Medical Assisting Programs in Oklahoma
Medical assisting is a unique career. Medical assistants, or MAs as they are sometimes called, commonly work in doctors’ offices. There they may perform a wide range of duties in both the front and back office. Clerical duties can include managing and scheduling appointments, billing and coding, answering the phone, and ordering supplies. Clinical duties frequently include taking vital signs, but can also include helping patients into the examination room, assisting with examinations, performing basic medical procedures, and running lab tests. Medical assistants can be found in pediatricians’ offices, weighing and measuring children, and reassuring them during routine tests.
For some, medical assisting provides a satisfying career across decades. For those looking to enhance their education and employment beyond the entry level, though, there are various opportunities. Some eventually go into healthcare administration; others pursue the more technical branches of allied health. The career pathway leading to healthcare administration may be relatively easy and paved with many transferable credits. Nursing programs are less likely to accept a significant number of credits, though one should contact individual colleges for details. Some aspiring health professionals choose to begin their career as medical assistants because they like the balance of job duties or the doctors’ office setting. Others select the occupation for logistical reasons. They may be in a military family and move frequently enough that it's hard to commit to a long clinical program. Also, while medical assisting programs often do have GPA requirements and math and science prerequisites, these may be set slightly lower.
How to Become a Certified Medical Assistant in Oklahoma
Medical assistant training programs are offered in both traditional and hybrid settings. It is often possible to do a portion of the work online, as part of an in-state or out of state program. In a clinical field, of course, there are things you will need to experience directly. Both online and campus based programs help students arrange for completion of clinical experience requirements. A typical course of study includes anatomy, medical nomenclature, injections and venipuncture, lab procedures, medical office management, and legal policies.
Beyond these basics, there is a good deal of variability, however. It’s good to request information from, and even talk with, representatives of several schools. In addition to logistics like scheduling, you will want to ask about the school’s accreditation and find out what board exams you’ll be allowed to take after you graduate. The most respected credentials are CMA and RMA. To become a certified medical assistant in Oklahoma or CMA, you will need to complete a program that has been accredited by the CAAHEP or the ABHES.
Medical Assistant Salary and Job Outlook in Oklahoma
Another advantage to accredited programs is that they include supervised internships that can help you make the school to work transition. A representative of Community Care College has shared that their career services department takes full responsibility for placing people into internships. Policies vary by school, and you can often get a better sense of whether a program is a good match by talking to a representative than simply browsing online. CCC, like a number of schools around the nation, posts some of their success stories.
What can you expect to earn as a medical assistant? In Oklahoma, MAs have a mean wage of $12.48. There is some variance among metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, however. Oklahoma City, which employs the most workers, is just below the state average at $12.33. Tulsa, second in numbers, is slightly above the mean at $13.71. Lower wages are listed for the smaller city of Lawton and the nonmetropolitan regions in the western part of the state. Each of these has an average below $11.00. These areas shouldn’t be overlooked, though. They often have high needs, and can be a good place to begin a career. Of course it also costs less to rent and park your car in a less urban area!
Medical Assistant Programs Offered in Your State
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