over 40,000 medical assistants working in Texas, and this number is growing rapidly. It is in fact the third fastest growing occupation in Texas, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Employment of them in the state is expected to grow 54% in the period between 2008 and 2016. This can mean great opportunity and job security for those in this job. There are also eleven chapters in the Texas Society of Medical Assistants, which can be of great benefit to you for the purposes of networking, continuing education, or job advancement. The opportunities are there, so get started now in a great healthcare occupation by finding the right medical assistant training program for you. Select programs are listed below.
Check out the Medical Billing and Coding programs in Texas. There are various programs including health information technology that can also help prepare you for entry to the allied health care profession in Texas. Job growth projections are similar to that of medical assisting in Texas.
(Sources: AAMA, Bureau of Labor Statistics, CAAHEP, Texas Society of Medical Assistants)