Medical Administrative Assistant Programs in West Virginia
An administrative assistant has the important job in a medical office of scheduling appointments and keeping office procedures running efficiently so that the physicians and other healthcare professionals can do their jobs. In this position, you will be the first person the patient sees when arriving for an appointment and the welcome mat you put out can make the difference between a relaxed and tense medical visit.
If you are efficient and like to do office work, are good with the computer and with details, and enjoy working with people and putting them at ease, medical administrative assisting may be a good career choice for you.
Contact the schools you see listed below that offer medical assistant training in West Virginia to learn more about your options.
Medical Office/Administrative Assisting Programs in West Virginia
There are Certificate and Associate degree Medical Assisting programs in a number of West Virginia community colleges and private institutions. Nearly all of these are the traditional programs which combine administrative and clinical courses to prepare the student for both types of responsibilities. For a student who wants to concentrate on the office side of medical assisting, the three one-year Certificate programs are called Administrative Medical Assistant, Adult Medical Office Assistance or Medical Office Assistance.
Administrative Medical Assistance students complete 28 to 30 credit hours of courses that can be applied toward an Associate degree in Medical Assisting or another program such as Medical Billing and Coding. Basic courses are completed in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, data processing and communication skills. You will learn about electronic health records, medical insurance claims, patient data entry, billing and standard financial accounting reports.
A minimum of C grades must usually be maintained in these courses to continue in the program. Upon completion, you can test for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant credential from the National Healthcareer Association (CMAA-NHA).
You can also opt for the standard Associate degree program that will train you for both the clinical and administrative duties of a medical assistant. On the clinical side, some of what you will learn will be to take patient histories and vital signs, prepare patients for procedures, assist the physician with examinations and treatments, collect laboratory specimens, perform diagnostic tests, and administer medications as directed by the physician.
These and other clinical skills will be taught intensively in several lab courses and practiced in externships that will be completed in a variety of medical settings.
Online Medical Assisting programs are also available, which aim to provide as much hands-on training as possible to teach the clinical skills that are needed. Campus courses are added to supplement the online courses in some schools. Requesting program information from all the Med Assisting schools you see is the best way to get the information you need to choose the program that is right for you.
Graduates of medical assisting programs can apply to take the certifying examinations for Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) through the Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or for Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) through the American Medical Technologist (AMT).
The usual requirements for entrance into a medical assistant program include a high school diploma or GED, an admissions interview, and the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) or other pre-entry examination. Entrance into the medical assisting program can require a further application, usually after the first semester of work during which certain prerequisite courses must be taken and passed with a C grade or better.
Selection is competitive because of high demand and limited seats in these programs. You will enhance your chances for being selected if you can show the following: better than average grades, health care related volunteer work or employment, well-prepared and thoughtful answers in the interview, and a personal essay that sincerely expresses your interest, qualifications and desire for becoming a medical assistant.
Salary and Job Outlook for Medical Office Assistants in West Virginia
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the average earnings for West Virginia medical assistants was $24,860, or $11.95 per hour. BLS did not separate out the Medical Administrative Assistant in their compilation. The related occupation of Medical Secretary averaged $27,110 annually, or $13.04 per hour in West Virginia.
An aging population of retired baby boomers and millions of medical customers added by the new health care law means that medical facilities throughout the nation will have to expand. When more patients appear, more medical assistants are needed to schedule, process and prepare them for the services they came to receive. Therefore, medical administrative assistants can expect good job prospects once they receive their certification. BLS predicts the job outlook for medical assistants at 29 percent, or much higher than average, between 2012 and 2022.
To learn more about how you can get started in this rewarding medical career, contact the medical assistant schools in West Virginia listed on our website today.