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Unfortunately death is the ultimate end of life. Determining how someone died is often vitally important to their family members. This is particularly true when a young person dies or someone dies under suspicious circumstances. A medical examiner assistant is an important person when it comes to helping solve the puzzle surrounding a person’s death. The assistant works closely with the pathologist to find a cause of death.
Becoming A Medical Examiner Assistant
In order to work in this field, an individual needs some fairly comprehensive training. This begins with a doctor of medicine degree. They must also be certified by the American Board of Pathology. Most states also require that the individual be licensed in that state. Even though the educational requirements may seem daunting at first, they do give way to a lifelong career that is both lucrative and fascinating.
Pathology Assistant Duties
The job responsibilities that a medical examiner assistant takes on depend on each individual office. There are strict requirements in almost every state that involve the presence of a pathologist when the medical assistant is working. Although the pathologist conducts all of the autopsies, the pathologist assistant does help in certain key ways.
One way that an assistant is often utilized is in dealing with the family and law enforcement. The medical examiner prepares the report that states what the cause of death is and the assistant is then responsible for speaking with the family as well as law enforcement if the death was labeled suspicious. For this reason a person must be compassionate when they want to pursue this as a career choice. Death is difficult for many people and explaining the cause of death to a distraught love one can be challenging.
The medical examiner assistant will likely also need to be present during on-site examinations. These occur when a person’s body is first discovered and the coroner’s office is called. The coroner’s assistant will aid in the collection of any specimens and will help to ensure that the body is transported according to the protocol that is set forth by the medical examiner’s office. This is one of the reasons that a pathology assistant must be comfortable dealing with deceased individuals and must also be prepared for just about any scenario involving death.
After the deceased is first brought to the coroner’s office there is a basic examination done that checks for any lacerations or wounds. This is often left to the medical examiner assistant to take care of and they document any findings for review by the pathologist. During the actual autopsy they may also need to participate by collecting samples and specimens that will be later reviewed under a microscope or sent to a laboratory for further testing. Therefore they must be well-versed in proper collection techniques including labeling the samples.
There are many opportunities for career advancement with online medical assistant programs. Medical assistants work in comfortable professional environments providing administrative and clinical services to patients in facilities around the country.
They perform the necessary tasks that keep these facilities operating smoothly and are considered to be a very important part of the health provider’s team.
• Organize and maintain patient files and records.
• Assist the patient in preparing insurance forms.
• Must communicate well with patients both in person and over the phone.
• Maintain organized office routine with efficient scheduling practices.
• Must understand and be able to explain treatment plans with patients.
• Task may vary depending on the particular employment setting so the ability to adapt to a variety of situations and tasks is important.
For anyone interested in becoming a part of this rapidly growing career field it is important to find a program that meets your needs. There are many online medical assistant programs that will help you meet the education requirements for this industry.
Choosing one that works well with your time limitations, family responsibilities, and financial resources will have a large influence on the student’s success in the program. Here are three schools who offer medical assistant programs:
• Kaplan University
• Allied Health Institute
• St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants
Making the decision to pursue certification should not be taken lightly. It will require the research necessary to choose a program that you feel you can be successful in and that will satisfy your needs once you are complete. It may be a good idea to research your particular area to determine the requirements for employment, then verify that the educational program you choose will satisfy these requirements.
For example, St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants is accredited by “The National Accreditation and Certification Board.” You will want to know that you will be employable by the medical providers in your area upon completion of this program.
Advantages of an online education
The expense and length of traditional university education can make continuing education difficult for some people. With the structure and format of these new types of degree programs, many people are able to meet their career goals while saving a great deal of time and money. They also provide you with the freedom to work at your own pace.
If you are in a hurry, you can really focus and complete a program in as little as 6 or 8 weeks. If you need more time, that is okay too. You set the pace and you can cover all the material without feeling the pressure of meeting deadlines.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics report that career opportunities for medical assistants will increase faster than average through 2018. This is a high growth industry and many educational programs are available to help people get their start in this career and enjoy competitive salary with job security for many years to come. A great place to start would to choose one of these online medical assistant programs.
What makes medical assisting an attractive occupation? Have you ever browsed through medical assistant programs to get an insight of what you can learn with this kind of training?
Employment opportunities for medical assistant jobs are rising. They’re a necessary part of the medical team, especially in physician’s clinics or other health practitioners like podiatrists, chiropractors and optometrists.
A medical assistant provides support for the health care professional performing both administrative and clinical functions. The smaller the workplace, the broader your responsibilities and the more well-rounded you become as an allied health worker.
What Training Will You Need
Many medical assistants have found jobs meeting just the minimum requirement: a high school diploma. Some have a little office work experience, others volunteer experience in a medical setting. But generally, they learned everything on the job. Their employers invested in them, training them as they went along or eventually sent them to any accredited medical assisting schools to learn the basics or to upgrade their skills later.
But the health care system today is a bit more complex as it serves more patients and with insurance playing a big part in the process. So many employers now lean towards workers with formal training and some medical background and even give preference to those holding certifications as proof of their competence.
Formal medical assistant training is either through a diploma or certificate program, which can be completed between nine to 12 months; or you can choose to prepare more extensively and take up a medical assisting associate degree.
