Table of Contents
- 1 How to Become a Medical Assistant in Virginia
- 2 Step 1. Become a Qualified Medical Assistant Through Education and Certification
- 3 Step 2. Learn About the Medical Assistant Job Market in Virginia
- 4 Step 3. Maintain and Improve Your Medical Assistant Qualifications
- 5 The Best Medical Assistant Schools in Virginia
- 6 Medical Assisting Salaries in Virginia
How to Become a Medical Assistant in Virginia
In Virginia, employers will determine the requirements and preferences for medical assistant jobs.
That happens because the state does not have any law for them in the first place.
However, becoming a competitive and qualified medical assistant in Virginia is welcomed
It takes three main steps:
- Become a Qualified Medical Assistant Through Education and Certification
- Learn About the Medical Assistant Job Market in Virginia
- Maintain and Improve Your Medical Assistant Qualifications
The way to become a medical assistant in Virginia is through research.
In other words, you need to take notes regarding the legislation on medical assisting practice and delegation of duties in the state.
So basically, licensed medical practitioners in Virginia have delegated the tasks from the Virginia Board of Medicine.
These delegation includes them to perform these medical duties in a few conditions:
- The activities or functions are non-discretionary, i.e., they do not fall under the purview of another licensed occupation
- The activities do not require professional judgment
- The activities are of the type that is usually delegated to medical assistants
In addition, medical assistants also are allowed to administer controlled substances to patients as long as they have undergone such training beforehand.
The can administer them if this process does not include these methods:
- Intravenous methods
- Intrathecal methods – methods involving administration of controlled substances directly to areas around the brain or spinal cord
- Epidural methods
Regardless of the lack of legislation in medical assisting in Virginia, finding a job will not be impossible.
Many employers set their own hiring requirements for them.
Usually, the following qualifications are the most common ones required in a candidate for a job position:
- Possess a medical assistant degree, diploma or certificate
- Holds national certification:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
- Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA)
Since medical assistants’ work is not regulated by law, these professionals can only perform their duties under specific circumstances.
Step 1. Become a Qualified Medical Assistant Through Education and Certification
Qualification in any profession means adding more education to it.
The first thing to do to qualify as a medical assistant in Virginia is right through this step, through credentialing.
This credentialing comes after finishing a medical assisting program in the first place.
It means qualifying for a certificate or associate degree level training program.
The certification and associate degree must be taken through the help of the accrediting agencies in the state.
These agencies are:
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
In Virginia, however, you can attend online classes in medical assisting as well.
There are in total nine online schools throughout the state.
They are all accredited from the above-mentioned agencies.
These areas of the state where you can attend these schools are:
- Virginia Beach
Participating in a medical assistant program will mean taking classes that include:
- Medical terminology and anatomy
- Medical terminology and physiology
- Clinical medical assistant procedures
- Medical assistant office procedures
- CPR and first aid for infants, children, and adults, including the use of an AED
- Ethics and law in the medical office
- Medical insurance billing and coding
- Medical assisting and pharmacology
- Medical assisting in computer software programs
- Managing an electronic health record
- Medical assistant field internship or practicum
As soon as you graduate from a program that is accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES, you will be qualified to pursue a CMA, RMA, or NRCMA credential:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) – sponsored by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To earn a CMA you will need to pass the Certified Medical Assistant Exam. You can register online to take this exam, for which you will have 160 minutes to complete 200 multiple-choice questions covering three basic subjects:
- Medical assisting clinical subjects
- Medical assisting administrative subjects
- Medical assisting general subjects
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – sponsored by American Medical Technologists (AMT). One of the paths to becoming eligible for the RMA credential is to earn a CMA through the AAMA. Upon achieving this you can apply with AMT for their RMA credential.
- Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) – sponsored by the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP). Becoming eligible for the CMA credential will also make you eligible for the NRCMA credential. To obtain this you will also need to pass an examination, a process you can start by filling out an application form.
Step 2. Learn About the Medical Assistant Job Market in Virginia
In Virginia, medical assistants work whenever medical services are needed.
