Medical Assistant Programs in Kansas
Medical assistants have a job that requires training. Unlike many of their counterparts in allied health, though, they don’t have in-depth training or expertise in a particular technology. Instead, they are trained to be medical generalists in the settings that most favor generalists: A majority work in physicians’ offices, clinics, or other ambulatory health centers. When employed by a sole practitioner or small practice, a medical assistant can act as almost an all purpose assistant: setting appointments, taking vital signs, running lab work, and serving as an extra set of hands during medical procedures.
Some people think of a medical assistant as being a lower designation than vocational nurse, but this isn't necessarily the case; it depends on location. The two represent two different career tracks, with differences in typical job setting and duties as well as scope of training. A medical assistant who does want to advance may find more opportunity in healthcare administration or other clerical or technological careers than in nursing. If someone’s heart is set on becoming a registered nurse, they may want to begin their career as an LPN, unless they are very young or have free training opportunities. If, though, they want to experience a range of clinical and administrative duties, they may do well to check out medical assisting programs.
How to Become a Medical Assistant in Kansas
Kansas Medical Assistant Resources
A prospective student will find a choice of medical assistant programs: certificate, diploma, and associate’s. In Kansas, actual program length depends not only on the track (degree or nondegree) but on prerequisite courses like anatomy and medical terminology. These courses may be part of the course sequence or may be expected beforehand. The good news is that they are common to multiple allied health fields. Some students choose to pursue multiple certifications over a period of years in order to make themselves more marketable or just fulfill personal interests.
Students will want to make sure that the program they choose is accredited and that it allows them to sit for national certifying exams. Nationwide, the most highly regarded credentialing agencies are AAMA and AMT. Both exams cover clinical and administrative procedures as well as general concepts like communications, scope of practice, and medical ethics. Many laboratory tests may be covered, from blood sugar to TB.
Medical Assistant Job Outlook
What is the salary for a medical assistant in Kansas? According to the United States Bureau of Labor, the statewide average is $12.78 per hour, which comes to about $26,580 a year. There is quite a range, though, in Kansas, with 80% earning between $9.44 and $17.12 and an additional 10% at each end earning either more or less. Experience is of course a factor in determining wages; many employers list not a set figure, but a range. Lebo’s Stormont-Vail Healthcare, for example, advertised for a medical assistant in January of 2011, citing an hourly wage of $9.90 to $14.85.
Location within the state is a minor factor in determining wage. Medical assistants in Kansas City and Lawrence make a little more than the norm; these metropolitan areas are listed at $13.85 and $13.30 respectively. Wichita is listed at $12.62 and employs a notable 1,062 workers in the occupation. The number of workers is actually substantially lower than in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Another major metropolitan area, Topeka, is listed at $11.96.
What is the job outlook? Employment trends predicted that the years 2008 to 2018 would see a 30% increase in jobs for medical assistants in Kansas. To put this in perspective, jobs that are increasing at a rate above 20% are classified as well above the average. Also check out the other allied health, science, nursing and pre-professional programs in Kansas.
Medical Assistant Programs Offered in Your State
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