According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, there were 1,414 medical assistants employed in Alaska, as of May 2014. The Department also reports that there are about 66 annual job openings for medical assistants in the state.
According to the Alaska State Medical Board, medical assistants are unlicensed assistive personnel who are permitted to perform office and clinical functions. Primary treating physicians are responsible for the patient, and the activities of the medical assistants under their supervision when delegating routine duties.
Although formal training to become a medical assistant in Alaska is elective, completing a degree or diploma program and professional certification is always encouraged, as it affords more professional opportunities.
If you want to become a medical assistant in Alaska, consider completing the following steps:
|Complete a Diploma or Degree Program in Medical Assisting|
|Consider National Certification|
|Connect with Other Professionals in Medical Assisting in Alaska|
Step 1. Complete a Diploma or Degree Program in Medical Assisting
There are two, major accrediting bodies for medical assistant programs in the United States: the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
These two bodies accredit diploma, certificate, and associate degree programs in medical assisting, all of which prepare students to become either clinical or administrative medical assistants.
A comprehensive medical assisting program also includes a practicum that allows students to apply their knowledge in real-world clinical settings.
In addition to online programs, there are currently two CAAHEP-approved medical assistant programs in Alaska, both of which offer certificate programs in medical assisting.
Medical assistants in Alaska who want to administer medication must complete a training course in the administration of medication approved by the Alaska Board of Nursing.
Step 2. Consider National Certification
Because medical assistants are not licensed to practice in Alaska, many of these allied health professionals choose to pursue national certification as a way to display a commitment to continuing education and to their profession.
There are a number of national certifications, some of which require the completion of an accredited medical assistant program.
The following national credentials may be achieved in the medical assisting profession:
- The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel In Ophthalmology: Certified Ophthalmic Assistant
- The American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants: Podiatric Medical Assistant, Certified
- The American Association of Medical Assistants: Certified Medical Assistant credential
- National Healthcare Association: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
- National Center for Competency Testing: The National Certified Medical Assistant
Nurse practitioners in Alaska may delegate administration of injectable medication to a certified medical assistant. A certified medical assistant is defined as being currently nationally certified by a national body accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). This includes all of the American Medical Technologist’s (AMT) certification programs, including the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential.
To sit for a certification examination, you must typically meet minimum requirements set forth by the credentialing organization.
Step 3. Connect with Other Professionals in Medical Assisting in Alaska
One of the best ways to stay connected with other medical assistants in Alaska and learn about advances and changes in the profession is to become an active member of a professional association, such as the Alaska Medical Assistant Society.
The Alaska Medical Assistant Society has four chapters throughout the State, including:
- The Anchorage Chapter
- The Interior Region Chapter
- The Mat-Su Valley Chapter
- The Kenai Peninsula Chapter
- The Southeast Alaska Chapter
You may look for job opportunities through the state’s largest medical groups:
- Providence Alaska Medical Center, Anchorage
- PeaceHealth medical Groups, Ketchikan
- Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, Palmer