Medical assistant programs are numerous, and whichever you eventually decide on the main criteria should be its accreditation either with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. There are 700 accredited medical assistant programs as of 2009, both online and traditional.
What Courses Are Included In Medical Assistant Programs
So what can you expect from a medical assistant program? As previously mentioned, your job is divided into two categories: clerical/administrative and clinical. If you worked in a bigger medical facility, there may be specific tasks assigned to you. But often in smaller workplaces like doctor’s clinics, you will have to fill in both roles. Necessarily, your training is two-pronged to meet this requirement.
The coursework for administrative skills will include basic office procedures, keyboarding and computer operations, English composition and communication, medical coding and insurance processing, record-keeping, and medical transcription. These may vary depending on the school or program you are pursuing. If you plan on becoming a medical office assistant, you’ll go through every one of these courses.
The clinical portion includes subjects on anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, microbiology, endocrinology, clinical laboratory procedures, first aid and basic patient care. Some advance medical assistant programs may offer radiology, phlebotomy or venipuncture and ECG operations that will also lead to additional medical assistant certification.
The curriculum will vary depending on the kind of program you choose to pursue. With a diploma or certificate program, you only have at most 12 months to complete the course and this will – as per state requirements – include instructional and laboratory classes plus externship.
The didactics make up about 60 to 70% of the program, but the clinicals are just as important in order to put theory into practice and become a confident worker. Medical assistant schools in Michigan may require more hours than in NYC or CT, so you must first check on these before enrolling.
Medical assistant programs with advance courses may mean more investment, but in the end these additional skills and certification will give you an added advantage when seeking employment, it could also lead to a higher salary. Presently, the average medical assistant salary ranges from $22,000 to $31,000 and the disparity is largely due to education.
Now that you have a heads up on what to expect from medical assistant programs, you can make that all important decision whether this is a career you will want to pursue or not.
Medical assisting schools are thriving. Medical professionals are in high demand There never seems to be enough doctors or nurses or medical assistants. For someone interested in entering the medical field who doesn’t have the drive to become a nurse or a doctor, going to medical assistant schools to become a medical assistant is ideal for them.
Although the position doesn’t pay as well as a registered nurse, it does come with a nice salary as well as a lot of personal reward. Caring for patients on a daily basis, in addition to ensuring the medical office is well run is often the job of the doctor’s assistant. In order to qualify for one of these lucrative and exciting positions an individual first needs to train at one of the medical assistant schools found in their state.
Medical Assistant Schools By State
How to Obtain your Accreditation from Medical Assisting Schools
No matter where you are it is essential that you enrol for your medical assistant training at a accredited school – if you want to get your certification. The accrediting bodies are Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
How Long Will it Take To Complete a Degree?
The length of time you will be required to be in school depends largely on the scope and depth of the course materials. Certificate and diploma programs, available at career and community colleges or any medical assisting schools generally take 9 months-to-1 year to complete.
The more comprehensive Associate’s degree programs last 2 years. If you are planning to advance your career with a Bachelor’s or Masters degree later on, an Associate’s degree is the right choice for you. These medical assistant programs are also availabe at online medical assistant schools. Provided the school is accredited, online medical assistant programs may extend your studies to more than 2 years.
What Courses Are Covered by Medical Assistant Schools?
There are a lot of areas of study that must be covered in order for someone to become a certified medical assistant. In most cases, if the individual wants to have the ability to not only handle billing and clerical duties, but also be involved directly in the patient’s care, they need to enroll in a comprehensive training course.
These medical assistant courses include human anatomy, first aid, pharmacology, physiology, laboratory techniques, medical billing and insurance coding, medication administration, terminology, record keeping and accounting, patient interaction. One of the core responsibilities of an assistant to a doctor is patient interaction. Even in an office where the assistant is restricted to answering calls and booking appointments, they are still going to be speaking directly with patients.
Therefore it’s important that they understand how best to deal with particular situations including pressing medical issues. The insurance billing procedures are also vitally important to the smooth operation of the doctor’s office. Many assistants are solely responsible for this task, and in order to perform it efficiently they will receive training while in medical assisting schools.
Some of the more demanding responsibilities of the job can include taking patient histories as well as talking to them when they first arrive at the office and gathering their vital signs. This is all taught in detail during the training period and once the person completes the course they will feel comfortable interacting with patients in this way.
How Do you Become Certified?
A test must be passed before certification is granted, so it’s advisable that the medical assistant complete that as soon as his/her studies at any medical assisting schools are completed. American Association of Medical Assistants awards the Certified Medical Assistant credential. American Medical Technologists (AMT) awards the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential. AMT is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and is the only medical assistant certification program accredited by NCCA.
American Association of Medical Assistants, 20 North Wacker Drive Ste 1575, Chicago, IL 60608, http://www.aama-ntl.org Registered Medical Assistants of American Medical Technologists, 710 Higgins Road, Park Ridge, IL 60069, http://www.amt1.com Once the test has been passed, they can then start applying for positions. Although some people suggest working in a private practice first as a way to ease into the demands of the profession, it’s really a personal decision.
