If you are someone with a passion for healthcare but does not see yourself in the role of a doctor or nurse, medical assisting can be a great solution. Medical assisting is an entry-level healthcare position that allows qualified professionals to assist doctors with clinical and administrative duties. It is a rewarding and in-demand career as the medical industry continues to grow and expand. Medical assistants work in doctor's offices, clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities.
If working as a medical assistant feels like the right fit for your needs, the right training and certification program is essential. Learning how to become a medical assistant in Texas will help you choose the right degree field and training to launch your career successfully.
A Closer Look at a Medical Assistant Career
What exactly does a medical assistant do? Also known as an MA, these healthcare professionals will handle many of the administrative tasks of the doctor's office. This may include updating medical records, handling bookkeeping, assisting with laboratory testing, developing or preparing x-rays and even sterilizing medical equipment.
Medical assistants will also need to know how to take vitals and draw blood. They must be trained at proper cleaning and preparation of equipment and examination rooms. Some medical assistants work on scheduling and admissions, or they may need knowledge of coding to work in billing and records. These medical professionals may have a big role to play in completing and filing paperwork and need to have a good working knowledge of medical industry terms.
Overall, medical assistants have a multi-faceted job, and this makes it an exciting career field for people who are interested in working in healthcare. Many medical assistants use this experience to prepare for a more active role in the medical world, going on to become nurses or physician assistants. Talents that are helpful in this career include tech skills, interpersonal skills, and the ability to juggle multiple responsibilities at the same time.
The demand for medical assistants is quite high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 23% job growth for medical assistants by 2028, which is significantly higher than average. In 2018 there were 686,600 people working in this career, and the average pay was $33,610 per year or $16.16 per hour. Those in the top 10% of the field earn more than $47,250 per year.
How to Become a Medical Assistant in Texas
Are you interested in learning how to become a medical assistant in Texas? Here are the steps you need to take:
Step 1: Enroll in Medical Assistant School
If a career as a medical assistant is a good fit for you, the first step is to find an accredited medical assisting college, such as The College of Health Care Professions (CHCP). In your coursework, you will study anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and medical terminology, all of which will help you once you start your career.
You should look for a school that has a robust curriculum in these areas. Take time to research the schools on your list carefully, because the quality of your training will have a direct impact on your ability to do your job in the future.
Enroll in the chosen program, and send your high school transcripts as well as any aptitude tests you have taken to the school. When you start your training, look for ways to improve your interpersonal skills, as these will be as valuable as your medical training when you start your career.
Step 2: Consider Hands-on Training
Hands-on training while still working on your degree is helpful. Many programs offer internship or externship experience in their degrees. These provide an opportunity to get clinical experience before entering the working world as a medical assistant. Not all medical assistant degree programs require or feature a hands-on training component, but it can be a valuable way to see if the career field is a good fit for your skills.
Step 3: Get Certified for a Texas Medical Assistant Career
In order to work as a medical assistant, you will need proper certification. Certification shows that you have the knowledge and skills to do this job well. A Texas medical assistant can register to take the Certified Medical Assistant Certification Exam (CMA) through the American Association of Medical Assistants. You can register for this exam online through the AAMA website, or your college can help you register.
The AAMA provides courses to help you prepare for this exam. You can also look for your local chapter of the AAMA to enroll in CMA review courses. Preparing well for this exam is essential because you must have the certification in order to start your career. If you choose your college degree program well, you will have certification instruction built into your training as well.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Texas Medical Assistant?
Though the medical assistant career takes rigorous training, it does not have to be a long training process. If you choose a program dedicated to medical assistant training, such as the program at CHCP, you can focus your studies entirely on medical assisting. This allows you to finish your training in less than a year. Once your training is complete, take the CMA, and you are ready to start your career.
Are you interested in starting a medical career in as little as 9 months? Learn more about the Medical Assistant program offered both on on-campus and online at CHCP, and get started on a rewarding career in the challenging field of medicine.