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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in Huntington, West Virginia

Medical assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Huntington, West Virginia area. There are currently 2,190 jobs for medical assistants in West Virginia and this is projected to grow by 33% to 2,910 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. Medical assistants generally perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

The income of a medical assistant is about $10 hourly or $21,050 yearly on average in West Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $13 per hour or $28,300 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as medical assistants in West Virginia earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. People working as medical assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: morgue attendant, certified coding specialist, and phlebotomist.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Huntington where you can study to be a medical assistant, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Huntington area. Given that the most common education level for medical assistants is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn 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 Huntington 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

Daymar College - New Boston, OH

Daymar College, 3879 Rhodes Ave., New Boston, OH 45662-4900. Daymar College is a small college located in New Boston, Ohio. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 121 students. Daymar College has an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated six students in 2008.

Gallipolis Career College - Gallipolis, OH

Gallipolis Career College, 1176 Jackson Pke, Suite 312, Gallipolis, OH 45631-2600. Gallipolis Career College is a small college located in Gallipolis, Ohio. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 140 students. Gallipolis Career College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, associate's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Marshall Community and Technical College - Huntington, WV

Marshall Community and Technical College, 1 John Marshall Way, Huntington, WV 25755. Marshall Community and Technical College is a small college located in Huntington, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,533 students. Marshall Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated ten students in 2008.

Huntington Junior College - Huntington, WV

Huntington Junior College, 900 Fifth Ave, Huntington, WV 25701. Huntington Junior College is a small college located in Huntington, West Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 774 students. Huntington Junior College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, associate's degree which graduated 25 students in 2008.
  • Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and fifty-three students respectively in 2008.

O C Collins Career Center - Chesapeake, OH

O C Collins Career Center, 11627 State Rte 243, Chesapeake, OH 45619-0000. O C Collins Career Center is a small school located in Chesapeake, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 550 students. O C Collins Career Center has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder which graduated twenty 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: Huntington, West Virginia

Huntington, West Virginia
Huntington, West Virginia photo by DelanoPatterson

Huntington is situated in Cabell County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 49,185, which has shrunk by 4.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntington, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntington cost $195,100 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, sixteen new homes were built in Huntington, down from thirty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntington are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is health care, educational services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 22.4% of Huntington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntington is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 24.7% of Huntington's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Huntington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Glorious Church of God in Christ, South Side United Methodist Church and Good Samaritan United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Huntington. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntington is home to the Northcott Hall and the Foster Memorial Home as well as Holderby Commons and United States Post Office and Courthouse Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Westland Plaza Shopping Center, Fairfield Plaza Shopping Center and Huntington Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntington can choose from Super 8, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Garden Park for temporary stays in the area.