Medical Assistant Schools in Wisconsin
Medical assistant training is voluntary and not legally required in Wisconsin. It is possible to obtain a job and train on the job with only a high school degree. However, it is highly preferred by most healthcare employers to have some training or a certification, and it is increasingly becoming a requirement for some employers. Official certification can be obtained by completing a program and passing an exam, which would make you a certified medical assistant (CMA) registered with the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). You can also opt for becoming a registered medical assistant (RMA) through the American Medical Technologists association (AMT), demonstrating to employers your commitment to the profession and your career.
- 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 Wisconsin
Medical Assisting programs that will prepare you for certification are widely available in Wisconsin, and are available online as well, if that is more convenient. You can choose a program that requires a year of study, or opt for a more thorough associate degree, which takes roughly two years. Training will cover both the clinical and the clerical side of medical assisting, because medical assistants’ job duties can vary depending on their job and place of employment. You will be trained in medical billing, record keeping, patient and insurance communication, medical terminology and basic pharmacology. You’ll also learn how to assess patients, take vital signs, take blood pressure, draw blood, prepare patients for procedures, and assist physicians, among other duties. If seeking certification or registration, it is important that you 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). There are over twenty technical schools and colleges in Wisconsin that offer accredited programs, and you can check CAAHEP’s website for an up-to-date list of accredited programs state-wide.
Once you have completed your training, you will need to register for and pass the certification exam. This is given by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). It consists of two hundred multiple choice questions and is computer based. Completion or near completion of your training is required before registering. As of 2009, you can take it throughout the year. Once you pass this, you will be a CMA. CMAs can work in outpatient clinics, hospitals, doctors’ offices, or specialists’ offices, such as podiatrists, chiropractors, or optometrists.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual salary for a medical assistant job in Wisconsin in 2008 was $29,600 and the mean hourly rate was $14.23. Health benefits are also good, and job security and outlook in general is excellent. According to BLS, in 2008 there were approximately 9,430 medical assistants working in Wisconsin, and this is projected to grow rapidly over the next decade. In fact, medical assisting is one of the fastest growing professions in an already booming healthcare industry.
The increase of outpatient clinics and the growing elderly population are requiring a huge influx of medical support staff. This can mean great job security for you in this occupation, so get started today by finding a training program listed below that is right for you. Additionally there are fifteen local chapters of the Wisconsin Society of Medical Assistants. Take advantage of this professional organization for great networking, information, and continuing education opportunities.
You may also find the medical billing and coding programs in Wisconsin an interesting career path option. There is less, if any, patient interaction and the average earnings are a bit higher than that of a medical assistant in Wisconsin.
(Sources: AAMA, CAAHEP, Wisconsin Society of Medical Assistants,American Medical Technologist)