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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Worcester, Massachusetts

Medical assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Worcester, Massachusetts area. There are currently 9,630 jobs for medical assistants in Massachusetts and this is projected to grow 24% to about 11,930 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

Medical assistants earn approximately $15 hourly or $33,120 yearly on average in Massachusetts. Nationally they average about $13 per hour or $28,300 annually. Earnings for medical assistants are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Massachusetts and not quite as good as general Medical and Dental Assistance category earnings nationally. Medical assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: vein access technician, ophthalmic assistant, and visual training aide.

There are eight schools within twenty-five miles of Worcester where you can study to be a medical assistant, among thirty-nine schools of higher education total in the Worcester area. Given that the most common education level for medical assistants is a high school diploma or GED, 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 Worcester include:

  • 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

Middlesex Community College - Bedford, MA

Middlesex Community College, Springs Rd, Bedford, MA 01730-9124. Middlesex Community College is a medium sized college located in Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,511 students. Middlesex Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated six and five students respectively in 2008.

Sawyer School - Pawtucket, RI

Sawyer School, 101 Main St, Pawtucket, RI 02860. Sawyer School is a small school located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 800 students. Sawyer School has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 184 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 10 students in 2008.

The Salter School-Tewksbury Campus - Tewksbury, MA

The Salter School-Tewksbury Campus, 515 Woburn Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876. The Salter School-Tewksbury Campus is a small school located in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 299 students. The Salter School-Tewksbury Campus has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 35 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 102 students in 2008.

Lincoln Technical Institute - Lincoln, RI

Lincoln Technical Institute, 622 George Washington Hwy, Lincoln, RI 02865. Lincoln Technical Institute is a small school located in Lincoln, Rhode Island. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 778 students. Lincoln Technical Institute has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 408 students in 2008.

Quinsigamond Community College - Worcester, MA

Quinsigamond Community College, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester, MA 01606-2092. Quinsigamond Community College is a medium sized college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,227 students. Quinsigamond Community College has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 13 students in 2008.

Mount Wachusett Community College - Gardner, MA

Mount Wachusett Community College, 444 Green St, Gardner, MA 01440-1000. Mount Wachusett Community College is a small college located in Gardner, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,385 students. Mount Wachusett Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, associate's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Lincoln Technical Institute - Lowell, MA

Lincoln Technical Institute, 211 Plain St, Lowell, MA 01852. Lincoln Technical Institute is a small school located in Lowell, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 260 students. Lincoln Technical Institute has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 41 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 132 students in 2008.

Salter College-West Boylston - West Boylston, MA

Salter College-West Boylston, 184 West Boylston Suite # 1, West Boylston, MA 01583. Salter College-West Boylston is a small college located in West Boylston, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 852 students. Salter College-West Boylston has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year which graduated 29 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 104 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated 187 and six students respectively 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: Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts
Worcester, Massachusetts photo by Yassie

Worcester is located in Worcester County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 175,011, which has grown by 1.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Worcester, 121, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Worcester cost $108,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-one new homes were constructed in Worcester, down from two hundred fourteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Worcester are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, construction, and health care. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 23.3% of Worcester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Worcester is 9.9%, which is greater than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Worcester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Burncoat Baptist Church, United Congregational Church and Unitarian Universalist Church are among the churches located in Worcester. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Worcester is home to the Tatnuck Country Club and the Massachusetts Biotech Research Park as well as Ty Cobb Park and General Foley Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Lincoln Plaza Shopping Center, Mid Town Mall and Norwich Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Worcester can choose from Days Inn, Hampton Inn and Maple Manor Hotel for temporary stays in the area.