Listed below are all of the schools offering Medical Assistant programs in Alaska. 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.
Health care needs are growing all over the country, especially in remote locations like Alaska. Here, patients may have to travel close to an hour to reach a health care center. Doctors need to make the most of every single moment they have, and medical assistants are a great resource for helping more patients more quickly.
As hiring needs increase in Alaska, more health care institutions may have the funds needed to hire medical assistants and other support staff. The Alaska Dispatch News reports that 27 health care centers in Alaska recently received $5.3 million from the federal government to offer more primary care services to Alaska residents.
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports that medical assisting is one of the fastest-growing jobs in Alaska. In fact, medical assistants are the fifth most in-demand professionals in Alaska. This may be the perfect time to start a career in this field!
The Alaska Medical Assistant Society may offer support to medical assisting students and working medical assistants. This organization also offers scholarships to medical assisting students.
Medical Assistant Education in Alaska
Prior to applying for medical assisting jobs, you need a strong base of medical knowledge and hands-on experience in the field. You can often get the training you need at a local community college or technical school. Medical assistant training tends to focus on three different aspects of this career: clinical patient work, administrative work, and the ethics of medical care. Before you can graduate, your instructors may expect you to demonstrate your ability to carry out basic clinical tasks, function in an administrative setting, and explain the ethics of working in the health care industry.
Some of the courses in your curriculum may be theory-based. These are important courses, since they cover much of the information tested on in the Certified Medical Assistant exam. Theory-based courses include Medical Office Procedures, Disease Conditions, and Basic Coding for Medical Insurance.
While theory is important, hands-on work is an absolutely essential part of this program! You may begin clinical work as early as your first semester. As you head to different clinical sites, you can practice the new skills you've learned from your instructors. You may be expected to demonstrate all of your skills in your final semester, when many Alaska schools require you to complete a semester-long externship.
Alaska medical assisting students may have many scholarships to choose from, particularly if they're willing to work in a rural area or serve one of the state's minority populations. The Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation is an Alaska-based health care organization with scholarship opportunities. They award the Edelman Scholarship, which is worth $5,000. Students in the Mat-Su area may be eligible for scholarships through the Mat-Su Health Foundation. Funds for tuition and living costs are available through the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. These scholarships are available to the Alaska Native and American Indian populations.
Medical Assisting Careers in Alaska
Through 2022, Alaska health care organizations expect to see a significant demand for medical assistants! Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net expects job openings for Alaska medical assistants to increase by 26 percent. Your new career may take you into nursing homes, hospitals, or physician offices.
One benefit of working in Alaska is the salary range. The salary range reported by O*Net is considerably higher than the national average. They indicate an average annual salary of $38,700 per year (O*Net, 2013). The top earners in this profession earn more than $52,200 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Contact the schools you see on this page to learn more about how to become a medical assistant in Alaska. Information is free, and you can compare programs prior to applying this way.