For those seeking a valued and growing role in the healthcare field, medical assisting may be an ideal choice. Medical assistants in Kentucky work alongside physicians by offering support and streamlining the patient experience in healthcare offices. Both administrative and clinical duties may be performed by medical assistants, such as greeting patients, taking patient health histories and drawing blood. Because medical assistants provide such a large range of services, they are becoming more sought-after by medical employers every year.[Leer en español]
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Kentucky
According the to American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), these healthcare providers are an essential part of the Patient-Centered Home Team, a model of healthcare that focuses on providing excellent patient care from a well-integrated team. Because of their communication skills, medical assistants also serve as liaisons between patients and their healthcare providers.
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Kentucky
Kentucky does not require any specific training for medical assistants, but most hiring practices look for applicants who have obtained or are working toward their certified medical assistant (CMA) credential. Because trained individuals lessen the risk of malpractice, it may be difficult for uncertified individuals to find work in this field.
Medical Assistant Training and Educational Programs in Kentucky
The AAMA requires anyone pursing a CMA to graduate from a medical assistant program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHP) or Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHE). Such training programs may be found in community colleges and technical schools, such as those below.
- American National University. With small class sizes of 15 students per instructor, this accredited school offers a 10-week medical assistant certificate and a two-year associate degree program. The successful completion of either of these programs allows students to take the CMA exam. ANU has medical assisting programs in Danville, Lexington, Louisville and Pikeville, Kentucky.
- Sullivan University. Kentucky students can receive a medical assistant diploma or associate degree from this school in Louisville and Lexington. The school offers a flexible class schedule for working individuals, including night, weekend and some online classes.
Certification for Becoming a Medical Assistant in Kentucky
For those who already work as medical assistants but who have not studied, or are not currently studying, in an accredited CMA program, the AAMA also offers an Assessment-Based Order in Recognition credential. Medical assistants can be assessed based on skill and experience to receive their Assessment-Based Order in Recognition in Order Entry (ABR-OE), which allows them to enter medication, laboratory and diagnostic imaging orders into the computerized provider order entry (CPOE) system. Current uncertified medical assistants may wish to seek this credential to offer more value to their employers.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Medical Assistants in Kentucky
Because of growing advancements in medical technology and an ever-growing number of elderly Americans needing healthcare, the need for medical assistants continues to increase nationally. In Kentucky alone, the number of medical assistant positions is expected to grow by 23.3 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Furthermore, in 2017, Kentucky’s mean medical assistant pay was $14.93 per hour—about double the minimum hourly wage of $7.25 per hour in Kentucky.
Working as a Medical Assistant in Kentucky
Though there is high demand for certified medical assistants throughout the state, Lexington and Louisville hold the highest number of medical assisting jobs. These two cities pay medical assistants slightly higher as well, with mean hourly incomes of $15.77 and $15.88, respectively. Bowling Green and the East Kentucky metropolitan areas have the highest rates of employment per 1,000 medical assistant jobs.
If medical assisting seems like an attractive career, the first step to getting started is finding an accredited CMA program. Once certified, medical assistants should have no problem securing a job in the field.
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of Kentucky?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Kentucky made an average of $32,570 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $23,200 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $42,490.