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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Cary, North Carolina

Medical assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Cary, North Carolina area. About 9,420 people are currently employed as medical assistants in North Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow 49% to about 14,050 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. Medical assistants generally perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

A person working as a medical assistant can expect to earn about $13 hourly or $27,660 per year on average in North Carolina and about $13 hourly or $28,300 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Medical assistants earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in North Carolina and less than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Jobs in this field include: medical insurance coding specialist, morgue technician, and respiratory therapist assistant.

There are twenty-seven schools of higher education in the Cary area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Cary 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 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 Cary 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Assistant Training

Central Carolina Community College - Sanford, NC

Central Carolina Community College, 1105 Kelly Dr, Sanford, NC 27330-9840. Central Carolina Community College is a small college located in Sanford, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,753 students. Central Carolina Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated five and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated eight, twenty-one, and ten students respectively in 2008.

CET-Durham - Durham, NC

CET-Durham, 807 E. Main Street, Durham, NC 27701. CET-Durham is a small school located in Durham, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 158 students. CET-Durham has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 24 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 10 students in 2008.

Wake Technical Community College - Raleigh, NC

Wake Technical Community College, 9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh, NC 27603-5696. Wake Technical Community College is a large college located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,839 students. Wake Technical Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-five and eleven students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated seventeen and four students respectively in 2008.

Duke University - Durham, NC

Duke University, 103 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708. Duke University is a large university located in Durham, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,871 students and an admission rate of 23%. Duke University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Opthalmic Technician/Technologist which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Johnston Community College - Smithfield, NC

Johnston Community College, 245 College Road, Smithfield, NC 27577-2350. Johnston Community College is a small college located in Smithfield, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,128 students. Johnston Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated eight and eleven students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-three and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Durham Technical Community College - Durham, NC

Durham Technical Community College, 1637 Lawson St, Durham, NC 27703-5023. Durham Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Durham, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,214 students. Durham Technical 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.
  • Optomeric Technician/Assistant, less than one year which graduated 6 students in 2008.

The Medical Arts School - Raleigh, NC

The Medical Arts School, 6541 Meridien Drive, Suite 113, Raleigh, NC 27616-3211. The Medical Arts School is a small school located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 102 students. The Medical Arts School has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant.

Miller-Motte College-Cary - Cary, NC

Miller-Motte College-Cary, 2205 Walnut Street, Cary, NC 27518-7171. Miller-Motte College-Cary is a small college located in Cary, North Carolina. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 495 students and an admission rate of 84%. Miller-Motte College-Cary has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, associate's degree which graduated 17 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: Cary, North Carolina

Cary, North Carolina
Cary, North Carolina photo by Erich_Fabricius

Cary is situated in Wake County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 129,545, which has grown by 37.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cary, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cary are priced at $204,400 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,313 new homes were built in Cary, down from 2,326 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cary are professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, computer and electronic products, and construction. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 60.7% of Cary residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 23.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cary is 6.2%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Cary residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.8%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Cary is home to Hemlock Bluffs State Natural Area and Regency Park. Visitors to Cary can choose from Hampton Inn Cary, Embassy Suites Hotel Raleigh-Durham and Hampton Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.