Certified Medical Assistants vs Non Certified

June 21st, 2012 by admin

Medical assistants typically work in a clinic setting and perform a variety of administrative and patient care tasks. When the patient arrives at his or her appointment, it is the medical assistant who will greet the patient, take vital signs and gather information about the patient’s symptoms. This makes it possible for doctors to spend their time examining and diagnosing the patient. As a profession, medical assisting is expected to remain in high demand through at least the end of this decade.

How Does Someone Become a Medical Assistant?

Many community and career training colleges offer certificate programs in medical assisting that take approximately one year to complete. There are also two-year associate degree programs available at some colleges. Typical coursework completed during these training programs include medical office procedures, medical terminology, coding and insurance procedures, laboratory procedures, patient privacy laws, anatomy, physiology, scheduling and more. Most programs also offer an internship at the end of formal studies in order to give the student practical work experience.

Certification Through the American Association of Medical AssistantsTS - 86479693

In addition to obtaining a certificate or an associate’s degree, medical assistants have the option of becoming certified through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To become certified, the medical assistant must pass an exam at the end of his or her formal education from an accredited medical assistant school.  The student can have no felony convictions and must apply to take the certification exam 90 days in advance. The AAMA certification exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions across a wide range of subject areas. Medical assistants who wish to take the test will pay a fee of up to $250, depending on whether they are a member of AAMA or not. Medical assistants must pass the test every five years to remain certified. As a member of AAMA, medical assistants have access to continuing education, workshops and other educational opportunities.

Benefits of AAMA Certification

Once a person passes the AAMA certification exam, he or she is known as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). Some employers will only hire a CMA, while others don’t place as much emphasis on certification. A CMA may be able to advance his or her career faster than someone who is not certified. Typical career advancement for a CMA includes office manager, scheduling supervisor or other administrative support positions. If the medical assistant chooses to go on to nursing or another position within the medical field, the credits earned at an accredited college are usually transferable to a degree program.

Typical Pay for Medical Assistants with AAMA Certification

In 2011, AAMA surveyed approximately 20,000 medical assistants across the country regarding typical salary and benefits. The survey included those who had earned certification through AAMA and medical assistants who were not certified. The survey indicated that full-time medical assistants with certification earned an annual salary of $29,460, or an average of $14.94 per hour. According to the 2011 survey, medical assistants who were not certified earned an average annual salary of $26,568, or an average of $13.43 per hour. This lends credibility to the fact that certification can result in higher pay and more career opportunities. Those surveyed ranged from people new to the field to those with more than 15 years of experience. Medical assistant salary by state will vary based on experience, location, licensing, and place of business.

The AAMA also asked medical assistants what type of training they had in addition to certification. 62 percent of respondents indicated that they had a certificate or degree in medical assisting. Only 16 percent had no specific training beyond high school.


**Salary information is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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The Keys to Earning a Larger Medical Assistants Salary

March 14th, 2011 by admin

larger-medical-assistants-salary ts_86479773There are thousands of licensed medical practitioners around the world who are in need of assistants. This is the primary reason why hundreds of medical assistant colleges are in existence today. A medical assistant college can help prepare one for the future challenges that lie ahead.

Medical assisting colleges have many different medical assistant programs. Some of these programs last for two years while others last for four years. Medical assistant programs lasting for the duration of four years will help graduates get into a position to earn a significant medical assistants salary. Statistics show that graduates from a four year medical assistant program make at least thirty percent more than a graduate that completes a two year certified medical assistant program. Many schools encourage their students to enroll in a four year program.

What are some of the responsibilities of a certified medical assistant? One must have exceptional customer service skills, solid clerical skills, a thorough knowledge of medical terminology, and the ability to help medical practitioners provide quality health care to patients. Having all of these attributes can help any medical assistant college graduate secure a comfortable medical assistants salary.

The daily routine of a certified medical assistant can be quite hectic. Answering the phone, greeting patients, escorting patients to their respective rooms is done daily. It is the assistant’s responsibility to make sure that each patient if comfortable during the entire visit. It is also the assistant’s responsibility to answer the phone in a professional manner. Exceptional customer service skills can help one deal with these tasks successfully.

You can find certified medical assistants working in various settings. They are employed at county hospitals, state hospitals, private hospitals, military hospitals, small clinics, and pharmacy labs. It is prudent that each medical facility keeps accurate records on their patients. An assistant makes sure that files are well organized and up to date. This helps other staff members perform their jobs efficiently.

