Medical Assistant Training in Oregon

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In order to become a trained medical assistant in Oregon, you should pursue a certificate program or associate degree in medical assisting to be eligible for certification through one of the national medical assistant organizations. Certification or licensing is not legally required to work as a medical assistant in the state of Oregon, but gaining this extra training and voluntary certification would better prepare you for your job and give you a competitive edge in the job market over those without certification. Additionally, more and more healthcare employers are viewing this elective training as necessary and prefer to hire medical assistants with formal training.

You can become a certified medical assistant (CMA) or Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) either by completing a one-year certification program or by earning a two-year associate degree. Both are offered at many different technical, junior, and community colleges in the state. Online courses are also an option and the programs listed below have the necessary accreditation, which allows graduates to sit for the certification exam. It’s advisable that the program you choose be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), however, for RMA certification this is not required. You can find a list of current accredited programs below or on the website for CAAHEP.

Medical Assistant Training Programs in Oregon

Medical assisting programs will provide training in administrative skills as well as clinical skills. Medical assistants have varied duties and will need to competently handle record keeping, billing, medical coding, and effectively communicate with patients, insurance companies, and other healthcare workers. Clinical training is also taught in these programs. Some of the duties that they need to be prepared for include taking vital signs, explaining treatment, helping physicians during exams, explaining procedures, administering medication or injections, and withdrawing blood or taking electrocardiograms. Once you have completed this training, you are qualified to register for and take the certification exam. This is a computer-based, multiple-choice exam that can be taken throughout the year. Passing that exam enables you to begin your job search as a CMA or RMA.

There were approximately 7,540 medical assistants in Oregon in 2009, and the outlook for growth in this area is excellent. According the Oregon Labor Market Information System, there are over 300 projected new job openings for medical assistants each year through 2016. The mean salary for medical assistants in the state is $31,770, and the mean hourly rate is $15.28. This will vary depending on experience, skills, and place of employment. Salary will increase with experience or specialization, and is often higher in hospitals or larger outpatient clinics than it is in smaller offices. There is also an Oregon Society of Medical Assistants with six local chapters, which can be a great resource. Find the right accredited program for you listed below. Get started on your medical assistant training and a rewarding career in healthcare.

You may also want to check out the Medical Billing and Coding programs in Oregon, which offer similar salary potential and job growth opportunity.
(Sources: AAMA, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oregon Society of Medical Assistants, Oregon Labor Market Information System)

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