Table of Contents
- 1 How to Become a Medical Assistant in Pennsylvania
- 2 Step 1. Understand Pennsylvania’s Laws Pertaining to Medical Assistants
- 3 Step 2. Become a Competitive Medical Assistant Job Candidate
- 4 Step 3. Enter Pennsylvania’s Job Market as a Qualified Medical Assistant
- 5 Step 4. Maintain and Improve Your Medical Assistant Credentials
- 6 The Best Medical Assisting Schools in Pennsylvania
- 7 Medical Assisting Salaries in Pennsylvania
How to Become a Medical Assistant in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, medical assistants are an important factor in the whole health care industry.
And the job prospect there is huge.
However, with time, it is expected to grow even more.
Well, definitely, during the next decade.
But this growth does not come without a cause.
Two things determine it.
One of them is the increasing health care coverage which is going to increase the number of people who are in need of medical services.
And the second factor is the aging of the population rapidly.
The majority of the residents in the state are 65 and over.
To find out what it takes to work as a medical assistant in Pennsylvania, review the steps in this guide:
- Understand Pennsylvania’s Laws Pertaining to Medical Assistants
- Become a Competitive Medical Assistant Job Candidate
- Enter Pennsylvania’s Job Market as a Qualified Medical Assistant
- Maintain and Improve your Medical Assistant Credentials
Step 1. Understand Pennsylvania’s Laws Pertaining to Medical Assistants
Medical assistants are not licensed not regulated by Pennsylvania’s law.
As such, the employers have the right to set their own employment qualifications which they will require from the medical assistants.
But the state does not let all things unchecked.
The law of Pennsylvania has set their conditions in regard to the way physicians can delegate tasks to medical assistants and other healthcare technicians.
These tasks have been included in the list below:
- The delegated task must be within the realm of acceptable medical practice
- The delegated task must not fall into the purview of another regulated occupation, such as midwife, physician assistant, or athletic trainer
- The patient must not object to being treated by a medical assistant, and the nature of the treatment must be fully explained
- No undue risk may be created by delegating tasks to the medical assistant
- A supervising physician must assume full responsibility for the actions of the medical assistant
- The supervising physician must know that the medical assistant has sufficient training, experience, and continuing competency to safely perform the delegated task
When dealing with physicians, the medical assistant needs to demonstrate their training and experience in the field.
This is important for physicians to know since training is crucial to becoming a medical assistant.
This training should culminate with the following qualifications:
- Earning a diploma, certificate, or associate’s degree in the field of medical assisting
- Completing a medical assistant training program
- Earning nationally-recognized medical assistant certification
- Gaining experience performing the tasks of a medical assistant
- Obtaining proof that you are maintaining your education and training
Step 2. Become a Competitive Medical Assistant Job Candidate
Becoming a competitive medical assistant job candidate in Pennsylvania is a matter of earning a credential.
The Certified Medical Assisting Credential is one of them.
It is the minimum of the requirements that employers have set.
While it is also a requirement for being employed in medical assisting on other states as well.
However, this credential does not come for free.
It is sponsored by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
To get the credential, you need to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant Exam also.
This exam is offered through AAMA.
The exam also has some eligibility requirements.
The first is that the candidate must graduate from a medical assistant academic program.
While the second requirement is that is must receive accreditation through one of these accrediting bodies:
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
Similar accredited medical assisting programs are several in Pennsylvania.
By attending any of them, the candidates will be able to acquire a diploma, certificates as well as associate medical assistant degrees.
After finishing any of these programs, the CMA exam is the next step in this journey.
To sit the exam, an online application is required previously.
The exam finally is offered at Prometric testing centers everywhere in these areas of the state:
- In Philadelphia at 601 Walnut Street
- In Conshohocken at 100 West Elm Street, Suite 300
- In Monroeville at 4055 Monroeville Boulevard
- In Pittsburgh at 5700 Corporate Drive, Suite 400
- In Allentown at 2211 Mack Boulevard
- Near Scranton in Clarks Summit at 233 Northern Boulevard, Suite 4
- In Lancaster at 2064 Fruitville Pike
- In Harrisburg at 1100 North Mountain Road
The CMA exam contains 200 different choice questions.
While 160 minutes of time will be in total to answer them.
The questions will belong to three general areas as fit for the medical assisting program.
These subjects are divided as follows:
- General subjects
- Psychology and communication
- Medical law, regulatory guidelines, and medical ethics
- Quality assurance, risk management, and safety
- Medical terminology
- Administrative subjects
- Medical reception and business practices
- Establishing a patient’s medical record
- Appointment scheduling and practice finances
- Clinical subjects
- Anatomy and physiology
- Care and patient intake
- Infection control
- Assisting with patient preparation
- Nutrition, health, and emergency first aid
- Processing and collecting specimens
- Diagnostic testing
Step 3. Enter Pennsylvania’s Job Market as a Qualified Medical Assistant
In Pennsylvania areas, the number of medical assistants in work relations is to be considered.
There are 24,570 employees who offer their medical services in various health care settings.
The cities where these workers are concentrated the most in the state are these:
- 11,140 in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area
- 8,050 in the Philadelphia metropolitan area
- 5,460 in Pittsburgh
- 4,200 in the Union-Newark area
- 1,740 in the Bethlehem-Allentown-Easton area
- 1,710 in the Harrisburg-Carlisle area
- 1,120 in the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman area
- 1,090 in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre area
In Pennsylvania, medical assistants can work either online or locally.
Local jobs for them are concentrated in population centers of the state.
The state does not license the medical assistants legally, however, the practice might come soon.
Just like other states that did not have this practice before, and now are passing legislation that makes formal education and national certification as a requirement of licensing.
Howsoever, medical assistants must follow the legal developments in the state.
