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Medical Assistant Programs in Indiana

Medical Assistant Week is often celebrated around the middle of October. Why was a whole week set aside to recognize those in the medical assisting profession? Medical assistants are heroes in the medical world. The medical assistant may not be quite the fabled super hero who goes from attaché case to cape in an instant. Medical assistants do, however, make frequent switches from administrative to patient care duties as needs dictate. So, too, they have an impressive skill set that encompasses everything from customer service to handling medical specimens. Part of the day may be spent scheduling and another portion running lab tests.

Medical assistants are often the first people who nervous patients encounter when they step into the doors of a doctors’ office. Part of the medical assistant’s job, whether in the front or back office, is to give a reassuring smile and set minds at ease. And isn’t giving of oneself what sets real heroes apart from suited pretenders?

How to Become a Medical Assistant in Indiana

Medical assistant training programs introduce health care workers to a range of clinical, laboratory, and patient care procedures. They will learn everything from billing to proper handling of contaminated substances. Programs, notably, may be offered at the certificate, diploma, or associate’s level. One of the questions prospective students will want to ask themselves is whether their sole goal is swift entry into the workforce or if they have other academic aspirations as well. Is it important to them, for instance, that credits transfer?

Even more important, perhaps, is a school’s reputation and accreditation status. Before investing significant amounts of time and money, students will want to as if the program will qualify them to sit for board examinations through AAMA or AMT. Even online programs sometimes meet these rigorous standards. They do this by offering well-structured supervised externship opportunities near a students’ home. Schools may have regional boundaries that determine where they can place students; don’t be surprised, however, if boundaries cross state lines. Spencerian, for example, reports that Indiana is among several states they supervise.

Medical Assistant Salary and Job Outlook in Indiana

What do medical assistants earn? The Indianapolis-Carmel metropolitan area, which employs the most medical assisting professionals in the state (3,350) also pays the best wages -- an average $14.15. Gary, which also employs a substantial percentage of the state’s workers, pays $12.64. Workers in Fort Wayne have nearly identical pay ($12.65). Muncie, South Bend, and Lafayette are actually a little higher; in each of these regions, wages exceed $13.00.

These are comfortable wages, in the eyes of many. But there are additional options for the medical assistant who wants to advance to positions with higher responsibility and greater pay. A representative of ISMA (the Indiana Society of Medical Assistants) notes that medical assistants’ administrative and clinical training can be useful for moving into either medical administrative roles or certified coding. Some medical assistants ultimately decide that their heart lies in patient care, and pursue nursing.

For information on what's going on in the world of medical assisting, and in their own communities, medical assistants can look on the site of the Indiana Society of Medical Assistants or the Med-a-Scoop newsletter . There are six local Indiana chapters which share, among other things, the duty of planning state conferences and hosting CEU workshops. In October of 2010, for example, the Twelfth District hosted a CEU workshop which covered insurance coding and health informations operability. A representative further notes that there are educational opportunities at all three levels of AAMA (local, state, and national). Indianapolis will have the honor of hosting the AAMA 2011 National Conference.

Other resources are available from AMT and from respected colleges across the nation, such as those listed below.

You may also be interested in the other allied health, pre-professional, science and nursing programs in Indiana.

Medical Assistant Programs Offered in Your State

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