Listed below are all of the schools offering Medical Assistant programs in Minnesota. 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.
Medical assistants are part of the foundation of a well-organized and efficient medical system. Working closely with physicians and other medical professionals, medical assistants provide valuable services in terms of treating and caring for patients. High quality medical assistants help medical offices run smoothly and efficiently, which can result in high patient satisfaction and more positive health outcomes. All of these factors make the profession highly attractive to people who are interested in contributing to their community, making a difference in patients' lives, and being part of a dynamic and vibrant workplace.
Take some time to request information and program materials from the medical assisting schools in Minnesota listed on this page to learn more about your options.
The medical assistant field is projected to grow at a rate of 29 percent through 2022, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. In comparison, the expected total growth rate of all occupations in the U.S. is only 11 percent during the same time period.
Much of this growth in the medical assistant field is due to the aging of the baby boom population, a group that will require increased medical care over the next several years. Baby boomers have been found to be more chronically ill than their parents were, with reportedly higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. These conditions require frequent trips to the doctor, which means that the services provided by medical assistants will become even more sought after in order to meet high patient demands.
As of 2012, the median wage for medical assistants was $29,370, or $14.12 per hour, making the career financially attractive for many people. In addition, the hours are predictable and the work is respected by both patients and physicians, which further makes the career attractive to those who need to support themselves or their families.
Minnesota is fortunate that it offers even higher wages for medical assistants. In May, 2013, Minnesota's average annual wage of medical assistants was between $32,400 and $39,610. This puts it above most other states, especially those in the Midwest.
Medical Assistant Education in Minnesota
To become a clinical medical assistant - one who works in both direct patient care and in administrative duties - you have to complete a medical assisting program. In Minnesota, there are over 15 schools that offer medical assisting programs. Most of these schools are fully accredited, meaning that any school can thoroughly prepare you for your career as outlined by governing bodies. In addition, medical assisting scholarships in Minnesota are available through the American Association of Medical Assistants and the American Medical Technologists.
Many programs offer an associate degree, in addition to the diploma that certifies you as a medical assistant. The programs that give you the opportunity to earn an associate degree usually take about 2 years to complete. If you only earn the diploma, your program may only be 1 year long. You should research all of the schools in your area to see how each program fits into your schedule and can train you for your future career.
Other types of medical assistants include administrative medical assistants. Administrative medical assistants also work with patients, but they focus more on assisting with records, billing, scheduling, and making sure an office runs smoothly. Several programs specifically focus on preparing people to become administrative medical assistants.
Regardless of the type of program that you choose, it can be wise to make positive relationships with your professors and fellow students. Studying in a group can help you keep up to date on the latest lessons, and discussing difficult ideas with professors can help you understand them better. Most importantly, professors can help you apply for jobs. Your classmates can also help you find future jobs as you all become professionals in the field.
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Medical Assisting Careers in Minnesota
More than half of all medical assistants work in physicians' offices. Other medical assistants work in different types of healthcare facilities, including hospitals and clinics. Though the exact location may vary, the majority of medical assistants spend a significant amount of time working directly with patients. They take and record patient history, measure vital signs, prepare patients for x rays or other laboratory tests, provide information about medication, change dressings, give patients injections, and assist with physical examinations.
Some medical assistants may have more administrative duties. Clerical work could involve scheduling patient appointments, inputting information into electronic health records, billing insurance companies, and organizing supplies and equipment for the office. If you are contemplating a career as a medical assistant, you should begin by getting information from the schools on this page to learn more.