Becoming a Medical Assistant in Georgia
September 24, 2014
•Medical Assistant, SBC-Atlanta, General
• 0 Comments
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of adults over 65 in the United States is expected to more than double between 2012 and 2060. Coupled with increases in the number of people with chronic diseases, the American healthcare system will dramatically expand to meet the demand. Little wonder, then, that allied health occupations are among the nation's fastest-growing careers.
Medical Assistants in Georgia
In certain areas of the country, allied health professionals can already expect excellent employment prospects. A medical assistant in Georgia, for example, has some of the best job opportunities in the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Atlanta has the nation's fifth-highest level of employment of medical assistants, while Gainesville, Albany and Augusta are all in the top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of medical assistant jobs.
The role of a medical assistant varies widely between physician offices and types of facilities in Georgia. A medical assistant in one office may be limited to clerical duties, while in another he or she can take vital signs and perform other minor medical duties. In general, medical assistants can expect a combination of clerical and clinical work, such as:
- Scheduling appointments
- Preparing lab specimens
- Obtaining patient histories
- Giving nonintravenous injections (in some practices)
- Assisting in examinations
Becoming a Medical Assistant
Georgia programs award a certificate to graduates. After completing college-level classes in math, computer skills, allied health science, English and psychology, students complete specific core requirements that vary by program. You can expect courses such as medical terminology, pharmacology, medical office procedures and health insurance management, along with several classes in both medical coding and medical assistant skills.
Georgia has no law requiring the licensing or certification of medical assistants, but it is best to check with the Georgia Composite Medical Board for the latest legal requirements. Voluntary certification, however, is a great way to boost your employability. For example, certification requires a medical assistant in Georgia to maintain a set number of continuing education credits. When employers see you are certified, they see you are up-to-date and meet certain standards. Certification examinations are maintained by such organizations as the American Medical Technologists (AMT) or the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
The first step toward becoming a medical assistant in Georgia is identifying your needs as a potential student. Night or online classes, for example, may accommodate your work schedule. It's also a good idea to look at each program's financing options to see which works best with your budget. By comparing these and other considerations, you will likely find a program that suits your needs.
Whether you study or work in the Peach State or elsewhere, medical assistants are a vital member of healthcare teams. The combination of learned expertise, exciting work settings and service to the community make work as a medical assistant especially rewarding.
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