Medical Assistant Programs in South Dakota

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In order to become a practicing medical assistant in the state of South Dakota, you must become certified and register with the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners and the Board of Nursing. In most states, certification is voluntary but beneficial and preferred by employers. In South Dakota, however, training and registration is mandatory.

Certification requires training from an accredited program and passing the certification exam. If you don’t choose an accredited program, it needs to have similar standards to an accredited program, and you must meet other qualifications established by the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners and the Board of Nursing. Accreditation to medical assistant programs is awarded by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). There are five accredited schools in South Dakota currently at various technical institutes, colleges, and universities. You can check CAAHEP’s website for changes or additions to accredited schools or find a school listed below. You can also pursue online distance learning, which is an alternative when accompanied by an internship. Online Medical Assisting programs offered in South Dakota can also be found below. These training programs usually require only nine months to a year of study, unless you choose to pursue an associate degree, which requires two years.

Medical Assistant Training Programs in South Dakota

Training in a medical assistant program will cover both clinical and clerical areas, as medical assistants are basically healthcare multi-taskers who perform a variety of duties in doctors’ offices, specialists’ offices, hospitals and outpatient clinics. You will learn how to perform such routine technical tasks, such as assessing patients, taking blood, recording medical histories, taking blood pressure, prepping patients for procedures, or assisting physicians in procedures. You will also learn about medical coding, billing, communicating with insurance companies, making appointments, and routine office administration. Once you complete this training, you are eligible to take the certification exam, which is given by the certifying board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Completion or near completion of training from an AAMA approved program is necessary in order to take the exam. Once you pass the exam, you will be a certified medical assistant (CMA) and eligible for registration to practice medical assisting.

The outlook for this medical support occupation is excellent in South Dakota. There were over 830 medical assistants in South Dakota in 2008, according to the BLS. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is one of the fastest growing occupations. In fact, according to the South Dakota Department of Labor, medical assistants were projected to grow in the state at a pace of 39% between 2006 and 2016. Due to the growing aging population and an increased use of outpatient clinics, medical support staff is expected to be growing at a rapid pace for many years. The latest report on mean annual salary for a medical assistant listed $25,310 and the mean hourly rate is $12.17. There are also two chapters in the South Dakota Society of Medical Assistants: the Sioux Empire Chapter and the Northern Plains Chapter. These professional organizations can help you network and keep abreast of changes in your field. Get started and find the right training program for you in order to enter this secure occupation in the booming healthcare sector.

Take a look at the Medical Billing and Coding programs in South Dakota as well. They offer a career training path of similar duration to the medical assisting programs and job growth projections are favorable as well.
(Sources: South Dakota Department of Labor Occupation Projections, South Dakota Legislature Codified Laws - Medical Assistants, South Dakota Society of Medical Assistants)

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