Precise filing techniques and computer programming are introduced to students at medical assisting colleges. Medical jargon is also included in medical assistant programs. These skills help students keep up with the hectic pace that takes place in an intense office setting. Instructors at accredited medical assistant colleges make sure that their students are well prepared before they enter into the field.

How much can you earn as a certified medical assistant? A two year program graduate can earn close to thirty five thousand dollars annually. A four year program graduate can expect to earn close to forty two thousand dollars annually. In some cases, a four year student can make close to fifty thousand dollars per year.

Licensed medical practitioners are always in need of certified medical assistants. One must be prepared to accept and deal with the challenging tasks that lie ahead once he or she completes their education at a medical assistant college. Having knowledge of medical terminology, exceptional clerical skills, and a good work ethic can help anyone succeed in this competitive field.

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A Day-in-the-Life of a Medical Assistant

March 10th, 2011 by Clifford

A Day-in-the-Life of a Medical Assistant

If you enjoy working with people and are interested in patient care, being a medical assistant may be the right career for you.

A medical assistant performs many tasks to help a health care clinic run smoothly, including prescription drug refills, scheduling of medical exams and tests for patients, taking the height, weight, blood pressure, and other vital statistics of patients who come in, administering injections, and otherwise assisting the physician that they work under.

Being a medical assistant requires good people skills, good typing skills, knowledge of medical terminology and basic medical procedures, and good work ethics. A medical assistant must work with other people including patients, doctors, pharmacy workers, and doctors at other clinics that they may need to refer patients to.

A typical day as a medical assistant requires eight to ten hours of work, much of which requires you to be on your feet. Longer shifts may be necessary depending on the number of patients; this number increases during the times of year when illness is more common or a lot of people need physicals.

To become a medical assistant, there is more than one degree route that you can take. You can be a Certified Medical Assistant or a Registered Medical Assistant. The median annual wages of a medical assistant were $29,760 annually in 2009, or $13.87 per hour.

Information gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Medical Office Assistant has different duties than a Medical Assistant. While a Medical Assistant has a more hands-on job with the patients as well as office communication duties, a Medical Office Assistant takes care of things like patient scheduling and insurance billing.

It is possible to work as a Medical Office Assistant or Medical Assistant to make money and gain valuable experience with patient care while you are continuing your medical training, such as getting continuing education to be a Registered Nurse or a Physician Assistant. The job market for Medical Assistants, Medical Office Assistants, nurses, and other health practitioners is growing. The job market for these types of workers is expected to grow 20% or more by 2018; this increase is described as being much higher than the average projected growth.

For more information on medical assistant colleges, medical assistant frequently asked questions, and medical assistant information

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Four Loko Banned

March 8th, 2011 by admin

Four Loko Banned
In 2010, one particular alcoholic beverage came to the forefront of national attention. Health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and medical assistants, were seeing a rise in incidents of alcohol poisoning across the United States and knew that something had to be done. In each of these incidents, the medical assistant played an important role and proper training in a quality medical assistant college made all the difference. The beverage in question was called Four Loko, and in December 2010, U.S. lawmakers were successful in pulling it off shelves nationwide.

Four Loko, which is still sold in its original formula in some countries, was named for its four main ingredients: Alcohol, caffeine, guarana, and taurine. It also contained small quantities of a fifth ingredient, wormwood, which is used in the making of absinthe. The Loko part of the name is Spanish for “crazy.” The beverage was sold in 23.5 ounce cans that cost approximately $2.50. Each can has 660 calories, contains 156 mg of caffeine, and has an alcohol content of 12 percent.

Four Loko first came onto the market in 2005 and as of 2010 it was sold in 46 states in the U.S. and across Europe. It is manufactured by Phusion Projects, LLC, based in Chicago. A survey by 7-Eleven stores in 2009 ranked the beverage as its fourth highest-selling alcoholic beverage. Four Loko was vigorously marketed to college students and most medical incidents involved young individuals in this demographic.

The popularity of Four Loko amongst college students was paralleled by the popularity of energy drinks. Over 500 new energy drinks were launched in 2010 alone. As an industry, energy drinks account for $3.4 billion dollars in sales every year. At college parties and bars catering to college students, energy drinks mixed with alcoholic beverages became a trend. Four Loko provided such a drink that was easily accessible, affordable, and required no mixing.

A problem began to be noticed by doctors and medical assistants in hospitals across the nation. The high caffeine content mixed with alcohol could lead to a state known as a “wide-awake drunk.” This results in overdrinking because the drinkers do not realize how much alcohol is being consumed and the actual state of their drunkenness. Research shows that when alcohol is mixed with energy drinks, drinkers are 3 times more likely to be involved in binge drinking. Additionally, these drinkers are 4 times more likely to attempt to drive a car.

