Medical Assistant Training in South Carolina

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If you are interested in the fast-growing occupation of medical assisting, the best way to become one is to voluntarily gain some training through one of the schools listed below and become a certified medical assistant (CMA). No certification or license is legally required in the state of South Carolina to work as a medical assistant. However, voluntarily becoming certified as a Certified Medical Assistant through the AAMA or a Registered Medical Assistant through the American Medical Technologists (AMT) would boost your chances of getting the job you want, give you a head start on your career, and earn you more respect on the job. Certification through either of these two routes demonstrates a dedication to the profession and superior knowledge in the field.

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Medical Assistant certification is accomplished by completing a certificate program or associate degree program from an accredited medical assistant training program, and then passing one of the certification exams. Program accreditation 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 about a dozen accredited programs in the state, and you can check the websites of these organizations for additions and updates. Online courses along with an internship are also an option and can be found listed below. Once you have completed your training, you are eligible to take the certification exam. This is given by the certifying board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Passing this makes you a certified medical assistant (CMA). This certification is increasingly becoming a requirement for many healthcare employers who want qualified candidates.

Medical Assistant Training Programs in South Carolina

Most medical assisting programs require about nine months to a year, and an associate degree requires two years of study. RMA certification through AMT does not require graduation from a CAAHEP or ABHES program, however, applicants for certification must complete a program that is comprised of at least 720 hours of medical assisting skills training including clinical hours and the school must be nationally accredited. Find schools offering programs that meet these requirements listed below.

Medical assistants have varied job duties that span clerical and clinical tasks. Your training will prepare you for the many tasks expected of you. Among other things, you will learn how to assess patients, record medical histories, take a patient’s vital signs, draw a patient’s blood, administer medication, prepare patients for examinations, assist physicians in procedures, or explain medications and procedures to patients. You will also learn administrative skills that will help you run an office or clinic, including medical coding, billing, and some basic medical terminology and pharmacology.

The future of medical assisting in the state is excellent. There are over 7,000 medical assistants in the state and it is one of the fastest growing occupations, expected to grow at a rate of 33% through 2016. The mean annual salary is $27,190, and the mean hourly rate is $13.07, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are nine local chapters of the South Carolina Society of Medical Assistants. This can be a great resource for career advancement, continuing education, and networking. Now is the time to get started in the secure and expanding field of healthcare. In just one to two years you can be a certified medical assistant making good money. This can also be a stepping stone to other education and career opportunities in the field of health care, such as nursing and management.

You might also want to explore the medical billing and coding schools in South Carolina. Though it is a longer training path to a career, it can be well worth the time in terms of future earnings and career growth.
(Sources: AAMA, Bureau of Labor Statistics, South Carolina Society of Medical Assistants, CAAHEP, American Medical Technologist certification requirements)

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