Medical Assistant Programs in Missouri

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The first step toward becoming a qualified medical assistant in Missouri is to earn a certification or associate degree, or at least to gain some vocational training in the field. While it is not legally required to obtain a license or certificate to work as a medical assistant in the state, becoming a certified medical assistant (CMA) will give you a competitive edge in the job market and a head start on your career. Increasingly, more and more healthcare employers are seeking candidates who are certified.

Medical Assistant Training Programs in Missouri

There are a few medical assistant training programs in Missouri that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). It usually takes nine months to complete these programs, and closer to two years if you earn an associate degree. Instruction covers basic clinical training as well as administrative training. Medical assistants are the main connection between physicians and their patients, as well as physicians and other healthcare workers. There are many skills to learn in order to fulfill this role effectively. They learn how to conduct some technical procedures, such as taking vital signs and taking blood or running some diagnostic tests and aiding physicians during procedures. Students might learn about human anatomy, pharmacology, or medical terminology. On the clerical side, students will learn the proper procedures for communicating with insurance companies and patients, about billing, record keeping, and office management.

Passing the national certification exam is the final step. This is given by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). It is available to take on a monthly basis, and requires a fee. Completion or near completion of an accredited training program is a prerequisite for signing up for the exam.

The mean annual salary for a medical assistant in Missouri is $26,890 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the mean hourly rate is $12.93. The outlook for this career is excellent. There were over 8,100 medical assistants working in Missouri in 2008, and they are one of the fastest growing jobs in the state. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), they are projected to grow 43% from 2004 through 2014, adding a projected 2,812 medical assistant jobs for the state. Growing elderly populations as well as an increase in outpatient care are two reasons for the increased need of medical support staff. You can also find local AAMA chapters in Jasper county and Springfield, which can aid you in advancing your career and keeping current with industry developments. If you are interested in taking advantage of the growing healthcare field, this is an excellent job to explore. Find out which certification program is best for you, and begin training for you career in healthcare.

Take a minute to check out the Medical Billing and Coding programs in Missouri and learn what they have to offer.

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