The removal of Four Loko from shelves nationwide has been of great relief to the medical community.

Four Loko Banned

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Medical Assistant Job Description

March 8th, 2011 by admin

Are you looking for a profession that is in high-demand, is ranked as one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S., and is both financially and personally rewarding? Are you interested in switching careers or starting your work life in some of the best opportunities in health care? If you are searching for growth and professional advancement, medical assisting may provide you with themedical-assistant-job-description ts_87629248 answer.

Medical Assistant Job Duties

Medical assistants form the administrative and clinical backbone of almost every physician’s office. Medical assisting colleges prepare students for a variety of daily tasks, based on the employer and the size of the office staff. In small offices, medical assistants tend to act as generalists and must be well-versed in several areas. In larger offices and clinics, medical assistants generally work in distinct departments and specialize in a certain area.

Within medical assistant programs, students often choose their focus: administrative, clinical, or specialized.

Administrative medical assistants often answer phones, schedule appointments, update patient records, complete insurance claims, handle simple billing and bookkeeping tasks, and work as liaisons with hospitals and laboratories.

Clinical medical assistants may prepare patients for examination, record vital signs, and explain treatment procedures. Depending on state laws, they may also draw blood, take ECGs, authorize prescription renewals, remove sutures, and maintain sanitary exam rooms.

Specialized medical assistants work in specialty practices, such as with podiatrists, ophthalmologists, and optometrists. These medical assistants are trained in not only general medical practices but also the specialized needs of each doctor. Common duties include completing diagnostic tests, applying dressings, assisting with minor surgeries, and developing x-rays.

Medical Assistant Jobs

Medical assistants work in a broad range of health care facilities. While over half the work is in doctors’ offices, medical assistants can also be employed by hospitals, inpatient/outpatient facilities, nursing homes, and residential care centers. A number of medical assistant colleges offer internships and job placement assistance.

Medical Assistant Required Skills and Experience

Being a medical assistant means more than just working in a health care setting. Medical assistants are frequently around people–whether patients or coworkers–so communication skills are critical. They must be able to understand complicated medical

medical-assisting-job ts_87730629

procedures and explain physicians’ instructions in a manner that patients comprehend.

While some medical assistants learn on the job, many employers prefer graduates from a medical assistant college. Medical assistant programs generally last one to two years and cover such topics as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, diagnostic procedures, laboratory techniques, first aid, medical laws, insurance processing, and ethics. Medical assistant colleges also help their students to prepare for state-mandated exams.

Career Advancement for Medical Assistants

Each medical assistant college may work with certification programs to document the knowledge and experience levels each student has met. A certified medical assistant often earns a higher salary and has access to more job offers and promotions than an assistant with a high school diploma alone. Being designated a certified medical assistant through medical assistant programs may even open doors to teaching, managing an office, or becoming a nurse. Through the help of a medical assistant college, students are able to jump start their futures.

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Mental Illness in America

March 7th, 2011 by admin

Mental Illness in America

Mental Illness in America

Mental illness is one of the largest health issues in the United States, with an estimated one-quarter to one-third of the population having some type of diagnosable mental disorder; this prevalence rate is higher than that of  STD’s or cancer. With these disorders being as common as they are, Americans should educate themselves on mental illnesses.

Mental disorders have different degrees in severity; one in seventeen Americans have serious mental disorders. Additionally, 45% of people diagnosed with one mental illness have, in fact, two or more. Mood disorders like depression are some of the most common ailments, with over 22 million Americans developing one each year. Of these mood disorders, 14 million have depression, 3 million have dysthymia (cycling depression), and 5 million have bipolar disorder. This has led to a threefold increase in antidepressant consumption in the past decade.

About one percent, or 2.4 million Americans, have schizophrenia. Many people think this disorder affects males more often, but in fact, it impacts both genders about equally, although generally, males show symptoms a few years earlier. Equally serious, and enduring, personality disorders affect another ten percent of the population. These disorders include antisocial personality disorder and avoidant-personality disorder.

Anxiety disorders are another class of illness that affect 40 million Americans. The most common subtypes of anxiety disorders are social anxiety and phobias, like obsessive-compulsive disorders, panic disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorders.

Mental illnesses can have serious outcomes for many. The most lethal are eating disorders, which can increase mortality by 12 times in 15-24 year old people. While only 55,000 people are committed to mental hospitals, at least half a million people in prison have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, and around 40% of homeless people have a severe mental illness.