What are the challenges in becoming a certified medical assistant? There are always a lot of concerns attached to choosing a career, so it’s important to do the right amount of research beforehand to avoid regretting your decision later on.
You need to know things like what types of schools you can get into, what the certified medical assistant job description consists of and how much a CMA makes. It’s also important to assess your personal strengths and weaknesses to ensure this is the right type of work for you so you can save time and money by not entering the wrong field. Learn everything you need to know to give yourself peace of mind and confidence to move forward with your plans.
How Can I Be Sure this Career is Right for me?
Working as a certified medical administrative assistant is not for everyone, because it will pull you in many different directions throughout the course of your day. You will be working long hours under the supervision of a physician, and be required to take on physical and emotional challenges, like helping patients and providing comfort and support.
You will need to be patient, have good communication skills and be able to handle all sorts of people and conditions. If you are capable of multitasking and enjoy a diversity of tasks in a high paced environment, then it might be suitable for you and be worth learning more about.
Is Starting My Medical Career as a Certified Medical Assistant Worth it?
Within the field of nursing, there are many levels you can reach, but they mostly require time consuming and expensive training. Instead starting out as a certified medical assistant could be the best idea for you because with less than a year of training, you can begin a career in entry level nursing, but then have the opportunity to get hands on work experience to decide if it’s worth it for you to pursue training to move up the ranks.
A CMA is known as the heartbeat of a hospital, with your hands in such a wide variety of duties that you will feel fulfilled at the end of the day, and the exposure and practice you get in this role will only better prepare you for any advancement you may consider in the future, so if you want to join nursing, it is the best place to start.
What Kind of Schools Offer the Best Programs?
How to become a certified medical assistant is the first piece of information you need to find. The best thing about working in this position is that formal training beyond having a high school diploma is not required in every state, however, although there is always a demand for medical professionals, competition is still high for the existing medical assistant jobs, so having at least a 1 year certificate behind you is becoming the norm.
Community colleges, vocational schools and even online schools offer 1 year certificate courses ranging around $2500-$4000 or 2 year associate’s degrees that will average around $5000. You will get training in physiology, anatomy, medical vocabulary, recordkeeping, accounting, lab techniques, administering medications and diagnostic procedures.
There are about 350 medical assistant programs across the country that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), which is an advantage since they will most likely include an internship, giving you the clinical experience you need. If you don’t have an internship offered, you should try to obtain hospital volunteer work to get the hands-on exposure you need.
What Will I Be Expected to Do on the Job?
The job description of a certified medical assistant can cross many areas. You will have both administrative duties and practical ones, ranging from updating patient charts, taking vital signs, educating patients, preparing them for treatments, and helping doctors conduct exams.
Furthermore, you will be responsible for taking samples for lab work, sterilizing equipment, and depending on the requirements in each state, you could also take on additional duties like administering medication, instructing patients on proper diets, taking blood samples and suturing. There is a great range of tasks to handle, which is why the right training and amount of clinical practice beforehand is essential in easing you into the work.
Is Certification Necessary or Can I Work Without it?
Nationally registered medical assistant schools will make you eligible to sit your national certified medical assistant exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or Association of Medical Technologists (AMT), but certification is not required to work in this position. Non certified medical assistants can find work, but they will not get the same opportunities as certified workers.
Having passed your licensing exam proves your capabilities and highlights your training and competence on the job, and it can boost your resume by opening more doors for you as well as giving you a higher medical assistant salary capacity, with an average range of about $25,000.
Taking the national exam will cost about $170-250, and there is also the opportunity to get a specialized certification in areas like podiatry or optometry. You will need to go through certificate verification every 5 years in order to renew it.
How Can I Be Sure to Pass the Licensing Exam?
In order to ensure success on your national exam, you should prepare in advance by take sample exam questions online. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) website offers practice tests that take you through the same format and content that you will experience on your actual test.
The website offers this service for free and consists of 50 anatomy and physiology questions as well as a medical terminology section. Additionally, you can find many textbooks that you can buy that will contain similar style exam questions so that come exam time, you feel calm and prepared.
Is Becoming an RMA the same as a CMA?
An RMA is actually a registered medical assistant, a certification offered by the AMT (American Medical Technologists), accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, and although the job duties are essentially the same as for a CMA, it doesn’t certify you to do the work; it simply registers you in the field.
Also, although in most states both RMAs and CMAs are equally accepted, in some places like Southern California, only CMA qualifications are accepted. Be sure to look into the demands of the state you choose to work in to ensure you have the proper medical assistant training.
What Kind of Work Environment Can I Expect?
Of course hospitals offer an array of jobs for CMAs but the majority of work can be found in private offices and clinics. The environment will be very fast paced and can be hectic, so you need to be prepared for anything to be thrown at you, but the pace can be exhilarating and will never be dull or tedious.
A typical full time week is about 40 hours, but part time and evening shifts are also available for those who need more flexibility, or if you decide to keep studying while working. Your work space will always be clean and bright, but be prepared to handle stressful situations, be on the move and keep a friendly face to handle anyone who crosses your path. With this knowledge in advance, your launch into being a certified medical assistant will be painless.