Medical assistants (MA) work under the supervision of doctors and registered nurses in hospitals, private practices, clinics, and other medical facilities. Their primary duties include administrative tasks, clinical and technical support services. MA also may recruit patients for clinical studies, prepare them for examination and maintain medical records. We took the help of MedAssistant team in creating this article for a few insights, and we hope that any budding MA’s would find this information useful.
Although not required by law or regulation, certification is available through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education Requirements in Arizona
Certified or licensed medical assistants must complete a state-approved training program that consists of classroom instruction and at least one clinical experience, which will provide you with the skills needed to pass the state and the NHA exam. After completing a state-approved training program, you can take either the national or state exam that the Arizona Board of Regents administers. A passing score on this test will allow you to work as a medical assistant in AZ.
When you’ve finished your training program, the medical establishment where you completed your clinical experience will help you find a position or refer you to one.
The Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) offers free employment services to graduates of Arizona-approved programs. Upon request, ACDIS will inform all employers in the greater Phoenix area that you are available for employment.
Medical Assistant Salary in AZ
Salaries for medical assistants vary according to the location, size, and type of employer, education, and experience. Wages also can be affected by whether you work full-time or part-time. The average salary in Arizona is $25,000 per year or $12.00 per hour.
Medical Assistant Jobs in AZ
Job prospects will vary based on the location, size, and type of employer and your education and experience. The American Medical Association provides information about job opportunities in Arizona. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), many medical assistants work part-time or flexible schedules because some physicians do not maintain regular office hours. The OOH also states that employment is projected to grow faster than the average in Arizona at 28 per cent through 2018, which is much faster than average.
The steps to becoming a medical assistant in Arizona are:
Step 1. Meet the education requirement for Medical Assistants in AZ
Graduation from an accredited high school or equivalent GED certificate is required for entry into this occupation. You can get more information about 2-year associate degree programs from the Arizona Board of Regents.
Step 2. Apply for certification or licensure as a medical assistant in AZ
To apply for Medical Assistant certification in Arizona, you need to provide. All documents must be notarized and include the following:
- A non-refundable application processing fee of $25 payable to the “Arizona Board of Regents”
- Two passport-style photographs
- A photocopy of your driver’s license or other photo ID.
Step 3. Pass the required Medical Assistant certification or licensure exam(s)
Certification is available through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). The NHA offers certification exams for generalist, pediatric, ophthalmic, and emergency medical technician assistants. You’ll receive a credential after the successful completion of the exam.
Step 4. Consider voluntary certification for medical assistants in AZ
The National Healthcareer Association offers voluntary certification to experienced medical assistants who want to demonstrate their advanced skills through this credential (NHA Certified Medical Assistant, NHA CMA). To qualify for this credential, you must meet education requirements and have at least two years of experience in a medical setting after completing a state-approved training program.
Step 5. Maintain your certification for Medical Assistants in AZ
Certified medical assistants need to renew their certificate every three years by meeting continuing education requirements and submitting renewal application forms to the Arizona Board of Regents.
Certification Requirements for Medical Assistant in Arizona
To obtain a certification as a medical assistant, besides meeting the above requirements, you also need to:
Be at least 18 years old Have a high school diploma or equivalent Complete a state-approved training program/associate degree in medical assisting from an accredited university or community college. Pass either the national exam given by the National Healthcare Association (NHA) or the state exam administered by the Arizona Board of Regents.
Job Requirements for Medical Assistant in Arizona
Besides the educational requirements and exam(s) to become a medical assistant, you also need to know anatomy, physiology, biology, and medical terminology; be proficient in computer applications such as word processing and data entry; possess excellent customer service skills; be well organized and detail-oriented.
In AZ, medical assistants cannot perform invasive procedures such as injections and suturing or prescribe medication. However, there are some exceptions for emergencies only. Therefore, in most cases, they assist registered nurses and physicians by performing routine tasks such as measuring vital signs and height/weight, preparing patients for examinations; recording symptoms and medical history; explaining procedures to patients; drawing blood, processing lab specimens; sterilizing medical instruments and equipment.