Nursing Education
Nursing Education Opportunities in Mississippi - 2006  <more..>
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Medical Assistant


Medical assistants perform both administrative and clinical duties in order to keep the offices of health practitioners running as smoothly as possible. Some of the administrative duties that they perform include answering telephones, greeting patients, scheduling appointments, filling out insurance forms, handling correspondence, updating patients’ medical records, handling billing and bookkeeping, and arranging for hospital admission and laboratory services. Medical assistants are also called upon to perform clinical duties such as recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, taking medical histories, disposing of contaminated supplies, sterilizing medical instruments, collecting laboratory specimens, preparing patients for examination, and assisting the physician during the examination. Other miscellaneous duties may include arranging examining-room instruments and equipment, purchasing and maintaining supplies and equipment, and keeping waiting and examining rooms neat and clean. To be a successful medical assistant, an individual must be a team player, emotionally stable, have a great deal of patience, and be able to take orders well.

Work Environment:


Medical assistants work in a variety of different health care settings. These include hospitals, medical clinics, physician’s offices, optometrist's offices, nursing homes, chiropractor's offices, and podiatrist's offices.

High School Preparation:

Students preparing for a career in medical assisting should take courses in biology, algebra, chemistry, English, geometry, dental/medical assisting, computer skills, nurse aide training, health occupations/medical professions education, physical education, and typing.

College Requirements:

Most employers require a high school diploma or the equivalent. Training is offered in a variety of settings, which may include high schools, vocational schools, and community colleges. On-the-job training is available but many choose a one or two-year medical assisting program. Two-year programs result in associate degrees while one-year programs grant certificates or diplomas. Upon graduation from an accredited medical assisting program, students are eligible to take the national certification exam offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants. Certified medical assistants may use the initials CMA after their name.

Students interested in becoming a nursing assistant should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Employment opportunities for medical assistants are expected to grow by more than 36% through the year 2012. Medical assisting is growing so fast that it is projected to be the fastest growing occupation over the next 10 years. Growth of this health career will be driven by the increase in the number of clinics, group practices, and other healthcare facilities that need a high proportion of support personnel. The overall growth of the healthcare industry and technological advances will also have a positive impact on opportunities for medical assistants. Employment opportunities will be best for medical assistants with formal training or experience, and particularly for those with national certification.




Average Annual Salary



Salary Range



Professional Organizations:


American Association of Medical Assistants
20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 1575
Chicago, IL

Phone: (800) 228-2262


Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

35 East Wacker Drive, Suite 1970

Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: (312) 553-9355



American Medical Technologists
10700 West

Higgins Road

Suite 150

Rosemont, IL 60018

Phone: (847) 823-5169

Fax: (847) 823-0458



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