The U.S. Department of Labor expects job prospects for medical assistants to continue to be very strong through the next four years. Between 2008 and 2018, the number of jobs for properly trained and certified medical assistants in Delaware is expected to increase by 31 percent.
The average annual salary of medical assistants in Delaware as of 2013 is about $30,000; but in certain areas, such as Wilmington, higher average earnings of $31,000 per year are possible. The salary range for medical assistants in Delaware can go as high as $39,000 per year with additional education and experience.
If you would like to learn how to become a well-qualified medical assistant job candidate in Delaware, follow these steps:
|Complete a Delaware Medical Assistant Education Program|
|Consider Earning National Certification|
|Pursue Medical Assistant Jobs in Delaware|
|Maintain Your Medical Assistant Credentials|
Step 1. Complete a Delaware Medical Assistant Education Program
The state of Delaware does not license or specifically regulate the practice of medical assisting. However, if you do not complete a medical assistant education program culminating in a certificate, degree or diploma, you may fall short of minimum requirements set by employers.
Furthermore, if you wish to become nationally certified, you must graduate from a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). In Delaware, accredited programs can be found in Dover and Wilmington. The types of degrees or certificates/diplomas offered by Delaware’s accredited medical assistant programs are:
- Associate of Science-Medical Assistant
- Diploma- Surgical Technology (Residential)
- Certificate – Electroneurodiagnostic Technology (Residential and Distance)
Though the titles of the courses that you will take in a medical assistant education program in Delaware will differ from one school to the next, the competencies and skills that you will learn are the same. They include:
- Effective verbal, written and nonverbal communication and education skills with patients, families and professionals
- Professional patterns of behavior consistent with the code of ethics
- Use of independent judgment and critical thinking
- Use of computer technology, scientific and mathematical reasoning
- Use of information effectively
- Good problem solving and reasoning skills
The internship/field experience that is part of your training program, usually held at a participating medical facilities, will help you refine skills, including, but not limited to):
- Administrative and clerical duties like scheduling, receiving patients, maintaining medical records, managing finances
- Clinical duties like obtaining patient data for medical history and treatment, interviewing patients for medical histories, performing laboratory testing and collecting results/specimens, recording patient vital signs, and assisting health professionals with clinical procedures
- Preparing the examination room
- Filing insurance forms
Step 2. Consider Earning National Certification
Most medical assistant programs in Delaware will prepare you to become nationally certified by either the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the American Medical Technologists (AMT).
You need not become certified in order to work as a medical assistant in Delaware. However, most employers will look for candidates who are certified as either a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) through the AAMA or a Registered Medical Assistants (RMA) through AMT.
CMA certification involves passing a multiple-choice examination. Reviewing the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination Content Outline will help you prepare to take this exam. The only Prometric testing center in Delaware offering the test is located in New Castle. You can take it at any participating Prometric center, however, such as in nearby Maryland or Pennsylvania.
RMA certification entails passing an exam on general medical assisting knowledge, both clinical and administrative. The exam is given at participating Pearson VUE testing centers. In Delaware, these include Newark and Dover, but you may test at center located in nearby New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Maryland if this is more convenient for you.
Step 3. Pursue Medical Assistant Jobs in Delaware
Congratulations! You have completed your medical assistant education and are nationally certified! You are now ready to find a medical assistant job in Delaware.
Your choices are vast and include hospitals, medical centers, physician’s offices, insurance companies, outpatient clinics, schools, long-term care facilities, and more. Some examples of prospective employers of medical assistants in Delaware include:
- Beebe Healthcare – Lewes
- Christiana Care – Newark and Camden
- Westside Family Healthcare- Bear
- Nanticoke Memorial Hospital – Seaford
- Bayhealth Medical Center – Dover
- Francis Hospital- Wilmington
- Bayada Home Health Care – Hockessin
- Delaware Hospice- Newark
- HCR Manor Care – Wilmington
- Dover Air Force Base – Dover
- Fresenius Medical Care- Seaford
- Urology Associates of Dover – Dover
- Nemours- Wilmington
- Department of Veterans Affairs- Wilmington
- HealthSouth Corporation – Middletown
- Liberty Health Care – Georgetown
- Alfieri Cardiology – Wilmington
- Brookdale – Newark
Step 4. Maintain Your Medical Assistant Credentials
If you hold a CMA credential, it is valid for five years. To renew it, you must either take the examination again (the same test you took to become certified) or fulfill the AAMA’s continuing education requirements. You must accumulate 60 continuing education points over five years. Details on this program are available here.
Your RMA credential renews annually, but you must complete 30 certification points every three years to maintain it. The AMT has a Certification Continuation Program (CCP) that is similar to that of AAMA.
Professional Organizations for Medical Assistants in Delaware
Presently, Delaware does not have its own state chapter of the American Association of Medical Assistants. The recommendation is for you to join the national AAMA association. If you would like information on starting a Delaware chapter of the AAMA, contact the AAMA Membership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Medical Technologists has a DC/DE/MD State Society for RMAs working in Delaware who wish to join the local chapter. For information on joining this chapter, click here.