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When you want to know how to become a medical assistant in Louisiana, it is important to understand what a medical assistant does. Medical assistants can get jobs at physician offices, medical hospitals, surgical hospitals, the offices of specialists, outpatient and urgent care centers, and educational facilities (colleges, universities, and professional training schools). They perform a combination of administrative and medical tasks. A medical assistant can be expected to do mundane office tasks, like answering phones and filing. However, they also interact with patients, taking histories, setting them at ease, measuring vital signs, setting appointments, and administering injections according to the orders of a physician. They also assist in doctor examinations. Medical assistants also prepare specimens, like blood, for the laboratory.
A medical assistant in Louisiana does not have to be certified in the industry according to the state, but more and more places in the medical industry require certification of applicants. There are four main agencies which grant certification credentials: American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), American Medical Technologists (AMT), National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), and National HealthCareer Association (NCA). Each certification is called something a little different. A Certified Medical Assistant credential is granted by the AAMA, while the AMT awards the Registered Medical Assistant certification. National Certified Medical Assistant is from the NCCT, and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant is the designation from the NCA.
Completing either a two year associate degree or a four year bachelor degree in the industry is recommended or required for each of these certifications. Medical assistant programs in Louisiana are available from Career Technical College, Bossier Parish Community College, Herzing University, MedVance Institute, Remington College, and more. There are also programs offered by online universities, like Kaplan University, Strayer University, and University of Phoenix. When deciding how to become a medical assistant in Louisiana, the first step is choosing and completing an accredited training program. After that is accomplished, a graduate can pursue one of the certifications listed above.
A medical assistant in Louisiana earns a mean annual wage of $26,470, which is lower than the $30,170 annual mean wage for the nation. However, the profession holds a lot of promise for the future, because the job outlook according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is that the number of openings will grow by thirty-one percent by 2020. When compared to the average of fourteen percent across all occupations, this is a great number. The number of jobs in metro areas, like Shreveport/Bossier City, Houma, Lafayette, and New Orleans are greater, as should be expected.