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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Elgin, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for medical assistants in the Elgin, Illinois area. Currently, 12,910 people work as medical assistants in Illinois. This is expected to grow 48% to about 19,050 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical assistants are expected to grow by about 33.9%. Medical assistants generally perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

Income for medical assistants is about $13 per hour or $28,840 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $13 per hour or $28,300 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as medical assistants in Illinois earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. People working as medical assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: certified professional coder , medical office worker, and medical office technician.

There are sixteen schools within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can study to be a medical assistant, among sixty-one schools of higher education total in the Elgin area. The most common level of education for medical assistants is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn 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 Elgin 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.
  • Psychiatric Aide. Assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Assistant Training

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder which graduated twelve students in 2008.

American Intercontinental University Online - Hoffman Estates, IL

American Intercontinental University Online, 5550 Prairie Stone Pky-Ste 400, Hoffman Estates, IL 60192. American Intercontinental University Online is a large university located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,963 students and an admission rate of 45%. American Intercontinental University Online has an associate's degree program in Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder which graduated ten students in 2008.

National University of Health Sciences - Lombard, IL

National University of Health Sciences, 200 E Roosevelt Rd, Lombard, IL 60148-4583. National University of Health Sciences is a small university located in Lombard, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 733 students. National University of Health Sciences has a less than one year program in Chiropractic Assistant/Technician which graduated six students in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has an associate's degree program in Opthalmic Technician/Technologist which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

First Institute Inc - Crystal Lake, IL

First Institute Inc, 790 McHenry Ave, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. First Institute Inc is a small school located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 65 students. First Institute Inc has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 13 students in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, less than one year which graduated 38 students in 2008.

Lincoln College of Technology - Melrose Park, IL

Lincoln College of Technology, 8317 W North Avenue, Melrose Park, IL 60160-1605. Lincoln College of Technology is a small college located in Melrose Park, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 803 students and an admission rate of 100%. Lincoln College of Technology has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 270 students in 2008.

Kishwaukee College - Malta, IL

Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Rd, Malta, IL 60150-9699. Kishwaukee College is a small college located in Malta, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,134 students. Kishwaukee College has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated four and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-three and two students respectively in 2008.

Everest College-Burr Ridge - Burr Ridge, IL

Everest College-Burr Ridge, 6880 N Frontage Rd-Ste 400, Burr Ridge, IL 60527. Everest College-Burr Ridge is a small college located in Burr Ridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 446 students and an admission rate of 46%. Everest College-Burr Ridge has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 258 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 77 students in 2008.

Westwood College-Dupage - Woodridge, IL

Westwood College-Dupage, 7155 Janes Avenue, Woodridge, IL 60517. Westwood College-Dupage is a small college located in Woodridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 659 students and an admission rate of 37%. Westwood College-Dupage has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

Rasmussen College-Aurora - Aurora, IL

Rasmussen College-Aurora, 2363 Sequoia Drive, Suite 131, Aurora, IL 60506. Rasmussen College-Aurora is a small college located in Aurora, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 36 students. Rasmussen College-Aurora has a one to two year program in Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 12 students in 2008.

Everest College-North Aurora - North Aurora, IL

Everest College-North Aurora, 150 S Lincolnway #100, North Aurora, IL 60542. Everest College-North Aurora is a small college located in North Aurora, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 396 students and an admission rate of 57%. Everest College-North Aurora has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 22 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 235 students in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has a less than one year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated nine students in 2008.

Waubonsee Community College - Sugar Grove, IL

Waubonsee Community College, Rte 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554-0901. Waubonsee Community College is a medium sized college located in Sugar Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,218 students. Waubonsee Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 5 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: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.