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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Little Rock, Arkansas

For those living in the Little Rock, Arkansas area, there are many career and education opportunities for medical assistants. There are currently 2,060 jobs for medical assistants in Arkansas and this is projected to grow by 37% to about 2,820 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for medical assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 33.9% over the next eight years. In general, medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

The income of a medical assistant is about $11 hourly or $24,680 per year on average in Arkansas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $13 hourly or $28,300 yearly on average. Earnings for medical assistants are better than earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Arkansas and not quite as good as general Medical and Dental Assistance category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: optometric technician, optometric assistant, and optometrist assistant.

There are twenty-five schools of higher education in the Little Rock area, including four within twenty-five miles of Little Rock where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical assistant. The most common level of education for medical assistants is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a medical assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. They also administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding for insurance purposes.

Medical assistants ready treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean. They also interview clients to obtain medical data and measure their vital signs and height. Equally important, medical assistants have to show clients to examination rooms and ready them for the physician. They are often called upon to help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments and materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures. They are expected to record patients' medical history, vital statistics and data such as test results in medical archives. Finally, medical assistants greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.

Every day, medical assistants are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for medical assistants to inventory and order medical, lab, or office supplies and apparatus. They are often called upon to change dressings on wounds. They also contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission. They are sometimes expected to run routine laboratory tests and sample analyses. Somewhat less frequently, medical assistants are also expected to greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.

Medical assistants sometimes are asked to keep financial reports and execute other bookkeeping duties. They also have to be able to execute general office duties such as answering telephones, taking dictation or completing insurance forms and clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies. And finally, they sometimes have to authorize drug refills and furnish prescription data to pharmacies.

Like many other jobs, medical assistants must be thorough and dependable and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Little Rock include:

  • Certified Nursing Aide. Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties, such as feed, bathe, or move patients, or change linens.
  • Dental Assistant. Assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
  • Medical Equipment Technician. Prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Assistant Training

Ouachita Technical College - Malvern, AR

Ouachita Technical College, One College Cir, Malvern, AR 72104-0816. Ouachita Technical College is a small college located in Malvern, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,600 students. Ouachita Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Office Management/Administration which graduated eight and six students respectively in 2008.

Eastern College of Health Vocations - Little Rock, AR

Eastern College of Health Vocations, 6423 Forbing Rd, Little Rock, AR 72209. Eastern College of Health Vocations is a small college located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 325 students. Eastern College of Health Vocations has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated seventy-seven students in 2008.

Remington College-Little Rock Campus - Little Rock, AR

Remington College-Little Rock Campus, 19 Remington Dr., Little Rock, AR 72204. Remington College-Little Rock Campus is a small college located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 431 students and an admission rate of 68%. Remington College-Little Rock Campus has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 106 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 142 students in 2008.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences - Little Rock, AR

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is a small university located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,652 students. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has a bachelor's degree program in Opthalmic Technician/Technologist which graduated four students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Medical Assistant: The CMA (AAMA) is considered the gold standard of medical assisting professionalism.

For more information, see the American Association of Medical Assistants website.

Registered Health Information Technician: With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Certified Coding Associate: American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recognizes that the demand for coders has never been greater, and this need is expected to continue for some years to come.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Medical Assistant: A Medical Assistant (MA) is an integral member of the health care delivery team, qualified by education and experience to work in the administrative office, the examining room and the physician office laboratory.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Medical LabTechnician: All laboratory professionals, including Medical Technologists, Medical Laboratory Technicians and Medical Laboratory Assistants have long played a vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Donor Phlebotomy Technician: This certification is for current Phlebotomy Technicians who take blood from patients for testing or for a blood bank, prepare samples for testing, and carry out those tests.

For more information, see the American Society for Clinical Pathology website.

Corporate Certified Opthalmic Assistant: A certification for employees of companies that supply products and services to the.

For more information, see the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology website.

Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist: The Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist (CPCS) is typically employed or contracted by a health care organization including, but not limited to, health plans, group practices, credentialing verification organizations or hospitals (health systems).

For more information, see the National Association of Medical Services Staff website.

Certified Medical Coder: Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam.

For more information, see the Practice Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas photo by Broooooooce

Little Rock is located in Pulaski County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 189,515, which has grown by 3.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Little Rock, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Little Rock cost $236,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-one new homes were built in Little Rock, down from seven hundred thirty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Little Rock are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 35.5% of Little Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Little Rock is 6.1%, which is less than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Little Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 59.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Macedonia Spiritual Church, Baseline Christian Church and Baseline Missionary Baptist Church are all churches located in Little Rock. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Little Rock is home to the Rock Creek Golf Course and the Barton Coliseum as well as McArthur Park Historic District and Meriwether Park. Shopping malls in the area include Mainstreet Market Shopping Center, Market Street Plaza Shopping Center and Markham Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Little Rock can choose from LA Quinta - Inns- Medical Center Area, Hampton Inn & Suites and Acme Motel for temporary stays in the area.