Medical Assisting Training Programs in Oklahoma
If you are seeking a job as a medical assistant in the booming health industry, the best thing to do is to train to become a certified medical assistant (CMA). Becoming certified is not legally required in the state of Oklahoma or most states, but it is increasingly preferred by healthcare employers and would give you a competitive edge in your job search versus non-certified applicants. There are two main steps to becoming a CMA: completing a training program, and passing a computer based examination. These steps can take anywhere from nine months to two years.
- Earn your RN-to-BSN online from Capella University
- Graduate and Undergraduate Degrees and Postgraduate Certificates in Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing for the Registered Nurse
Medical Assistant Training Programs in Oklahoma
The first step toward becoming certified is finding the right educational program for you. An associate degree is offered at community colleges or junior colleges and requires four semesters of study. A regular certificate requires only nine months to one year. It is advisable to choose a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or a program offered by a nationally accredited institution. Alternatively, distance learning and online degrees combined with an internship are also an option if there is not an accredited program near you. You will find CAAHEP and ABHES accredited Online Medical Assisting programs listed below. Training will cover both the administrative side of medical assisting as well as the clinical side. Medical assistants perform a wide variety of duties, ranging from making appointments, billing, record keeping, to first aid, assessing patients, taking their vital signs, taking blood, or assisting physicians with procedures. They often prepare patients for procedures, explain medication to them, or administer injections or medication. They might work in small outpatient clinics, doctors’ offices, specialists’ offices, or large hospitals.
The second step toward becoming a CMA is to register for the certification exam. One exam option is given by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or you may choose the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification administered by the American Medical Technologists association. Proof of completion or near completion of your training is required before registering. It is a multiple choice, computer-based exam, and as of 2009, you can take it throughout the year. Once you pass this, you will be a CMA.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5,870 medical assistants working in Oklahoma as of 2008. The mean annual salary is $25,060, and the mean hourly wage was $12.05. This will be higher in more urban areas and will increase with experience or any extra training or specialization. According to BLS, it is one of the three fastest growing medical occupations, so the outlook is excellent. There is also an active state society of the AAMA, which can be a great networking tool and professional association for you as you pursue your career in medical assisting. This is a job choice offering security in an already booming industry. Take advantage of this growth and get started in your medical assistant career training by finding a school below.
Check out the Medical Billing and Coding programs in Oklahoma as well. Billing and Coding offers similar job growth opportunity and entry-level salary potential.
(Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, AAMA, CAAHEP, ABHES)