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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Vancouver, Washington

Medical assistants can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Vancouver, Washington area. There are currently 10,330 jobs for medical assistants in Washington and this is projected to grow by 24% to 12,780 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.

A person working as a medical assistant can expect to earn about $15 hourly or $32,290 yearly on average in Washington and about $13 per hour or $28,300 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for medical assistants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Washington, 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: chiropractic assistant, ophthalmic aide, and medical billing specialist.

There are forty-eight schools of higher education in the Vancouver area, including eleven within twenty-five miles of Vancouver 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 Vancouver 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Assistant Training

Everest College-Vancouver - Vancouver, WA

Everest College-Vancouver, 120 NE 136th Ave Ste 130, Vancouver, WA 98684-6950. Everest College-Vancouver is a small college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 444 students and an admission rate of 61%. Everest College-Vancouver has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 40 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 23 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated twenty and forty-two students respectively in 2008.

Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated zero and six students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated zero and eight students respectively in 2008.

Heald Colllege-LLC-Portland - Portland, OR

Heald Colllege-LLC-Portland, 6035 NE 78th Ct, Portland, OR 97218. Heald Colllege-LLC-Portland is a small school located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 462 students. Heald Colllege-LLC-Portland has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.

Anthem College-Portland - Beaverton, OR

Anthem College-Portland, 4145 SW Watson Ave-Ste 300, Beaverton, OR 97005. Anthem College-Portland is a small college located in Beaverton, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 358 students. Anthem College-Portland has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 108 students in 2008.

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 24 students in 2008.
  • Opthalmic Technician/Technologist, associate's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.

Apollo College-Portland Inc - Portland, OR

Apollo College-Portland Inc, 2004 Lloyd Center, 3rd Floor, Portland, OR 97232-1309. Apollo College-Portland Inc is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 1,209 students and an admission rate of 98%. Apollo College-Portland Inc has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Management/Administration, one to two year which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 248 students in 2008.

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has 4 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Reception/Receptionist, less than one year which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, one to two year which graduated 19 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, associate's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated four and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, one to two year which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year which graduated 14 students in 2008.

Everest College-Portland - Portland, OR

Everest College-Portland, 425 SW Washington, Portland, OR 97204-2296. Everest College-Portland is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 764 students and an admission rate of 49%. Everest College-Portland has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 63 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 13 students in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated seventeen and twenty-five students respectively in 2008.

Pioneer Pacific College - Wilsonville, OR

Pioneer Pacific College, 27501 SW Parkway Ave, Wilsonville, OR 97070-9296. Pioneer Pacific College is a small college located in Wilsonville, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,123 students. Pioneer Pacific College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 178 and seventy-seven students respectively in 2008.

Concorde Career Institute - Portland, OR

Concorde Career Institute, 1425 NE Irving Street, Bldg 300, Portland, OR 97232. Concorde Career Institute is a small school located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 550 students and an admission rate of 100%. Concorde Career Institute has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 210 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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.