Medical Assisting Specialist Training in DC
In the District of Columbia, the demand for Medical Assistants is at an all-time high. Washington D.C. has a population of 600,000 residents, and nearly twice as many individuals commute there each day for work (census.gov). [Leer en español]
What they do
Medical Assistants perform many varied roles in DC; they are indispensable members of the medical profession, acting as liaisons between physicians and patients, nursing and administrative staff. They fundamentally bridge the gap between office staff and medical teams, through their knowledge of both sides, and they frequently communicate between multiple parties.
Medical Assistants are not to be confused with physician’s assistants; PA-C’s are highly educated diagnosticians that have less authority than physicians, but who carry out the same basic duties. PA-C’S can also prescribe medications. Medical Assistants, on the other hand, specialize in technical areas, such as using imaging software, taking blood, or preparing surgical tools.
In addition to the technical traits, they may also apply treatments, educate patients, answer phones, create invoices, complete lab request forms, and more. When the balance is just right, they are the medical team’s right hand.
Medical Assistants working in DC earn an average of $36,000 per year. Salaries can range however, from $11.57 per hour to $20.23 per hour (Bureau of Labor Statistics https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm).
The most important predictors of earning potential are factors such as location, context of work, type of work, specialization, training, and level of experience.
To demonstrate the idea of context and how it relates to earnings, a Medical Assistant, caregiver, Medication Aide, Nursing Aide, or Advocate in a nursing home setting would make considerably less working in this entry-level job, as compared with those working in clinical settings.
Salaries by Metropolitan Area in DC
|Area||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division||6,210||$16.81||$34,970|
There are currently no specific requirements governing Medical Assistants in DC. However, many hospitals and clinics require their staff to be certified and reputable and highly-valued training and certification programs do exist. If pursuing a career in this industry, you will want to focus your sights on programs and accredited schools offering study in the sciences, and plan for certification in order to improve marketability and earning potential.
Listed below are links to the two major schools in DC. Visit the links to learn more about programs they offer in skilled health care.
The American Association of Medical Assistants is a governing agency which recognizes and validates certification of technical healthcare associates. RMA, CMA, and NCMA, are some possible certifications offered. These may require schooling, passing an exam, or a combination of both. Most programs are between one and two years. The AAMA website explains the steps to take, and convey the requirements for each certification type.
College and University Listings
1101 Vermont Avenue, N.W suite L002, Washington, District of Columbia 20005Medical Assistant – Certificate Program
The Certificate program at Career Technical Institute is based at their campus in the city of Anchorage. The college has in the order of 434 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. Career Technical Institute is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.* Tuition fees for the Medical Assisting program are generally in the order of $16,995 annually. The typical program completion time is 11 months.
* Tuition fees and accredition status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college before applying.
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