Medical Assistant Programs in Georgia
In 2009, Georgia’s medical assistants -- and prospective medical assistants -- won a legislative victory. Governor Perdue approved amendments to the Medical Practice Act that clearly protected the right of medical assistants to perform their job duties. “Nothing in this article shall… prohibit…” one important section begins. The section goes on to state that medical assistants are allowed to obtain vital signs, give injections and nebulizer treatments and perform other customary duties. This legislation can give not only medical assistants and doctors a little more peace of mind, but medical patients as well. Medical assistants are invaluable to the health care industry, working primarily in doctors offices, but sometimes in other medical settings. They may be employed in a clinical and/or administrative capacity.
How does one begin a medical assistant career path? The first step is to find a formal education provider of which there are many in the state of Georgia.
Medical Assistant Certification in Georgia
Georgia Medical Assistant Resources
Medical assistant training programs are available in Georgia and online. Prospective students will want to check that their school has accreditation through an acceptable agency so that they can sit for exams through AAMA or AMT. These are not required by the state, but may be desired by employers. Certification is required for practitioners who do point of care testing -- e.g. blood glucose levels. Programs often begin with core medical courses like medical terminology and anatomy as well as an introduction to the medical front office. Next a student learns clinical and administrative procedures. The last stage is usually an externship which gives field experience. Longer programs may also include general studies.
If you are an excellent student with a dedication to the field, you may want to pursue scholarship opportunities. The Georgia State Society of AMT (GSSAMT), for instance, gives one scholarship a year to a stellar Georgia student who is enrolled in a program that leads to AMT certification.
Each organization has a Georgia chapter which can be an invaluable resource for networking as well as earning continuing education units. The Georgia State Society of AMT (GSSAMT) has an active membership. Those who attended the 2010 Fall Meeting in Tucker could take classes in venipuncture, hematology, and specimen collection, thus brushing up on their skills as well as earning continuing education units. MAs may also become members of the Georgia chapter of AAMA. There are ten local chapters, from West Central Georgia to the Central Savannah River area.
Medical Assistant Salary and Job Outlook in Georgia
Medical assisting is a booming industry in Georgia and around the nation. The Labor Matrix in projected Georgia’s medical assistant occupation would see an extraordinary 46% growth over the next decade. An estimated 700 positions would need to be filled within Georgia’s borders. Even so, there is a nationwide trend toward employers seeking both education and credentialing, notes a representative of the American Association of Medical Assistants.
Many MAs work in both a clinical and administrative capacity, and indeed this variety can be a job perk for some. A nationwide survey by AAMA found that nearly 90% of medical assistants were involved in taking vital signs and patient health history and more than 70% scheduled appointments. This doesn't mean that all positions involve the front office and back office equally, however. A recent scan of job postings in Georgia found a number of positions that emphasized either clinical or office duties.
The average wage for a medical assistant in Georgia is $13.55. In some parts of the state, wages are higher. MAs in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area average $14.21 while those in Savannah average $13.75 The lowest in wages in the state are in Valdosta ($10.68 per hour). The Eastern and southern nonmetropolitan regions both report average earnings of a little over $11.00 an hour.
You may also like exploring the nursing, allied health and science programs in GA.
Medical Assistant Programs Offered in Your State
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