A Guide to Medical Assisting Education in South Dakota
You might be surprised to learn about the exciting career opportunities available to you in the state of South Dakota today. As one of many with an astonishing growth rate in the field of healthcare, this state can expect to see hires some 40 Medical Assistants every single year.
A 16 percent increase in this occupation is expected through 2022, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, making medical assisting an excellent choice for anyone interested in a rewarding career in healthcare. [Leer en español]
What they do
Medical Assistants are the bedrock of any health care facility, from small clinical practices to large hospitals. The current demand on health care systems in the United States is a cause for expansion, as physicians act quickly to accommodate increasing patient numbers.
They help to build a structure of procedure and organization that allows a clinic or office to run smoothly. Their unique set of skills makes it possible for physicians and nurses to focus on the clinical aspects of their jobs, and to see as many patients as possible.
They are positioned uniquely in the field, since the typical assistant carries out both administrative and clinical tasks. Often, in small clinical settings, they are the ones responsible for the collection of information doctors will use to make their diagnoses and treatment recommendations. They do this by talking with patients, gathering and testing specimens, operating diagnostic equipment, documenting and reporting results. They may even advocate for patients, and carry out treatment recommendations prescribed by the physician.
Administrative tasks include calibrating equipment, entering special codes used in billing and lab paperwork, updating and maintaining the patient database, answering phones, and responding to patient refill requests, under the supervision of a doctor.
They cannot provide any diagnoses and they cannot prescribe treatments or drugs. This position is not to be confused with that of physician’s assistant, who carry licensure and are able to prescribe and treat. Medical Assistants on the other hand, are restricted to the scope of their training, and can be delegated to perform any tasks that do not require a medical license.
What they earn
The position itself is highly flexible, and it has many variations. Some Medical Assistants work under different job titles, so they are underrepresented by the data here. They may be Care Coordinators or Patient Access Specialists, or even Medical Social Workers in some contexts. They may be CNAs, or LPNs, phlebotomists or lab technicians. They can work in any setting where healthcare services are needed or delivered, and can specialize in optometry, podiatry, or physical therapy for example.
If you are interested in this exciting career, you will need to keep these variations in mind, because these contexts influence earning potential, along with other factors, such as their region and level of experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistic reports that they earn an average of $13.33 per hour, and ranges from about $10.00 to $17.00 hourly.
Salaries by Metropolitan Area in South Dakota
|Area||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Rapid City, SD||140||$12.28||$25,550|
|Sioux Falls, SD||500||$13.19||$27,430|
Uniquely, there is no state-mandated education, training, or credential required for the work; anyone with the aptitude can be trained on-the-job. However, it is becoming increasingly rare for Medical Assistants to obtain jobs without any credentials in the current job market, as most clinics now require their candidates to be certified in order to be considered.
If you’re interested in pursuing the career in medical assisting, it is strongly recommended to pursue certification. You will want to check out the requirements, listed on the AAMA website. The American Association of Medical Assistants is one of two major, recognized organizations, which confer awards in medical assisting. Usually, the incumbent will need to graduate from a program of 1-2 years in length, and pass a standard examination in order to receive certification.
College and University Listings
Lake Area Technical Institute offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Anchorage. This public college has in the order of 1,846 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Lake Area Technical Institute has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* The college’s retention rate for full-time students is 84%. Fees for tuition are broadly about $5,076 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,400, depending on the program.
1800 E. Spruce Street, Mitchell, South Dakota 57301Medical Assisting – Associate Program
The Associate’s program at Mitchell Technical Institute is based at their campus in the city of Anchorage, SD. This public college has around 1,261 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Tuition fees are generally around $6,432 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $850, although this will depend on the program.
1500 N Main, Aberdeen, South Dakota 57401-1280Medical Assisting – Associate Program
The Associate’s program at Presentation College can be taken at their campus in the city of Anchorage. This private, not-for-profit college, which has a Roman Catholic religious affiliation, has in the region of 769 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The school is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Tuition fees are usually around $19,090 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,200, depending on the program chosen.
Western Dakota Technical Institute offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Anchorage, SD. This public college has in the region of 836 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The school has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Fees for tuition are broadly about $6,560 yearly, while study materials may cost about $2,300, depending on the program.
