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Medical Office Assisting Programs in Pennsylvania

As a profession that bridges the gap between healthcare professionals and their patients, medical office assistants enjoy a versatile career in a growing industry. Employed in a variety of healthcare environments, a medical administrative assistant may enjoy more responsibility and higher pay than administrative assistants working in industries where specialized medical information isn’t required.

According to the National Healthcareer Association, some of the responsibilities of the medical office assistant include reviewing and answering correspondence, collecting reports, and updating patient information. The first person that most patients will interact with at a clinic will be the medical admin assistant, so anyone entering the profession must cultivate people skills or have a natural rapport while meeting new people.

In Pennsylvania, the healthcare profession as a whole is credited with fueling a job revival after the recession in the last decade. An article in the L.A. Times reveals that healthcare jobs replaced many of the manufacturing jobs for which the state was famous for in areas like steel. Many outpatient clinics and urgent care centers have been built around the state with a great need for employees like medical secretaries.

Medical Office Assisting Programs in Pennsylvania

If you feel you might want to move onto a bachelor’s degree program at some point, you’ll probably want to look at an associate’s degree program instead of a certificate program. If, however, you’re more interested in entering the workforce, you’ll want to think about a certificate program. An associate’s degree program will take around two years while a certificate program is often just a year in duration.

Some of the classes you’ll take during your program will feature various administrative tasks as they apply to the healthcare industry. For example, you’ll learn basic accounting principles, computer programs, and communications. In addition, you’ll learn various medical terminology, as well as touch on medical law and ethics. You may also learn about medical coding and transcription.

Program outcomes for a medical admin assistant program include being able to maintain files and patient records and understanding insurance issues and the process of preparing claims. In addition, your program may also require you to become proficient in taking patient vital signs, as well as in standard medical technology used today.

Valuable Certifications and Membership Opportunities

There are a few national organizations for medical assisting that you should investigate prior to graduation as they offer certification and valuable memberships that may reduce the time it takes to get a job. Membership in the Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals, as well as the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM), may lead to greater employment opportunities.

Employers often give higher priority to applicants with certifications on their resumes, particularly at the entry level. The National Healthcareer Association offers a test to gain Medical Administrative Assistant Certification (CMAA), which tells an employer that you’re skilled in the tasks required of the medical administrative assistant.

Careers and Outlook for Medical Office Assistants in Pennsylvania

If you obtain a degree or certificate as a medical admin assistant, you’ll have your choice of work in many different healthcare facilities. For example, you may become a medical admin assistant at an adult daycare center, or you might become a medical secretary in an emergency medicine facility.

Some of the job titles you may see while searching for a medical admin assistant job in Pennsylvania include healthcare medical front office, healthcare unit secretary, and healthcare medical coding. Cultivating specific advanced skills during your education, such as medical coding, may result in additionally available jobs.

Within Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) counted Pennsylvania as one of the top five states for medical admin assistant jobs as of May 2013. Residents in the state enjoyed an annual mean wage of $31,490 with top earners seeing a wage of $43,000.

Urgent care facilities, hospitals, the offices of doctors, and specialty clinics also routinely need medical admin assistants. Medical admin assistants are also found in every area of employment from private companies to non-profit organizations to government departments and schools.

Check out the medical office assisting programs Pennsylvania has to offer, then request program details from those you’d like to learn more about.