Listed below are all of the schools offering Medical Assistant programs in Virginia. 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.
Across the country, the health care industry is growing. As a result, many health care institutions are unable to hire medical professionals as quickly as they would like to. The demand for nurses, doctors, and medical assistants is growing in Virginia. If you're looking for a health care career that allows you to get started in just one to two years, you may want to consider medical assistant programs in Virginia. We have listed them all below, and you can request program information directly from this page to learn more.
Virginia can be an excellent state for medical assistants that truly want to make a difference in people's lives. Health care can be hard to come by in rural parts of Virginia, leaving many unable to even get the wellness visits they need. According to Yahoo! News, a large Virginia charity offers free health care to low-income Virginians and those who have little access to doctors. Becoming a medical assistant can permit you to give back to your community and work alongside doctors that are improving the state of health care in Virginia.
Another benefit of working in Virginia is the promising job outlook. Virginia Labor Market Information notes that unemployment in Virginia has been decreasing for over a year. The unemployment rate in Virginia is considerably lower than the national average, which is encouraging for those of you looking to enter new job markets.
Medical Assistant Education in Virginia
Getting the proper education to become a medical assistant involves choosing an accredited medical assisting program. You may find options at local technical colleges, community colleges, and hospital-based education programs. One of the most common options is the Associate's degree program. This two-year course requires you to take general education courses as well as medical assisting classes. If you prefer a shorter program, look into diploma or certificate programs.
You may address several learning outcomes at medical assistant schools in VA. On the administrative side, you may need to demonstrate your ability to communicate respectfully with patients, use computer systems to schedule appointments, and handle paperwork. On the clinical side, you should prove that you can collect a complete medical history, prepare patients for their medical exam, and take direct orders from physicians or other medical professionals.
Your curriculum will likely include a range of hands-on and theory-based courses. Your curriculum may include courses like Phlebotomy, Medical Terminology, Principles of Patient Care, and Administrative Services in a Health Care Setting. Practical courses include Specialty Procedures, Patient Care, and Vital Measurements.
On top of your experience-based classes, you'll likely complete an externship experience. After you complete your medical assistant training, VA medical institutions may allow you the opportunity to gain real life experience in the field. You may also be required to demonstrate your proficiency in a skills or simulation lab.
Virginia is home to a huge range of scholarships for medical assisting students. The CAMC Health System awards scholarships to those who are pursuing degree in health care. You may also qualify for a scholarship from the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority. This state agency awards grants, scholarships, and loan forgiveness options to those in the health care field. The Virginia Welch Scholarship is offered by Samaritan Health Services.
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Medical Assisting Careers in Virginia
Medical assistants in Virginia can anticipate a positive job outlook in the coming years. One of the most important ways is pursuing medical assistant certification; Virginia employers may be more willing to hire those who are certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants. Again, it is important to keep in mind that you will want to find a program that is accredited to teach you what you need to know in order to pass this certification.
The average salary for a Virginia medical assistant is $30,400 per year, which is slightly higher than the national average (O*Net, 2013). As you gain experience in the field as a medical assistant, VA medical assistants may find that their salary potential increases. O*Net reports salaries of $21,500 to $40,600 per year.
You can learn more about your options for med assistant programs below, and ask for information from all of the schools as well.