This way, they will be informed about certain possible changes in the future.
Anyway, it is obvious that the CMA credential is the national trend nowadays.
Step 4. Maintain and Improve Your Medical Assistant Credentials
Maintaining and improving medical assisting credentials is important.
The law of the state requires that medical assistants keep their competency in doing their tasks as their employers have delegated them with in the first place.
Additionally, credentials also need to be maintained.
This can involve taking a specific college credit load made of relevant classes.
Or you can choose to attend a prescribed amount of professional development activities.
For instance, maintaining the CMA credential you will have to meet an additional set of requirements.
First, you must renew your CMA credential with the AAMA after 60 months.
You can do so by either retaking the CMA Exam or earning 60 re-certification points as follows:
- A minimum of 10 points relating to clinical duties
- A minimum of 10 points relating to general duties
- A minimum of 10 points relating to administrative duties
- A minimum of 30 points from AAMA-approved continuing education units
One way to maintain the CMA requirements is to get a bachelor’s degree in medical assisting and demonstrate proficiency at work.
The latter can be done through making advances in education, which in turn will demonstrate commitment in the profession.
This can also be a requirement for employment in many of Pennsylvania’s more competitive marketplaces.
To help with the information related to these, the Pennsylvania Society of Medical Assistants is available to medical assistants.
The association will give important information related to these areas:
- Professional education and development opportunities
- Legislative changes as they pertain to the medical assisting field
- Networking opportunities for professional advancement and employment
An affiliate organization of the American Association of Medical Assistants is the Pennsylvania Society of Medical Assistants.
The Society has chapters located throughout Pennsylvania.
These chapters are located in:
- Allegheny County Chapter
- Beaver County Chapter
- Blair County Chapter
- Cambria County Chapter
- Erie County Chapter
- Lancaster County Chapter
- Lehigh County Chapter
- Tri-County Chapter
The Best Medical Assisting Schools in Pennsylvania
They say education is the most powerful tool to change the world.
And they’re right!
By attending any of the medical assisting schools below, you will witness that it’s true.
Simply speaking, you will be able to become a leader in your profession.
You will become so through credentials, programs, and career opportunities.
Luckily, all schools in Pennsylvania, offer such chances.
You only have to choose which one to take.
|All-State Career School-Allied Health Campus||Essington, PA|
|Antonelli Medical and Professional Institute||Pottstown, PA|
|Berks Technical Institute||Wyomissing, PA|
|Bidwell Training Center Inc||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Bradford School||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Bucks County Community College||Newtown, PA|
|Career Training Academy-Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology||Pleasant Gap, PA|
|Community College of Allegheny County||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Community College of Philadelphia||Philadelphia, PA|
|DCI Career Institute||Monaca, PA|
|Delaware County Community College||Media, PA|
|Douglas Education Center||Monessen, PA|
|Du Bois Business College-Du Bois||Du Bois, PA|
|Du Bois Business College-Huntingdon||Huntingdon, PA|
|Du Bois Business College-Oil City||Oil City, PA|
|Erie Business Center-Erie||Erie, PA|
|Erie Business Center-New Castle||New Castle, PA|
|Everest Institute-Bensalem||Bensalem, PA|
|Everest Institute-Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Fortis Institute-Erie||Erie, PA|
|Fortis Institute-Forty Fort||Forty Fort, PA|
|Great Lakes Institute of Technology||Erie, PA|
|Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center||Altoona, PA|
|Harris School of Business-Upper Darby Campus||Upper Darby, PA|
|Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg||Harrisburg, PA|
|Indiana County Technology Center||Indiana, PA|
|Institute of Medical Careers||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Kaplan Career Institute-Broomall||Broomall, PA|
|Kaplan Career Institute-Franklin Mills||Philadelphia, PA|
|Kaplan Career Institute-Harrisburg||Harrisburg, PA|
|Kaplan Career Institute-Philadelphia||Philadelphia, PA|
|Kaplan Career Institute-Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Keystone Technical Institute||Harrisburg, PA|
|Lancaster County Career and Technology Center||Willow Street, PA|
|Lansdale School of Business||North Wales, PA|
|Laurel Business Institute||Uniontown, PA|
|Lebanon County Area Vocational Technical School||Lebanon, PA|
|Lehigh Carbon Community College||Schnecksville, PA|
|Lincoln Technical Institute-Allentown||Allentown, PA|
|Lincoln Technical Institute-Center City Philadelphia||Philadelphia, PA|
|Lincoln Technical Institute-Northeast Philadelphia||Philadelphia, PA|
|McCann School of Business & Technology||Pottsville, PA|
|Montgomery County Community College||Blue Bell, PA|
|Mount Aloysius College||Cresson, PA|
|Northampton County Area Community College||Bethlehem, PA|
|Penn Commercial Business/Technical School||Washington, PA|
|Pennsylvania Highlands Community College||Johnstown, PA|
|Pittsburgh Career Institute||Pittsburgh, PA|
|South Hills School of Business & Technology||State College, PA|
|Star Career Academy-Audubon||Audubon, PA|
|Westmoreland County Community College||Youngwood, PA|
|York County School of Technology-Adult & Continuing Education||York, PA|
|Yorktowne Business Institute||York, PA|
|YTI Career Institute-Altoona||Altoona, PA|
|YTI Career Institute-York||York, PA|
Medical Assisting Salaries in Pennsylvania
Below you can check medical assisting salaries in Pennsylvania.
They are listed according to the state.
And surely, from the shift in numbers.
Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary Philadelphia $38,380 Pittsburgh $35,193 Allentown $35,622 Erie $33,003 Upper Darby $38,380 Reading $35,440 Scranton $32,970 Bethlehem $35,622 Lower Merion $36,711 Bensalem $40,350