As of May 2012, the Nebraska Department of Labor reported a total of 3,170 medical assistants working in the State, with the largest number of jobs located in the Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan statistical areas.
If you want to become a medical assistant in Nebraska, you may be best served by pursuing education and training in medical assisting, which includes completing the following:
|Learn about the Role of Medical Assistants in Nebraska|
|Complete an Accredited Program in Medical Assisting|
|Become a Nationally Certified Medical Assistant|
|Discover Employment Opportunities in Nebraska|
Step 1: Learn about the Role of Medical Assistants in Nebraska
Nebraska statutes detail the role of medical assistants in Nebraska’s healthcare system. Specifically, these healthcare support professionals are not regulated; they do not have a statutory or regulatory authorized scope of practice; and they are not licensed, certified, or registered by the State of Nebraska. However, medical assistants in Nebraska must have the proper authority to perform nursing or medical tasks.
Further, although medical assistants are not regulated in Nebraska, the services they provide are, including the administration of medication administration. Specifically, medical services performed by medical assistants in Nebraska is limited to:
- Individuals who have the capability and capacity to make informed decisions about medications
- Licensed healthcare professionals that have medication administration in their scope of practice
In order to provide medications, medical assistants must be on the Nebraska Medication Aide Registry and must provide medications in accordance with the Nebraska Medication Aide Act. The Medication Aide Act applies to all settings in which medications are administered, expect the home, unless the in-home administration of medication is provided through a licensed home health agency or licensed or certified home and community-based provider.
Step 2. Complete an Accredited Program in Medical Assisting
Becoming a medical assistant in Nebraska begins with the completion of an educational program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
Both the CAAHEP and ABHES accredit medical assistant programs at the certificate, diploma, and associate degree levels. Certificate and diploma programs, both of which take about a year to complete, provide students with the quickest route to employment, while associate degree programs, although they take about two years to complete, best prepare students to complete more advanced degrees in the healthcare field in the future. All CAAHEP- and ABHES-accredited programs include both administrative and clinical study, and they all culminate in a clinical experience.
To date, there are 6 CAAHEP-accredited medical assistant programs and 1 ABHES-accredited medical assistant program in Nebraska.
Step 3. Become a Nationally Certified Medical Assistant
Beyond the completion of a medical assistant program, many candidates for medical assistant jobs choose to pursue national certification. A number of certifying bodies provide medical assistant certification, with the two most widely accepted being the Certified Medical Assistant credential (CMA) through the American Association of Medical Assistants and the Registered Medical Assistant credential (RMA) through the American Medical Technologists. Both the CMA and the RMA credential can be achieved by completing an accredited medical assistant program and passing a national certification examination.
Other national credentials for medical assistants include:
- National Center for Competency Testing: The National Certified Medical Assistant
- National Healthcare Association: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
- The American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants: Podiatric Medical Assistant, Certified
- The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel In Ophthalmology: Certified Ophthalmic Assistant
Step 4. Discover Employment Opportunities in Nebraska
Nebraska medical assistants may work through a variety of healthcare facilities, such as physician’s offices, ambulatory centers, and hospitals. Therefore, if you want to become a medical assistant, you may find a wealth of employment opportunities through some of the State’s largest hospital systems and medical groups:
- Alegent Creighton Immanuel Medical Center, Omaha
- Alegent Creighton Lakeside Hospital, Omaha
- Alegent Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha
- Bryan LGH Medical Center, Lincoln
- Good Samaritan Hospital, Kearney
- Methodist Hospital, Omaha
- Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha
- Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital, Omaha
- Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Lincoln
You may also find that membership and activity in a professional association, such as the Nebraska Society of Medical Assistants, allows you to connect with other professionals in your industry and remain current about the latest happenings in medical assisting in Nebraska.