Medical Assisting Programs and MA Certification
The shortage of medical personnel, including medical assistants, is a well-known fact. This is the reason why the number of job opening for this occupation is expected to increase. In spite of the high demand for medical assistants, on-the-job training is less and less available, and employers seek formally trained and certified assistants. Both clinical and administrative duties are expected to be performed by the future medical assistant, and these responsibilities are extremely important, both to the well being of patients and to the practice running smoothly. Completing a state approved medical assisting program has become a requirement in most states. Holding an MA certification demonstrates that the individual possess strong knowledge and skills, both in theory and in practice, and is dedicated to his/her work.
A medical assisting program provides typical exposure to the medical environment that the students will be working in, including hands-on clinical training and classroom study. An MA certification will be granted upon completion of a medical assisting program, which typically lasts for a year. Longer programs, of two years, are also available, and graduates will be granted am associate degree.
Medical Assisting Careers in California
One can become a medical assistant in California, without being registered, licensed or certified by the state of California. Still, more and more employers require of medical assistants to be certified, and an MA certification is available from national associations or private agencies. In order to be able to train other medical assistants, an individual must hold an MA certification issued by one of the accredited training institutions.
A future medical assistant in California has a wide range of training programs to choose from. Regardless of the course provider, the medical assisting program should provide the students with the appropriate training, giving them the competence to perform the tasks expected of them at the appropriate standard of care. Training can be administered in several settings, such as under a physician, a licensed vocational nurse, a registered nurse, a qualified medical assistant, or a physician assistant; a medical assisting program can also be completed in community colleges, secondary or post secondary schools, etc.
Demand for Medical Assistants on the rise 2008-2018
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 34 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. (Source: www.bls.gov, 01/2012).