Medical assistants serve as the trusted, reliable support professionals in physicians’ offices, clinics, urgent care centers, and more, thanks to their commitment to organization, efficiency, and the well-run office.
And in Wyoming, their value continues to increase as hospitals like Wyoming Medical Center in Casper continue to grow. In 2014, this health system completed a brand new state-of-the-art medical tower, and in 2018, it acquired Mountain View Regional Hospital to create a new East Campus. Today, it employs 1,300, includes 249 beds on two campuses, and boasts 13 specialty, primary, and immediate care clinics.
With the right education and certification, you can join the ranks of Wyoming’s qualified medical assistants who are taking advantage of the state’s strong healthcare sector.
Here are the steps to take to make you a well-qualified medical assistant in Wyoming:
|Complete an Accredited Medical Assistant Program in Wyoming|
|Earn a National Credential in Medical Assisting|
|Explore Your Career Options and Find a Job You’ll Love|
|Maintain Your Professional Qualifications|
Step 1. Complete an Accredited Medical Assistant Program in Wyoming
There is no better preparation for a career in medical assisting than through a program that’s 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 the ABHES accredit diploma, certificate, and associate degree programs, all of which consist of a similar course of education and practical training in medical assisting. Courses in these programs focus on topics like:
- Medical assistant administrative procedures
- Medical office software applications
- Medical terminology and communication with medical professionals
- Medical office insurance billing and coding, including computer software programs
- Medical assisting laboratory procedures
- Medical assisting practicum or internship
But while certificate and diploma programs take, on average, 10-12 months to complete, an associate’s degree takes about 2 years because of the inclusion of a general education core – a set of courses covering subjects like mathematics, communications, the physical sciences, and more.
Despite this longer course of study, an associate’s degree is often the better choice for many medical assistants because top healthcare employers tend to prefer candidates with this degree, and many more offer higher wages for associate’s-prepared medical assistants.
And medical assistants who’ve completed an Associate of Science (AS) in Medical Assisting enjoy a quicker route to a bachelor’s degree because most or all of the courses easily transfer to a four-year degree in healthcare-related areas like healthcare administration, health informatics, public health, and nursing.
Step 2. Earn a National Credential in Medical Assisting
A national credential is an excellent way to display a commitment to your profession and get a leg up on the competition while you’re at it. You’ll also find that many employers prefer candidates who’ve earned one or more national credentials in medical assisting, so you can increase your odds of landing a new job or promotion if you’ve got one on your resume.
The completion of an accredited medical assisting program will earn you eligibility to take any of the national certification examinations available in medical assisting.
The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), sponsored by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), remains the most widely sought after credential in medical assisting. The Certified Medical Assistant Exam is a 200 question, multiple-choice exam that tests your knowledge in three, main areas:
- Medical assistant general subjects
- Medical assistant clinical subjects
- Medical assistant administrative subjects
Other popular credentials in medical assisting include:
- To earn the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), sponsored by American Medical Technologists (AMT), you must pass the RMA Exam.
- To earn the Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA), sponsored by the National Association of Health Professionals(NAHP), you must pass the NRCMA exam.
- To earn the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), sponsored by the National Healthcareer Association(NHA), you must pass the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Exam.
- To earn the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), sponsored by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), you must pass the NCMA Exam.
Step 3. Explore Your Career Options and Find a Job You’ll Love
Once you’ve earned the education and national certification that’ll make you a competitive candidate, you can begin your job search by checking out some of the newest opportunities available through Wyoming’s hospital systems, such as:
- Memorial Hospital of Converse County, Douglas
- Wyoming Medical Center, Casper
- Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, Rock Springs
- John’s Health, Jackson
- Ivinson Memorial Hospital, Laramie
- Evanston Regional Hospital, Evanston
- Sheridan Memorial Hospital, Sheridan
Step 4. Maintain Your Professional Medical Assistant Qualifications
You’ll must maintain your national credential(s) by completing specific continuing education requirements:
- CMA – You will renew the CMA every 5 years by either retaking the CMA exam or earning at least 60 re-certification points according to these specifications:
- 10 points relating to administrative duties
- 10 points relating to clinical duties
- 10 points relating to general duties
- 30 points from AAMA-approved continuing education units
- RMA – You will renew the RMA by maintaining an annual membership with the AMT and earning 30 Certification Continuing Program (CCP) points every three years.
- NRCMA – You will renew the NRCMA by holding a current CPR card, maintaining an annual membership with the NAHP, and completing at least two A-class Continuing Education Units (CEUs) each year.
- CCMA – You will renew the CCMA by completing at least 10 Continuing Education (CE) credits every two years.
- NCMA – You will renew the NCMA by completing an NCCT-approved series of continuing education annually.
All salary and employment data accessed July 2020.