Sunday, May 29, 2011

I Need Money for Medical Assistant School

How Can I Get Money to Pay  for My Medical Assistant Training Program Tuition?

"I would like to become a medical assistant but I don't know how to pay for my training." One concern that is emerging to the forefront of many potential medical assisting school applicants' minds is the how to come up with enough money to cover the cost of learning a meaningful trade and funding.

 Medical assisting students can expect to incur approximately $7,000-$9,000 for tuition and books at a community college and up to $16,000 at a private for-profit vocational training institution. Many do not know where to look for money, although  money for school is available.

Obvious and Hidden Costs of Attending Medical Assistant School
There are obvious costs, and hidden costs. Obvious costs are for tuition, books, laptop, software, scrubs, stethoscope, and a penlight. Hidden costs associated with going back to school often are cost for transportation, babysitter, and loss of income (if you have to put your job on hold or cut hours to go to school).

Money is Available

There are federal student loans, scholarships and grants and even vocational training programs for teens and adults that are completely free or fully paid for by the Department of Labor or other government funding, such as the Workforce Investment Act (WIA):
  • Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) offer specialized training to high school juniors and seniors or students who are 16 years of age and are free.

  • Job Corps is a program administered by the United States Department of Labor that offers free-of-charge education and vocational training to youth ages 16 to 24.

  • Workforce Investment Act sponsored programs designed to prepare youth and unskilled adults for entry into the labor force, previously known as JTPA.

  • And then there are Pell grants, especially Pell Grants for low income single parents returning to institutes of technology, collegiate-level institutions, vocational schools and trade schools to get a post-secondary education that will lead to a trade.

For a list of Federal Student Aid and Assistance Programs go to the New Medical Assistant website. This website will give you additional tips and ideas where to turn for medical assistant training program funding.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Avoiding Hidden Pitfalls when Delegating Tasks to Medical Assistants

With the increased need to hire medical assistants due to the rough economy and inflation also come certain pitfalls when physicians train their medical assistants on the job to delegate medical tasks and advanced health care procedures that were formerly performed by higher paid licensed nursing and allied health professionals.

With the economy down, all costs and prices increasing everywhere, and energy prices through the roof it also affects the cost of running and maintaining a medical office. Practicing physicians try to lessen the impact of the current inflation on their medical office operational cost by turning toward hiring unlicensed staff, e.g., lesser paid medical assistants or technicians, to delegate responsibilities which historically have been performed by higher-salaried nurses and mid-level providers. While this literally spurs the hiring of more medical assistants it also means that measures must be taken to avoid certain liability issues for the physician and medical assistant alike.

Medical assistants receive on-the-job training to perform administrative and clinical duties, such as patient care and medical tasks and are expected to handle advanced services such as injections, calling-in prescriptions, removing sutures and on-site laboratory screening tests. This trend of hiring medical assistants  to replace nursing staff for less pay is likely to continue as long as inflation and people seeking jobs everywhere remains high.

When a medical assistant receives on-the-job training to perform a medical task, it is good practice that the supervising physician includes a record and description of the training in the personnel file, which should also include clinical skills checklists.

Each item on the checklist should be checked off only after observing the medical assistant perform the task appropriately. Furthermore, the medical assistant's personnel file should include a written job description defining his/her scope of practice and limits of duties.

Then, the specific skills should be periodically revisited, reviewed and reevaluated by to avoid deterioration of this knowledge and prevent errors from seeping in over time. It is equally important to appropriately supervise medical assistants when they perform any kind of hands-on patient care, on site screening tests, call in prescriptions, or administer medications.

The best way to prevent liability issues for doctors who hire and train medical assistants, and medical assistants under their employ is to stay well informed and abreast with current trends.

For more information about training medical assistant students, duties, specialties, certifications and pay visit the Certified Medical Assistant website. This website addresses typical training requirements, challenges, hidden pitfalls, job market trends, future outlook and pay for medical assistants in the USA.

While the above referenced website provides unmatched information for medical assistants not found anywhere else on the Web it cannot answer all questions that may arise. Therefore, another great resource is the State Medical Board/Board of Medical Examiners which regulates the medical profession in each state and the Board of Nursing.