Mental illnesses occur in children at high rates as well, with half of all worldwide cases starting before the child reaches age 14. Unfortunately, many countries lack the means to treat these young patients, since they only have one child psychiatrist for every 2-4 million residents.

If you are interested in contributing to America’s health and assist in treating people with mental disorders, you may want to consider working as a certified medical assistant. Look up medical assistant programs at medical assistant schools for more information on how to get started.

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All About the Tongue

March 4th, 2011 by SarahE

tongueDid you know that the largest tongue on record weighs 5400 pounds and is about the size of an elephant? This tongue belongs to the blue whale. Though human tongues don’t even come close to that size, the widest on record reaching 3.1 inches, there are many things that can be learned about them.

Some medical assistant programs spend a good deal of time discussing the tongue. Keeping the tongue clean can help prevent osteoporosis, diabetes, pneumonia, premature births, heart attacks, and even infertility in men. For this reason, many medical assistant colleges consider the tongue a very important body part to study.

The average human has around 10,000 taste buds. Not all of these are located on the tongue itself. About 2,000 taste buds are located on the roof of the mouth, on the lips, inside the cheeks, and under the tongue. These taste buds can only react to chemicals which are soluble in water. The fact that salt dissolves very quickly in water is what give its flavor enhancing qualities. Those in the field of medical assisting should know of all the taste buds, not only the ones on the tongue.

Medical assisting colleges also teach about the taste cells contained within a taste bud. Each taste bud has between fifty and a hundred taste cells. These cells have sensors for different types of tastes; sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and umami. Umami is the least known of these and refers to the Japanese word for savory. It is associated with the chemical monosodium glutamate. Sensors of bitter and sweet cannot occur in the same cell, however, other combinations are all possible. A certified medical assistant also knows that the bitter taste cells are found most prominently toward the back and center of the tongue, sour are found near the edge of the tongue, just ahead of the bitter taste buds, salty are found on the edge of the tongue near the front, and umami are found most in the front and center area of the tongue.

If you wish to become a medical assistant, you are sure to find that the tongue is a complex and interesting organ, worth studying at any medical assistant college. Even if you do not intend to enter the field of medical assisting, knowing about the tongue can prove beneficial to anyone.

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Visualizing Alcohol Use

March 3rd, 2011 by admin

Visualizing Alcohol Use

While alcohol is probably the most commonly used drug in the Western world, it is not without its dangers. While even moderate amounts of alcohol can lead to nausea, memory loss, and dreaded hangovers, higher amounts can cause liver damage, permanent brain damage, and even death. Because of these risks, knowing some facts about drinking and how to determine blood alcohol content can be useful to anyone that consumes alcohol.

Fifty percent of American adults identify themselves as current drinkers, defined as having at least 12 drinks over the course of the last year. While this number may seem low to some, the next two statistics are unfortunately high. Thirty-nine percent of teenagers between 12 and 17 have drank at least once in the last year, and six percent of teens have drank over 40 times in their life. In terms of college students, 63 percent of full-time students and 53 percent of all part-time students have drank in the past month. Over 60 percent of college students claimed to have had hangovers, experiences in babysitting drunken friends, and having their sleep or study time interrupted because of alcohol.

Alcohol intake is usually calculated in the number of drinks a person has had. Due to differences in alcohol content, what constitutes a drink can vary. One shot of hard liquor (40 percent alcohol) is equivalent to a 12-ounce can of beer (five percent), or a glass of table wine (12 percent). After one drink, one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) may be around .025 percent, euphoria and talkativeness can occur, but coordination may be impaired. After a few drinks, or a BAC of about .20 percent, people may start over-emoting and have increased libido, while their speech is slurred and they may be staggering. At higher levels, with a BAC of over .30 percent, blackouts, coma, and even death can result. Based on one’s weight, different numbers of drinks can create different BACs, so it’s important to be able to calculate your personal limits, so that you aren’t trying to compete with the highest survived BAC of .914 percent.

As a medical assistant you will be trained to know how to handle alcohol poisoning.  As scary as it sounds, it is a big deal and can be very serious.

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Work in the Growing Healthcare Field

January 13th, 2009 by admin

Thinking of entering a new line of work? Look into healthcare. It’s today’s fastest growing field. And, thanks to America’s aging population, it promises to continue creating employment opportunities for years to come.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare is projected to continue adding jobs through 2016. In fact, the following healthcare careers make up 4 of the top 10 occupations with the largest employment growth:

Because these jobs require various levels of training, you can begin working in the field quickly and then take advantage of opportunities for advancement. You can widen your skill set through on the job experience, advanced training opportunities and by earning healthcare degrees and certifications. 

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