Before taking the “plunge” and signing up for a vocational training program, it is a good idea to do some self-assessment. When we asked a number of medical assistants in our medical assistant forum what it was that attracted them to the medical assisting career, they pointed out that they like the relatively short training time compared to nursing (and other highly technical medical professions) and that they wanted to build a meaningful career in a field where they can make a difference in their community.
Advance your career in allied health by becoming an instructor in your profession.
If you are an allied health or medical professional interested in becoming a qualified instructor in the health and medical field, then Orion’s Bachelor of Science Degree program is the best path for you. Our fully accredited program allows you to complete 100% of your study online, thereby providing the flexibility that you need for your busy schedule. Orion College offers online student support that’s second to none; classes are instructor led, interactive and exciting.
1. A bachelor’s degree is viewed as a more prestigious level of education
2. As an instructor, you will convey excellence in your profession while sharing your experiences with the next generation of trained professionals
3. Many higher learning accrediting agencies are now requiring instructors to possess a bachelor’s degree, at a minimum
• Medical Assistants
• Dental Hygienists
• Physical Therapy Assistants
• Occupational Therapy Assistants
• Radiographic Technologists
• Physician Assistants
• Surgical Technicians
• Veterinary Assistants
• Respiratory Technicians
• Other allied health professionals possessing an associate degree or higher
Orion is a post-secondary school that offers a variety of degree and diploma programs in the allied health field. Call (888) 331-9957 to speak with an Admissions Representative or go directly to their website here: Orion College.
The BSVE program is a completion program which awards 36 credits for graduation from an associate level program in an allied health field, possession of a current unencumbered license or certification/registration as recognized by ICE: NCCA, and a minimum of 1 year occupational experience. The candidate must be currently employed or teaching in his/her vocation at the time of admission. The 36 credits are awarded for completion of the vocational core portion of the associate program. Additional general education classes may be transferred in as per Orion College’s transfer of credit policy. All upper-division core education credits must be completed at Orion College.
Many colleges and other entities now offer web based medical assistant distance education programs where all, or most of the required course work (hybrid courses) is read and submitted online; related online courses cover biology, medical computer applications, word processing, computer sciences, economics, English composition, pharmacology, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, which all falls into the medical assisting field.
Being a smart consumer pays off when choosing vocational training programs, especially those offered online.
Worthless Medical Assistant Certificate, Diploma and Degree
Many might not know that marketing fake diplomas, certificates and degrees has become a billion dollar industry—at least 800 million a year in the U.S. alone—so big is this market that it simply blows the mind. Nowadays, almost anybody can receive college level and advanced degrees with almost zero effort.
Consumer protection agencies and educational web sites warn people to use caution when it comes to formerly little known schools and distance education programs. Doctors, clergymen, police officers, teachers, federal employees, including White House staffers, National Security Agency employees, FBI agents and Senior State Department officials have purchased bogus degrees to seek employment, promotions, higher positions and better pay. Even medical assistants have been taken advantage of gray area medical assistant programs offered online without any special pre-enrollment conditions, qualification screenings, or passing grade standards… for just a few hundred dollars. Cool? Not so.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported medical assistants to earn $19.62 per hour, or $40,810 per year in 2011. National statistics for medical assistant wages show that 90% of working medical assistants in the USA were earning an hourly wage of nearly $20. Of course, now that some years have passed since the publishing of these figures, the estimates are the low end and in the meantime have changed in favor of the employee.
The annual wages are calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a “year-round, full-time” hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.
“I am 45 years old, going on 46 and am wondering whether that’s too old to start a medical assistant career. When I visited our local community college for orientation I noticed most students are somewhere in their mid-twenties. That and going back to school makes me a little nervous.”
As to an ideal age to be begin your medical assisting career, here is what the director of a large regional medical center who hires medical assistants for their ambulatory offices has told us:
“We give preference to the mature applicant. We know from experience that the mature medical assistant brings both life and work experience to the table and is significantly better able to adjust to a given work schedule, identify with people of all ages and meet our physician’s and patient’s needs.”
All medical assistants, regardless of their amount of education, training, experience and credentials must realize that they are subject to certain laws and limitations and must act only within their scope of employment when practicing their trade.
An act within the scope of employment is incidental to the employer’s business, or in this case, the doctor’s medical practice and is done to further the doctor’s interest. If a medical assistant departs so far from his/her duties that his/her acts are no longer for his employer’s benefit, then these acts are not within the scope of his/her employment. If a tortuous act by the medical assistant arose out of an activity which was within his/her scope of employment, or ordinary course of business, then that act may be considered to be within the scope of employment.
Doctors Allow Medical Assistants to (Illegally?) Administer Injectable Drugs
It seems doctors and medical office managers still don’t clearly understand what medical assistants can and cannot do… we have heard about medical assistants and even front desk staff administering Botox injections. And so the confusion about the medical assistant’s scope of practice continues.
As seen in the news: [Sep 9, 2009 09:17 PM, ABC 13 Action News] “Nevada Board of Medical Examiners finds under-qualified medical staff administering drugs… The Nevada Board of Medical Examiners has found many physicians in Nevada are allowing medical assistants to illegally administer certain drugs, including Botox. Betty Guerra, a 45 year old medical assistant was accused of unlawfully administering cosmetic injections. – See more at: http://medicalspamd.com/the-blog/2009/11/4/medical-assistants-can-not-inject-botox.html#sthash.uDrY7N8e.dpuf”
The so often misunderstood doctrine of Respondeat Superior…
MISCONCEPTION: “Medical assistants work under the umbrella of the doctor, so if something goes it’s the doctor who will be held responsible for the mistake.”
We have said it before and we cannot emphasize it enough: this is not true! Medical assistants are just as responsible for their own actions, along with doctor who hired them, but first, let’s first define the doctrine of respondeat superior.
Definition of Respondeat Superior
Respondeat superior is a legal term that stands for “let the master answer“. It is a long established doctrine that applies when a master acts through the servant to accomplish a specific task. What this means is that under specific circumstances, an employer (let’s say the doctor) is legally liable for the actions of his or her employees (servants) while in the course of their employment. The actions of the servant are imputed to the master.
Medical assistant’s pay is influenced by the type of education, training, professional credentials and years of experience, as well as location and the type of medical practice where special technical and clinical skills are required. An increasing number of medical offices seek certified medical assistants and often also expect at least 1-2 years of experience. Wages will increase significantly for a fully qualified, accredited and certified medical assistant in a medical specialty office! Just read the medical assistant vacancies and wanted ads in your local newspaper, or explore job offers on job websites, such as Indeed.com or MonsterJobs.com and you will quickly learn what employers want. You often find: “Certified medical assistants only, non-certified medical assistants need not apply.”