Medical Assistant Programs in Missouri


With the technological advancements happening in the medical industry, a career in this field is surely going to be a strong and rewarding one. If you want to work in the medical field but have not fully decided on which specific branch you want to be in, becoming a medical assistant could be a good starting point for you. Medical assistants only need a high school diploma to find opportunities for employment.

Medical assistants perform clinical and administrative duties to keep physician's clinics running efficiently and smoothly. They take patients' vital signs, record patient medical histories, administer medicine upon doctor's orders, and collect specimens for diagnostic testing. On the administrative side, medical assistants attend to queries pertaining to billing and reimbursement, insurance claims, and other general office procedures.

How to Become a Medical Assistant in Missouri

In the state of Missouri, graduating from a medical assisting school is not mandatory. However, obtaining a formal medical assistant education is beneficial for you as more employers now have a preference for properly trained medical assistants. Various training programs are available in colleges, vocational schools, universities, and technical schools.

Ensure to check whether your chosen medical assisting program is accredited by ABHES or CAAHEP, two of the accrediting agencies recognized by the US Department of Education. This is an eligibility requirement if you want to become a certified medical assistant.

You have two program choices to from. First is the certificate course that can be completed within a year of study, and the second is the two-year course that leads to the associate's degree program. Both programs have classroom and laboratory sessions and internship at the end of the course.

Missouri Medical Assisting Schools

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Campus
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Programs
  • Medical Assistant- Certificate
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Certification Requirements

Completing the medical assistant education already qualifies you to work as medical assistant. However, a certification in medical assistance provides you with more employment opportunities and negotiating power when it comes to salary.

There are at least four recognized agencies conduct certification exams for medical assistants, namely, National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), National Healthcareer Association (NHA), and American Medical Technologists (AMT). Among the four certifying agencies, only the AAMA is specific to medical assistants.

Job Prospects for Medical Assistants in Missouri
Medical assistants in Missouri earn an average of $30,000 per annum. With low cost of living compared with other states, the salary rate is still fair since benefits and job perks are not included in the salary above. However, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical assistance industry is expected to grow by 31% between 2010 and 2020, which means a growing demand for medical assistants to address the aging population.

There are other ways on how to increase your medical assistant salary as well. Ensuring that you have a strong educational and certification credentials can help boost your salary. Your place of work and the type of employer you work for also influence your salary. Thus, aside from regular hospitals and doctor's clinics, you might want to consider working in specialized health service facilities such as health spas, nursing care homes, psychiatric facilities, or drug rehabilitation centers if you want to receive higher pay.

The medical assisting field is full of job opportunities. If your passion is in helping people get well and you have the aptitude for managing day-to-day office activities, then you will thrive in the medical assisting industry.

References

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011: Medical Assistants
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a Medical Assistant

Resources

National Healthcareer Association: Medical Administrative Assistant Certification (CMAA)
American Medical Technologists
National Healthcareer Association: The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs: Accredited Program Search
Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools: Directory of Institutions and Programs

Medical Assistant Programs by State

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