Working as a medical assistant involves helping doctors and patients through a combination of clinical and administrative work. Responsibilities typically include recording a patient’s history, measuring vital signs, assisting with examinations, administering medicine, scheduling appointments and preparing blood samples. Some medical assistants specialize in a particular area of medicine, while others are generalists working in a range of medical fields.[Leer en español]
How to Become a Medical Assistant in Nebraska
Requirements for Working as a Medical Assistant in Nebraska
Medical assistants in Nebraska do not need to have any specific certifications or level of education to work. Instead, individual employers create their own criteria to select the most qualified applicants. To gain a competitive advantage, many medical assistants choose to take certification tests, which can help them secure a higher-paying job.
Becoming a Certified Medical Assistant
To become a certified medical assistant, the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) requires applicants to pass one of five exams accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The most popular of these are the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exams. Applicants must successfully complete a training program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), though equivalent medical experience may be sufficient.
Nebraska Schools for Medical Assistants
The state of Nebraska does not require medical assistants to be registered or certified, but it does recognize these accreditations as markers of skill. Successfully completing a CAAHEP or ABHES training program can in turn lead to passing the required accreditation exam. Most training programs provide hands-on training and require regular, in-person attendance. Here are two programs available in Nebraska:
- Nebraska Methodist College. Students in this program have access to state-of-the-art lab facilities during their coursework. They must complete a school-organized externship at a real healthcare facility within the state before graduating.
- Vatterott College. Vatterott’s one-year program offers components that can be taken online in addition to its in-person training. Students must take part in an internship before graduation.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Medical assistants have been steadily employed in recent years, with the field likely to grow by 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In Nebraska, the profession is likely to keep pace and grow by 27.2 percent within the same time span.
Medical assistants in the U.S. receive an average annual salary of $33,580, according to the BLS. In Nebraska, medical assistants can expect to make approximately the same salary, with a state-wide average of $33,210 per year.
Working as a Medical Assistant in Nebraska
Medical assistants can find work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers and other medical facilities. Most medical assistants work full time and are sometimes required to work on weekends, evenings and holidays, depending on their facility’s needs. Jobs are typically most plentiful in larger cities with several hospitals.
Working as a medical assistant can be an excellent option for people who are interested in health, science and people. Those who are good communicators, attentive to detail and able to think analytically will find the career particularly rewarding. It can give people without advanced degrees the opportunity to enter the medical field and start an exciting career as soon as they are ready to work.
How much do medical assistants earn in the state of Nebraska?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants in the state of Nebraska made an average of $35,140 per year in 2019. Entry-level medical assistants earned around $26,050 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $48,520.