Medical Assisting Programs in Wyoming
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What does a Wyoming medical assistant do during a typical day? A perusal of online job ads for medical assistants in Wyoming reveals some commonalities. Medical assistants are generally expected to take patients’ vital signs, escort them through the healthcare facility, and keep the examining room clean. They also perform related clerical duties like managing health records, obtaining payer preauthorization, and scheduling appointments. Some even perform medical tests like EKGs, lab tests, audiometry, and spirometry.
Medical assisting is a near entry level position that does require some medical training. Many people love the job variety that comes from working at pediatricians’ offices and other ambulatory settings and see the field as a lifelong career. Others use the position as a stepping stone to more specialized jobs in the laboratory or medical front office. It is not uncommon for a medical assistant to handle some billing and coding tasks; becoming certified as a coding specialist can be a later career move.
How to Become a Medical Assistant in Wyoming
The job scan further revealed that employers frequently specified that applicants be certified as Registered Medical Assistants (RMAs) or Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs). The RMA title is granted by AMT and the CMA title by AAMA. There are more similarities than differences. Both require completion of an accredited program, at least in most instances. (AMT does make exception for those who have been in the profession for five years, following verification and screening.)
Both the RMA and CMA exams test general, clinical, and administrative medical assisting concepts. The general section covers communications and medical law and ethics. Also covered are concepts from core health courses like anatomy and medical terminology. A student will be expected to know common abbreviations, among other things.
The AAMA requires 60 units of continuing education every five years, but makes the process flexible, offering online options as well as conferences. AMT has also become more strict about continuing education units. New graduates must complete 30 units every three years. Again, there are many options. One is STEP, which consists of online journal articles and questions.
The RMA test is offered at Pearson testing centers as well as schools. There are both computerized and proctored versions Candidates may be allowed to take the exam before completing the program but will not be officially certified until all requirements have been met. There are testing sites in a number of cities, including Billings, Casper, and Westminster.
Medical Assistant Job Outlook in Wyoming
The medical assisting occupation in Wyoming is expected to see robust 33% growth in the years 2008 to 2018. If that is indeed the case, it would bring the total number of positions from 480 to 640. Figuring in retirement and other sources of attrition, that amounts to 20 open positions each year.
Wyoming may be a less populous state, but resources for professionals extend beyond the borders. The Rocky Mountain State Society of the American Medical Technologists is a joint venture of the RMAs of Colorado and Wyoming and can provide CEU opportunities.
What do Wyoming’s medical assistants earn? The wage averages in some parts of the state are more than $1.50 an hour above those in other regions. Casper is listed at $13.65, while the other major city, Cheyenne, is at only $12.05. Wyoming’s vast nonmetropolitan areas also have salaries that fall into roughly this same range ($12.03 in the Southeast, $13.46 in the Southwest.)
More striking are the ranges that one sees within geographic regions. In Southwestern Wyoming, 10% of medical assistants make less than $8.73 an hour; another 10%, meanwhile, make more than $18.74. Many facilities advertise a range of salaries. Actual income depends on experience and sometimes on other factors, like certifications. A recent position at Banner Health in Torrington, for instance, listed a wage range of $9.62 to $15.37.
Medical Assistant Programs Offered in Your State
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