Medical Assistant Programs in Arizona

Medical assistants are an important part of Arizona’s health system. They carry out various patient care duties under the direct supervision of medical practitioners. The most common clinical duty across the nation entails taking vital signs and patient histories. In Arizona, other duties can include administering injections, hot and cold pack treatments, and some nebulizer treatments, as well as assisting with alternative therapies like whirlpool or massage. There are some differences between the duties of medical assistants who work under the supervision of an osteopathic doctor and those who work under either a medical doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.

Arizona requires that medical assistants complete an approved training program. ~ Arizona Medical Board

Administrative or clerical responsibilities, unlike most clinical ones, can be performed without direct supervision. These duties can include scheduling, billing and coding, and transcribing. Yet another duty medical assistants can perform without direct supervision is routine vision screening.

Interested in a career in this exciting industry? The path begins with a postsecondary formal education.

Medical Assistant Certification in Arizona

Arizona requires that medical assistants complete an approved training program. There are several possibilities. Programs are acceptable if they are accredited by CAAHEP, ABHES, or any other accrediting body that is recognized by the US Department of Education. The medical assistant programs in AZ that are listed below fit one or more of these criteria, however, please make sure you inquire with the school to verify. A medical assistant program designed by an allopathic doctor is also acceptable if it meets or exceeds requirements. Those who have been in the field since before 2000 and those who have had training through the military may constitute exceptions to the above rules.

Arizona Medical Assistant Resources

Arizona does not actually register medical assistants. It is up to the individual doctor to verify that the assistant has indeed completed training. Unlike nurses, medical assistants work under a doctor’s license. The delegating doctor is ultimately responsible for their competency in performing job duties.

Arizona’s medical assistants may apply for certification through AAMA or AMT (American Medical Technologists). Both require passing a credentialing exam, which includes both administrative and clinical duties. AAMA requires substantial continuing education units thereafter. CEUs may be obtained by reading professional journal articles and completing official quizzes or by attending conferences at the national or state level. A Medical Assistant or MA may choose to be a part of the local chapter of their credentialing body. [Get more information about medical assistant certification here] The local chapter of AMT is the Arizona State Society. Those who attended the 2010 fall education meeting in Yuma had the opportunity to attend a number of exciting workshops.

Medical Assistant Salary and Job Outlook in Arizona

Arizona, as most people know, is a sunbelt state, a sunkissed land where many people choose to spend retirement years. An older population translates into an increased need for health care professionals, from doctors to supporting staff. Job prospects are good for medical assistants in Arizona. In fact, the National Job Matrix predicted 42% growth between 2006 and 2016. There were 9,800 medical assistants in Arizona in 2006. This number may climb to nearly 14,000 by 2016!

Most medical assistants across the nation are paid hourly. They do, however, commonly receive medical insurance and other benefits on top of their base wage. The state salary average for Arizona is $14.46. Those at the 10th percentile earn $10.44 while those at the 90th percentile earn $19.28. Wages increase slowly with years of experience; one’s location within Arizona also plays a significant role. The highest wages in the state are in the college town of Flagstaff. There medical assistants enjoy an average wage of $15.67. The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area is at $14.76 Tucson and Prescott are slightly lower, at $14.09 and $13.63 respectively. Yuma, further to the south, reports significantly lower wages ($11.33 per hour). Work setting also makes some difference in pay according to the BLS; physicians’ offices pay better than offices of other health practitioners.

Take the first step and find a formal medical assistant education program today.

Medical Assistant Programs Offered in Your State

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