Learn more about medical assistants at Medical Assistant NET on the Web.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Allied Health Institute Launches Chiropractic Technologist Associate of Science Degree Program

NORTH LAUDERDALE, FLA., May 24th, 2011 –
Allied Health Institute, an accredited post secondary school, launched a 16-month Chiropractic Technologist Associate of Science Degree program.

The program is designed to meet a growing need for Chiropractic Technologists nationwide. Because employment of chiropractors is expected to increase 20 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, similar growth is expected in terms of need for Chiropractic Technologists.
“A chiropractic technologist is a paraprofessional serving the chiropractic profession in the capacity of an assistant in the chiropractic office,” said Marvin Merritt who developed the program for Allied Health Institute. ‘The chiropractic technologist could assist in case histories, preliminary portions of the examination, the application of modalities and therapies and the taking and developing of x-rays all under the direct supervision of the attending chiropractic physician. “

The Chiropractic Technologist program provides students with professional training in the field of alternative medicine, focusing on chiropractic. Students are introduced to chiropractic philosophy and principles, anatomy and physiology, nutrition and are provided with an in-depth study of radiologic science.
“Chiropractic is the 3 largest healing art next to allopathic and osteopathic medicine. Where as M.D.'s and D.O's utilize the support skills of the medical assistant in their offices, the D.C.'s will utilize the specific skill set of the chiropractic technologist."
Chiropractic is the third largest healing art next to allopathic and osteopathic medicine. Whereas MDs and DOs utilize the support skills of the medical assistant in their offices, the DCs will utilize the specific skill set of the chiropractic technologist,” said Merritt. “There is an ongoing push by the insurance industry to require all personnel that come in contact with patients in regards to treatment to be certified and has some type of state licensure in order for the provider to receive reimbursement for services rendered. A certified chiropractic technologist would fulfill this requirement.”
The coursework for this program is conducted online and also includes a facility-based clinical training requirement, which provides the student with a hands-on learning experience.

Among the duties performed by the chiropractic technologist include assisting patients with paperwork, examination preliminaries such as height and weight, blood pressure, pulse and respiration and an initial spinal screening. In addition, the chiropractic technologist may be called upon to take and develop x-rays and apply therapies all under the direct supervision of the attending chiropractic physician.

About Allied Health Institute

Allied Health Institute provides quality distance education in high demand job fields in a wide range of healthcare occupations. By utilizing virtual classrooms, students have the flexibility to continue their education from the convenience of their own homes. Most classes are completed entirely online, allowing students great flexibility while receiving support from instructors, peers and student services. Programs that contain clinical training and externships are designed to enhance career skills, providing student with hands-on training and real-life experience.

For more information, call 1-866-251-3244

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Medical Assistant Responsibilities and Limitations

Every medical office should have an organized plan that outlines the duties of every staff member in the medical office, especially their medical assistants, which should also address how to handle patient assessment and triage procedures, administration of medication, treatment procedures and emergency situations.

A good medical practice and health care facility has established policies and provides a written job description outlining responsibilities for each specialty and discipline to all their medical office staff members, including medical assistants. It is good policy to instruct their staff that they have specific responsibilities while also being subject to certain limitations while performing work related duties under their employ. These responsibilities and limitations are based on the quality and amount of their education, training and experience, as well as local and state regulations and official guidelines regulating their profession, i.e. the medical assistant's specific scope of practice.

The responsible medical assistant will recognize, accept and demand that these limitations are respected and strictly adhered to where ever they work and practice their skills. Click the link for an extensive list of what a medical assistant can and cannot do.

Medical Assistants Taking X-Rays

Medical assistants may work in a medical office or facility where x-rays are part of the daily routine. The doctor might wish for the medical assistant to handle taking the radiographic images, however, a special license is required in most states. State authorities have jurisdiction over radiology licensing for each state.

Medical Assistants Reading Laboratory Results

When it comes to reading lab or x-ray result to patients over the phone, that is permissible. Medical assistants are allowed to read x-ray and various other medical screening and laboratory results from the medical chart. When the lab printouts are read and the patient has specific questions then the medical assistant must refer them to the doctor for his/her interpretation. Once read, the medical assistant annotates the lab slip with the date, who he/she spoke to over the phone, any other brief notes, initials it and files it back into the patient's chart and brings chart to doctor. A short annotation is enough (but very important!): "05/15/2009; results read to PT, referred to doctor; SMD, CCMA (initials)."

