Medical Assisting Programs in North Carolina
Medical assistants are multi-skilled and versatile, their doctors’ office duties often running the gamut from clinical to front desk. They can be found drawing blood or scheduling appointments at the front desk. Sometimes they run lab tests or do medical coding.
Medical assisting increasingly is a career path for well-educated professionals, as the website of the North Carolina State Society of Medical Assistants demonstrates. NCSMA publishes a newsletter, Tempo. This is no small file and no small achievement; in the publication, you may find everything from summaries of national recertification requirements to professional reflections and articles about personal health. You can also find the reports of the delegates to the American Association of Medical Assistants National Convention and the names of the physician advisors, past and present, who were appointed by the state medical society to provide counsel.
If you are considering medical assisting in the Tar Heel State, you will find a wealth of resources.
How to Become a Medical Assistant in North Carolina
Medical assisting programs in North Carolina progress from theory to application. A wide variety of clinical, laboratory, and office procedures are covered. Accredited programs include supervised field experience, which is critical for gaining hands-on experience. Sometimes medical assistants have the chance to make a difference in people’s lives even before they earn their diplomas or degrees. Students at Miller-Motte, for example, participated in giving vaccines at a free flu clinic.
North Carolina has more CAAHEP accredited programs, necessary for eligibility to take the CMA exam, than any other state in the nation; a student should find options that fit within their lifestyle as well as meet their educational goals. There are some accredited online programs also.
Online medical assisting programs in NC are essentially hybrid programs where coursework is completed at a distance, but students are still placed at least briefly into a healthcare setting near them. Different accrediting bodies may have slightly different requirements, but the goals are essentially the same: to give students the experience they need while ensuring that they have enough supervision to make the experience positive for all involved, and to make sure that they are, in fact, taught everything they will need to know out there in the real world. Do ask about your school’s accreditation status, and what certifying exams you’ll be eligible for. Schools should be accredited by CAAHEP, ABHES, or a recognized regional accrediting body; successful completion should allow you to take AMT or AAMA certifying exams.
Medical Assistant Salary and Job Outlook in North Carolina
There were 1,080 medical assistants in the state in 2008, and that number was projected by government state employment trends to reach 1,387 in 2018. This represents 38% occupation growth, 4% above the United States average for the profession. North Carolina is, as a former NCSMA president declares, a great place to practice as a medical assistant. The state’s medical assisting profession hasn’t faced the legislative challenges that some other states have. North Carolina has the largest state organization of AAMA, and they maintain a presence on the state’s Allied Health Council. NCSMA boasts 26 local chapters.
The greater metropolitan areas of Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh all employ more than 1,000 workers in the occupation, according to BLS figures. What do North Carolina’s medical assistants earn on the job? The North Carolina average is $13.63 an hour, according to figures from 2009. There are some wage differences between metropolitan areas and more rural ones. The statistics place the small city of Burlington highest at $15.95. Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem also have averages above $14.00. The nonmetropolitan regions in the Northeastern part of the state have an average wage just above $12.00; other nonmetropolitan regions, though, are above $13.00. As with any profession, wages are influenced by years of experience as well as job setting.
Medical Assistant Programs Offered in Your State
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