Medical Assistant Programs in Montana

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Becoming a certified medical assistant (CMA) is not required to work in medical assisting in the state of Montana, 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 certification program in one of Montana’s vocational schools or community or junior colleges. There are also courses available online. Or, for even more training, you can earn an associate degree in two years. It is important that the program be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Once you have completed your education in medical assisting, you are qualified to take the national certification exam. This is given by the certifying board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Either prior work experience or this training is a prerequisite in order to register for the exam.

Medical Assistant Training Programs in Montana

Training in medical assisting covers both clerical and clinical skills, as medical assistants usually have diverse duties in any office. They can work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, physicians’ offices, and offices of specialists, like podiatrists, optometrists, or chiropractors. In a CMA training 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. Technical training is also important, especially for smaller offices or clinics where there is less specialization among CMAs. Training programs will provide instruction in assessing patients, taking vital signs, taking blood, basic diagnostic exams, and sometimes assisting physicians with 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 also need to be prepared to do.

The outlook for medical assistants is excellent. There approximately 1,030 medical assistants working in Montana in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 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, especially in rural areas where there is a shortage of healthcare workers. One reason for this is the growing aging population, which will need more medical care than the state’s healthcare workers can currently meet. Incased use of outpatient care is another contributing factor.

The mean annual salary for a CMA in Montana is $27,290, and the mean hourly wage is $13.12, according to BLS. There are six local chapters of the AAAMA, which can help you stay connected with other CMAs and keep you aware of developments in the field. Get started now in a healthcare career, and you can have a secure job with benefits waiting for you in almost any area in the state.

Check out the Medical Billing and Coding programs in Montana. Medical billing and coding has also rapidly become critical component to the efficient running of all health care facilities. Positions can lead to long term job security. The way to get started is with a formal education.
(Sources: AAMA, Bureau of Labor Statistics, CAAHEP, Salary.com)

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