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

Medical assistant career and educational opportunities abound in Durham, North Carolina. Currently, 9,420 people work as medical assistants in North Carolina. This is expected to grow by 49% to about 14,050 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.

Medical assistants earn about $13 per hour or $27,660 yearly on average in North Carolina and about $13 hourly or $28,300 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for medical assistants are better than in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance in North Carolina, and not quite as good as the overall Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. People working as medical assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: optometrist assistant, respiratory therapist assistant, and surgery scheduler.

The Durham area is home to twenty-six schools of higher education, including nine within twenty-five miles of Durham where you can get a degree 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 Durham 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

Alamance Community College - Graham, NC

Alamance Community College, 1247 Jimmie Kerr Road, Graham, NC 27253-8000. Alamance Community College is a small college located in Graham, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,607 students. Alamance 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 ninety-four and nineteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, associate's degree which graduated 38 students 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.

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.

Piedmont Community College - Roxboro, NC

Piedmont Community College, 1715 College Dr, Roxboro, NC 27573. Piedmont Community College is a small college located in Roxboro, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,590 students. Piedmont Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated three, three, and fifteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

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.

Vance-Granville Community College - Henderson, NC

Vance-Granville Community College, I85 and Poplar Creek Rd, Henderson, NC 27536. Vance-Granville Community College is a small college located in Henderson, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,686 students. Vance-Granville Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated seventeen 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: Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina photo by Specious

Durham is situated in Durham County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 223,284, which has grown by 19.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Durham, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Durham are valued at $187,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,082 new homes were built in Durham, down from 1,574 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Durham are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 41.8% of Durham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Durham is 7.3%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Durham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Laymans Church, Holy Infant Church and Homestead Heights Church are among the churches located in Durham. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Durham is home to the Hope Valley Country Club and the Union Building as well as Durham County Stadium and Northgate Park. Shopping centers in the area include South Square Mall, Lakewood Shopping Center and Kings Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Durham can choose from Brownestone Inn, Durham-Days Inn ) and Hilton Durham for temporary stays in the area.