Medical Assistant Programs in Pennsylvania

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You can become a certified medical assistant (CMA) in Pennsylvania in one to two years. Certification is not legally required, nor is any formal training. Some medical assistants are able to train on the job. However in order to be competitive for medical assistant job openings, you will need to become certified as more and more healthcare employers are requiring this. In order to become a CMA, you will need to enroll in an accredited training program and then pass the certification exam. You will find the medical assisting training programs offered in Pennsylvania listed below.

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Medical assistant training can be completed in as little as nine months, or closer to two years, if you choose to pursue an associate degree in medical assisting. For certification purposes, it is important to choose a training 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). The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification requires graduation from a nationally accredited school, which can be found below in addition to the ABHES and CAAHEP accredited programs. There are over two dozen accredited programs in Pennsylvania currently, although you can check their website for changes or additions. Distance learning is also an option along when accompanied by an internship. The online medical assisting programs listed below hold CAAHEP or ABHES accreditation, check them out.

Medical Assistant Training Programs in Pennsylvania

Certification training will cover many skill sets, including both the clerical and the clinical side of the job. Good medical assistants need to be able to complete many different tasks to help an office, outpatient clinic, or hospital run well. You will be responsible for making appointments, dealing with insurance companies, record keeping, medical coding, and communicating with patients and other staff. Medical assistants can also undertake a variety of technical tasks. CMAs in smaller offices may have more responsibilities than those in larger offices or hospitals. These can include taking blood, assessing patients’ vital signs, administering medications, assisting physicians with procedures, preparing patients for procedures, explaining procedures, instructing patients about medications, preparing lab specimens, or sterilizing medical instruments, to give just a few examples.

The final step toward becoming a CMA is to take the exam given by the certifying board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Once you pass the exam, you will have a competitive edge in your job search and a head start on your career. This computer-based, multiple-choice exam is now offered year round and in many locations. It requires advanced registration and a fee, and proof of completion or near completion of an accredited training program.

The mean annual salary for a medical assistant in Pennsylvania in 2008 was $27,540, and the mean hourly rate was $13.24. This will vary based on employer and location and will increase with experience. The outlook for this job is very good. The healthcare sector in general is growing to meet the needs of the population, and medical support staff in particular is growing as healthcare providers strive to be cost efficient. There are over 22,000 medical assistants working in Pennsylvania, and eleven local chapters of the Pennsylvania Society of Medical Assistants. The number of CMAs is projected to continue growing rapidly in the coming years, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This is a fantastic time to pursue a career in medical assisting and healthcare in general. Find out now which medical assistant training program is right for you, and take the first step toward a rewarding medical assistant job in Pennsylvania.

People looking for medical assistant programs in PA also checked out the Medical Billing and Coding programs in PA.
(Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, AAMA, CAAHEP, ABHES)

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