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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical assistants. About 4,370 people are currently employed as medical assistants in Louisiana. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 45% to about 6,320 people employed. 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.

Income for medical assistants is about $11 per hour or $23,930 yearly on average in Louisiana. 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 Louisiana earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. Jobs in this field include: eye technician, medical office assistant, and podiatrist assistant.

There are thirty-two schools of higher education in the New Orleans area, including eleven within twenty-five miles of New Orleans where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical assistant. Medical assistants usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 New Orleans 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

Herzing College - Kenner, LA

Herzing College, 2400 Veterans Mem Blvd., Suite 410, Kenner, LA 70062. Herzing College is a small college located in Kenner, Louisiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 250 students and an admission rate of 57%. Herzing College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated eight and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, one to two year and associate's degree.

Delta College Inc - Covington, LA

Delta College Inc, 19231 N. 6th Street, Covington, LA 70433-8947. Delta College Inc is a small college located in Covington, Louisiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 125 students. Delta College Inc has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Nunez Community College - Chalmette, LA

Nunez Community College, 3710 Paris Rd, Chalmette, LA 70043. Nunez Community College is a small college located in Chalmette, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,470 students. Nunez Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, associate's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 8 students in 2008.

Blue Cliff College-Metairie - Metairie, LA

Blue Cliff College-Metairie, 3200 Cleary Ave, Metairie, LA 70002-5714. Blue Cliff College-Metairie is a small college located in Metairie, Louisiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 181 students. Blue Cliff College-Metairie has a one to two year program in Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties which graduated forty-two students in 2008.

Delgado Community College - New Orleans, LA

Delgado Community College, 615 City Park Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119. Delgado Community College is a large college located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,450 students. Delgado Community College has a one to two year program in Opthalmic Technician/Technologist which graduated ten students in 2008.

Cameron College - New Orleans, LA

Cameron College, 2740 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119. Cameron College is a small college located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 74 students. Cameron College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated eighteen and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 11 students in 2008.

Eastern College of Health Vocations - New Orleans, LA

Eastern College of Health Vocations, 201 Evans Rd. Bldg 400, New Orleans, LA 70123. Eastern College of Health Vocations is a small college located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 149 students. Eastern College of Health Vocations has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated eighty-three students in 2008.

Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus - Reserve, LA

Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus, 181 Regala Pk Rd, Reserve, LA 70084. Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus is a small college located in Reserve, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 939 students. Louisiana Technical College-River Parishes Campus has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated four students in 2008.

Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus - Metairie, LA

Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus, 5200 Blair Dr., Metairie, LA 70001-5605. Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus is a small college located in Metairie, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,218 students. Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant.

Louisiana Technical College-Lafourche Campus - Thibodaux, LA

Louisiana Technical College-Lafourche Campus, 1425 Tiger Dr, Thibodaux, LA 70301. Louisiana Technical College-Lafourche Campus is a small college located in Thibodaux, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 388 students. Louisiana Technical College-Lafourche Campus has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

Gretna Career College - Gretna, LA

Gretna Career College, 1415 Whitney Ave, Gretna, LA 70053. Gretna Career College is a small college located in Gretna, Louisiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 60 students. Gretna Career College has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, associate's degree.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, associate's degree.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 65 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: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana photo by Krakers

New Orleans is located in Orleans Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 311,853, which has shrunk by 35.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in New Orleans, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in New Orleans cost $139,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, eight hundred eighty-two new homes were built in New Orleans, down from 1,026 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in New Orleans are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 25.8% of New Orleans residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in New Orleans is 9.8%, which is greater than Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of New Orleans residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.1%, is less than both the national and state average. All Saints Catholic Church, Iglesia Bautista Getsemani and Mars Hill Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in New Orleans. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

New Orleans is home to the Keller Market and the New Orleans Country Club as well as Harris Playground and Hardin Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Carrollton Shopping Center, Read Boulevard Shopping Center and Read Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to New Orleans can choose from Rampart Street Connection, Lafitte Guest House and HAMPTON INN & SUITES CONV CTR for temporary stays in the area.