3901 W 59th St, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108-2272Medical Assistant – Associate Program
The Associate’s program at Colorado Technical University is imparted at their Sioux Falls campus in the city of Anchorage. Of the 28 students, about 4% are postgraduates.
5101 S Broadband Ln, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108Medical Assistant – Associate Program
The Associate’s program at Globe University is taught at their Sioux Falls campus in the city of Anchorage. This private, for-profit college has about 125 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The program is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.* The college’s retention rate for full-time students is over 80%. Fees for tuition are about $14,940 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $72, although this will vary with the program.
5801 South Corporate Place, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108-4293Medical Assisting – Associate Program
The Associate’s program at National American University is based at their Sioux Falls campus in the city of Anchorage, South Dakota. Most of the school’s 503 students are on 4-year programs. National American University-Sioux Falls has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.* Fees for tuition are broadly about $13,323 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,350, depending on the program.
* 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.
Healthcare News for South Dakota
If you're feeling well, getting your health status checked may seem like a waste of time.
Just because you feel healthy doesn't mean you are.
Jackie Bahr says before having her biometric screening last year she felt that she was in good health.
But the results surprised her.
"I guess it was just too much sugar, and the things that you don't realize actually have natural sugars in it or other sugars, I don't look at it like that... I just automatically think well I don't put sugar in my coffee, I don't put sugar on my cereal," Bahr said.
A biometric screening is a measurement of someone's physical characteristics, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index.
Bahr's results showed she was borderline diabetic with high cholesterol.
"There's sugar in a lot of items that people just don't realize. I never really read the labels that close until last year," Bahr said.
Bahr says she underwent a complete diet makeover with the help of a dietitian.
"Based on your lab values maybe we need to focus on getting more fiber in your diet for example, or if you're someone who already eats a lot of fiber maybe some of it is genetics," Registered dietitian Amanda Lambrechts said.
Lambrechts says getting a biometric screening is a good starting point in making sure your health is where it should be.
"Knowing where they're at right now and then being able to look back a few months down the road, maybe a year down the road and see how things have changed," Lambrechts said.
In just 15 minutes and a simple finger prick you can find out all of these results.
Results that Bahr says made a big difference in her overall health.
"I wasn't surprised, I was excited because of the work I did over the last year," Bahr said.
She says while the diet changes weren't easy, they were by far worth it.
And thanks to her hard work, she's happy with where she's at today.
Lambrechts is offering reduced cost biometric screenings this Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lambrechts recommends fasting for at least 8 hours before the screening.
For more information on Wednesday's event, click here.
© 2017 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.
As part of Hearing Awareness month, Midwest Ear Nose and Throat are offering screenings to those whose hearing might be impaired.
About a year ago Brian Jandahl went into Midwest Ear Nose & Throat for what he thought was wax build up.
"Evidently it wasn't that bad, and I'm kind of getting to that age where I want to see if I have any hearing loss," Jandahl said.
Jandahl learned it wasn't wax, but possibly minor hearing loss.
"I'm just starting to notice little, subtle changes and maybe the volume might be up a click or two and the radio might be up a click or two from what it used to be," Jandahl said.
Jandahl is only 50, and hopes coming in early will make it easier to treat, and Dr. Joel Brewer says he's right.
"Figuring out that you have a hearing loss earlier and doing something about it earlier usually leads to a better prognosis for that hearing loss," Brewer said.
Brewer says patients who start treating the hearing loss sooner, better adapt to hearing aids.
"Only one in five people who have hearing loss have actively done something about it, which I find kind of mind boggling," Brewer said.
Doctors say hearing loss is commonly associated with getting older, but the truth is, it can happen at any age.
"There is kind of a stigma attached to hearing loss. A lot of people don't want to accept it until they get to a certain age, but the younger you are, the sooner we catch it, the better off you'll be," Brewers said.
Brewers says the amount of time it takes to get screened varies depending on your prognosis.
"Do you have a hearing loss? From that point after that screening there would be additional testing to figure out what type of hearing loss and kind of what can be done for that hearing loss," Brewer said.
And by fixing the small issue, a big one may be avoided.
If you'd like to set up a hearing check, call Midwest Ear Nose & Throat (605) 336-3503
© 2017 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.