Listed below are all of the schools offering Medical Assistant programs in Alabama. As a rule, you should contact at least 3-5 schools during the course of your research, and ideally more. There are important differences between the programs in terms of cost, admissions requirements, and other characteristics, and, as with many things in life, the way to find the best Medical Assistant program for your needs is to spend some time shopping around.
As an increasing amount of people get health insurance and seek medical care for the first time, doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel are finding themselves pressed for time. Between the highly-skilled work they're trained for and basic tasks like collecting patient history, doctors are forced to put their patients through long wait times. If you're looking for a way to get into the medical field and help this shortage, consider becoming a medical assistant!
AL.com notes that Alabama has been working to expand Medicaid. What does this mean for health care institutions in Alabama? They may have a big jump in patient numbers, leading to an increased demand for medical assistants.
Many health care institutions are looking to medical assistants to help perform basic tasks and reduce the amount of time patients spend waiting. A recent report shows that Alabama has one of the longest average wait times in the country. Medical assistants may play a significant role in fixing this issue.
There are also professional resources available for medical assistants, which can help you get a jump-start on your career. The American Association of Medical Assistants notes that there are five chapters of the Association in Alabama.
Medical Assistant Education in Alabama
Ready to start your medical assisting education but not sure what this program has in store for you? To start, you're looking at a one-to-two year commitment. Diploma and certificate programs in this state tend to last about one year, but you'll need two years of study to earn an Associate's degree. If you're interested in pursuing optional certification through the American Association of Medical Assistants, you'll need to attend a CAAHEP or ABHES-accredited program.
Alabama MA schools address many different learning outcomes. These instructors hope to create graduates that can carry out diagnostic tests, act within legal and ethical boundaries, instruct patients on basic care, perform clerical work, and provide a basic level of patient care.
To meet these goals, you'll likely have to take classes in different areas of health care. Some of the core classes that may be part of your curriculum include Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Laboratory Procedures, Medical Specialty Procedures, and Patient-Centered Care. You won't be spending all of your time in the classroom in this degree program. Instead, you will likely spend quite a bit of time in local hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. You can shadow doctors and medical assistants to learn how to apply your training.
Since medical facilities and organizations in Alabama are invested in the success of medical assisting students, they provide many different scholarships for health care students. Once you are accepted to a medical assisting program, you can start the scholarship application process. The Alabama Public Health Association awards a range of scholarships to health care students that care about public health. If you're willing to commit to employment at a specific place after graduation, you might be able to apply for a scholarship through the East Alabama Medical Center. The Baptist Health Care Scholarship Program funds more than $20,000 in scholarships each year.
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Medical Assisting Careers in Alabama
Medical assistants in Alabama may benefit from a positive job outlook. O*Net reports an expected 27 percent increase in job openings between 2012 and 2022. Most medical assistants in this state earn between $18,000 and $35,300 per year, according to O*Net. The average salary is $24,700 per year (O*Net, 2013).