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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Austin, Texas

Medical assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Austin, Texas area. About 34,790 people are currently employed as medical assistants in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 54% to about 53,500 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical assistants are expected to grow by about 33.9%. In general, medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

Income for medical assistants is about $12 hourly or $25,800 per year on average in Texas. 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 Texas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. Medical assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: respiratory therapist assistant, podiatrist assistant, and ophthalmic assistant.

The Austin area is home to thirty-five schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Austin 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 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 Austin 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

Academy of Health Care Professions - Austin, TX

Academy of Health Care Professions, 6505 Airport Blvd, Suite 102, Austin, TX 78752-3630. Academy of Health Care Professions is a small school located in Austin, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 188 students and an admission rate of 100%. Academy of Health Care Professions has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 38 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 35 students in 2008.

Everest Institute-Austin - Austin, TX

Everest Institute-Austin, 9100 US Hwy 290 East, Bldg 1-Ste 100, Austin, TX 78754. Everest Institute-Austin is a small school located in Austin, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 429 students and an admission rate of 59%. Everest Institute-Austin has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 321 students in 2008.

Virginia College-Austin - Austin, TX

Virginia College-Austin, 6301 E Highway 290, Austin, TX 78723. Virginia College-Austin is a small college located in Austin, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 825 students. Virginia College-Austin has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, associate's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 23 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 41 students in 2008.

Austin Community College District - Austin, TX

Austin Community College District, 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752. Austin Community College District is a large college located in Austin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 35,798 students. Austin Community College District has a one to two year program in Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder which graduated seven students in 2008.

Allied Health Careers - Austin, TX

Allied Health Careers, 5424 Hwy 290 W Ste 105, Austin, TX 78735. Allied Health Careers is a small school located in Austin, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 242 students. Allied Health Careers has a one to two year program in Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties which graduated seventy-one students in 2008.

Southern Careers Institute Inc - Austin, TX

Southern Careers Institute Inc, 2301 S Congress Ste 27, Austin, TX 78704. Southern Careers Institute Inc is a small school located in Austin, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 275 students and an admission rate of 82%. Southern Careers Institute Inc has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 24 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 73 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: Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas photo by Wikidiculous

Austin is located in Travis County, Texas. It has a population of over 757,688, which has grown by 15.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Austin, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Austin are valued at $139,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 1,928 new homes were constructed in Austin, down from 3,155 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Austin are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 40.4% of Austin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Austin is 6.5%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Austin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church, Adam and Eve Garden Baptist Church and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church are all churches located in Austin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Austin is home to the Morris Williams Golf Course and the Sixth Street Historic District as well as Wild Basin Wilderness Park and Rudolph Gamblin Field. Shopping centers in the area include Capital Plaza Shopping Center, Capital Plaza Shopping Center and Lamar Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Austin can choose from Club Hotel by Doubletree Austin University Area, Austin Folk House and AmeriPark at Austin for temporary stays in the area.