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How to Become a Medical Assistant in Virginia
If you're interested in becoming a medical assistant in Virginia, here are the steps you can follow:
Step 1: Complete an State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV) Approved Program with a institute of higher education or trade, technical, post-secondary institute of learning in Medical Assisting While Virginia does not have formal state licensing requirements for medical assistants, top healthcare employers prefer candidates who have completed a formal program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Accreditation ensures that the program provides the necessary education and practical training required to become a competent, entry-level medical assistant. Accredited programs are available at the certificate, diploma, and associate degree levels. Topics covered in these programs include medical terminology and anatomy, CPR/First Aid, medical insurance billing and coding, and medical assisting field internship or practicum. Certificate and diploma programs can be completed in 10-12 months, while associate degree programs take about 2 years and include general education courses.
Step 2: Become Nationally Certified in Medical Assisting National certification is highly recommended in the medical assisting profession to demonstrate advanced knowledge and commitment to the field. The three most widely pursued credentials are Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) through the National Career Association, Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) through the American Medical Technologists (AMT), and Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) through the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP). Each certification requires passing an exam that covers various subjects related to medical assisting. It's important to maintain your certification through continuing education and renewal.
Step 3: Find a Job in Medical Assisting in Virginia To access the latest job opportunities and networking events, consider becoming a member of a professional association such as the Virginia Society of Medical Assistants (VSMA). You can start your job search by exploring openings at major healthcare systems in Virginia, such as Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Centra Lynchburg General Hospital, Chippenham Hospital, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Saint Mary's Hospital, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and University Hospital.
By following these steps, you can position yourself as a qualified and competitive candidate for medical assistant positions in Virginia. Good luck in your journey to becoming a medical assistant!
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