Medical Assistant Programs in North Dakota
If you try to come up with a mental picture of a medical assistant at work, you might have a hard time! That's because medical assistants are found in so many settings, doing so many different things. You might see a medical assistant walking into the waiting room with a clipboard in hand to greet a patient and walk him/her down the hallway to take weight and vital signs. On another occasion, you might find him/her in the lab, running medical tests. And then sometimes she or he is to be found at the front desk, processing paperwork and handling billing.
Medical assistants are versatile healthcare workers who assist medical practitioners in both clinical and office tasks; most often, they work in ambulatory settings. These can be physician’s offices, clinics, or offices of other health practitioners.
How to Become a Medical Assistant in North Dakota
In North Dakota, a medical assisting course will likely include lecture (or distance learning) plus laboratory practice and an externship. There are more options in the Peace Garden State than you may realize. Medical assistants need clinical experience, of course, but sometimes they are supervised by an instructor in another state; this opens up more schooling possibilities. One does need to exert some caution when selecting an online program. The program should be accredited by ABHES, CAAHEP, or a regional accrediting agency that is recognized by the Department of Education. Accrediting bodies set standards high, and this is important for several reasons. It is a prerequisite for national board examinations; certification, though not a legal requirement of the state of North Dakota, is valued by employers. The reputation of a school can also be important to employers; they want to know that the training you have received will make you a contributing staff member from the onset.
What can you expect a medical program to cover? For an answer, you might look to the study guides of the national certifying agencies, which are posted online. Both AAMA and AMT organize learning outcomes into three categories: general, clinical, and administrative. Both list numerous procedures. The online outline that AAMA offers is perhaps a bit more detailed. You’ll see, for instance, that laboratory tests may include immunology, hematology, blood glucose, and kidney function. Don’t make the mistake, though, of thinking that a shorter outline means a less rigorous test. If you read medical assisting forums, you’ll see that many people have taken both; some say they’re the same while others claim minor differences-- sometimes even claiming that there is more lab-related content on the AMT test. Each organization does offer study resources, but if you enroll in a high quality program, it’s less likely you’ll find yourself in need of last minute cram sessions.
Medical Assistant Salary and Job outlook in North Dakota
What do North Dakota’s medical assistants earn once they leave the classroom behind? Most make between $9.80 and $16.31 an hour, but 10% fall outside this range on both the high and low ends. The highest wages are in Bismarck ($13.06), but the East Central nonmetropolitan area, at $12.97, is not far behind The West Central regional is listed at the significantly lower figure of $11.38.
Medical assisting is listed as an in demand occupation by the state of North Dakota. This means that some dislocated workers may qualify for assistance It also means that any qualified applicant, no matter what industry they worked in previously, can take comfort in knowing that new jobs are being created each year. Employment trends projected 23% growth in the decade between 2008 and 2018. 580 people were employed in medical assisting in 2008, but 720 were expected to have jobs in the field a decade later.
Medical Assistant Programs Offered in Your State
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