For more info visit Medical Assistant Net: Medical Assistant Scope of Practice which provides answers to questions regarding medical assistants with limited x-ray responsibilities and their requirements.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Medical Assistants Seeking Certified Phlebotomy Credentials

Medical assistants often are trained in venipuncture (blood drawing techniques) and are responsible for obtaining ordered blood specimens for diagnostic analysis in a laboratory. Medical assistants often seek phlebotomist certifications to work as phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician in a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare facility.

The money is good and the jobs are plentiful. Phlebotomists, and medical assistants who perform venipunctures (and phlebotomy) as part of their daily routine in California need special approved phlebotomy training and phlebotomy certification in order to work in this occupation in this state. The certification exam is sponsored by a handful recognized certification sponsors that allow phlebotomy certification candidates to apply and take their proctored phlebotomy certification exams.

A list of Professional membership organizations and agencies that certify phlebotomy candidates by examination in the USA is here: Phlebotomy Certifications.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Single Mom: Why I Wanted to Be a Medical Assistant and Not a Nurse

I was always interested in the medical field and a meaningful career and am interested in working as a medical assistant, rather than in nursing, which requires enrolling in a nursing program, which is hard to get into and takes time.

- I like medical assistant because they work Mo - Fri in a clean environment.
- Contrary to nursing, medical assistants work normal business hours, no weekends and holidays. This gives me time with my family.
- Take home pay is good. Once you take the certified medical assistant exam it gets even better.

When I needed to learn more about this career and what it entails I found EVERYTHING I needed to know quickly and easily on the website at -description -duties -rules and an easy school finder. The website helped me find the perfect school to get into medical assisting fast.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Teaching Medical Assistants of the Future: Are Medical Assistant Instructors Up for the Task?

What Kinds of Duties Will Medical Assistants Have in 2015?

Either through choice or necessity, more and more adults seek enrollment in secondary vocational programs, postsecondary vocational; vocational or skill-centered curricula. One responsibility that will fall heavily on vocational schools and for medical assistant instructors is keeping up to date. Advances in health care, new discoveries in medicine and technological changes in the workplace can happen quickly and must be followed.
Often we are asked simple questions:
Can a Medical Assistant give injections if he/she isn't certified?
Can a Medical Assistant give injections in _________ (your state)?
Are medical assistants allowed to start or disconnect IVs?
Are medical assistants allowed to give narcotic injections?
Are medical assistants allowed to inject collagen? Botox? Flu Shots?

But what about the more complex skills and skills that are on the brink of discovery? Keeping abreast with the latest changes and discoveries often necessitate changes in the medical office workplace. Preparing the future medical assistant student body for these changes is important and essential for the student's success. If medical assisting teachers cannot anticipate and do not keep current with the latest changes, their vocational training programs quickly become state, outdated and obsolete. As a result their graduates must be retrained, or worse, they cannot find employment.

Teaching Employable Medical Assistants of the Future

In addition, medical assistant school teachers must keep up with workplace trends and customs, for example, men in nontraditional roles and positions in the medical office, medical assistants performing limited x-ray skills, CLIA waived lab procedures, training in specialty fields, electrocardiograms, ophthalmology chair-side assisting, podiatric procedures and starting IV lines.

Their educational activities must be directed toward the preparation of individuals for productive and gainful employment in the medical office, or better ANY and all medical offices. While most state regulations remain vague on the exact role of their practicing medical assistants in their state some states have strict rules with the medical assistant's scope of practice clearly spelled out.

Measurable Occupational Learning Outcome

Although there are several ways to measure learning outcomes, the most common method employed in vocational education is occupational competency testing designed to assess mastery of skills and knowledge found in specific jobs. Learning and building a successful career path never ends. Many medical assistants, in addition to their recognized, certified credentials, are inspired to reach even higher and return back to the classroom to earn an academic degree, such as an A.S. degree in Medical Assisting or a Bachelors in Healthcare Management.