They are concentrated mostly in the urban area as these:
- 6,140 in the Arlington-Alexandria-DC greater metropolitan area
- 2,860 in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News greater metropolitan area
- 1,950 in Richmond
- 630 in the greater Bristol metropolitan area
- 430 in Roanoke
- 310 in Charlottesville
- 300 in Lynchburg
- 200 in the Winchester area
- 170 in the Blacksburg-Christianburg-Radford area
- 160 in Harrisonburg
- 110 in Danville
In case you need more information about other additional medical assisting areas, you can contact the Virginia Society of Medical Assistants.
The organization will make sure to inform you about these subjects:
- Upcoming education and professional development activities
- Job and networking opportunities
- Changes in legislation regarding the medical assistant profession
When job hunting, qualifications are important.
For this reason in Virginia, you need to find a job position that accepts your qualifications.
The most recent employment opportunities in this state so far are these:
- A Patient First Neighborhood Medical Center in Richmond recently posted an ad seeking a medical assistant who as at least 18 years of age with high school education. The ad also stated a preference for hiring candidates who had at least one year of experience working in a hospital or physician’s office.
- Riverside Health Care System in Newport News was recently looking to hire a medical assistant who had a minimum graduated from a medical assistant training program. The organization also stated a strong preference for candidates with a CMA credential.
- Virginia Cancer Specialists in Gainesville was recently seeking a candidate who possessed the following minimum qualifications:
- Current CPR certification
- At least three years of relevant work experience
- A current and valid certificate in the field of medical assisting
Step 3. Maintain and Improve Your Medical Assistant Qualifications
Medical assistant qualifications improvement and maintenance is a matter of the employer.
He or she will set his or her own requirement whether any type of continuing education or professional development you will need to acquire as you work with him.
However, when it comes to maintaining a national certification such as a CMA, RMA, or NRCMA you will need to meet the following requirements:
- CMA – valid for 60 months, and to renew you must fulfill one of the following:
- Earn 60 re-certification points with at least 30 of these being AAMA-approved
- Retake the CMA Exam
- RMA – must pay a $50 annual renewal fee and complete 30 points from the Certification Continuing Program (CCP) every three years.
- NRCMA – maintain a valid and current CPR card, plus pay a yearly membership fee to the NAHP. You will also need to complete at least two A-Class Continuing Education Units (CEUs) annually, except during your first renewal.
In the wide range of these maintenance requirements, additional education is welcomed as well.
One way to do so can be through acquiring a degree in medical sciences or attending college courses that meet the renewal requirements the same way as RMA, CMA and NRCMA credentials.
Furthermore, a bachelor’s degree in sciences is an opportunity to follow up with more specialized degrees in the field.
This way, it would help one become a competitive candidate in the job market in Virginia.
The Best Medical Assistant Schools in Virginia
There are 25 medical assisting schools in Virginia.
In them, you will find medical assisting programs.
These programs are a must to follow up with other additional education in the field.
Apart from local schools, you can also attend online classes in medical assisting in the state.
School Name Address American National University Salem, VA Bryant & Stratton College-Hampton Hampton, VA Bryant & Stratton College-Richmond North Chesterfield, VA Bryant & Stratton College-Virginia Beach Virginia Beach, VA Career Training Solutions Fredericksburg, VA Eastern Shore Community College Melfa, VA ECPI University Virginia Beach, VA Everest College-Chesapeake Chesapeake, VA Everest College-McLean Vienna, VA Everest College-Newport News Newport News, VA Everest College-Woodbridge Woodbridge, VA Fortis College-Norfolk Norfolk, VA Fortis College-Richmond Richmond, VA ITT Technical Institute-Chantilly Chantilly, VA ITT Technical Institute-Norfolk Norfolk, VA ITT Technical Institute-Richmond Richmond, VA ITT Technical Institute-Springfield Springfield, VA Medtech Institute Falls Church, VA Miller-Motte Technical College-Lynchburg Lynchburg, VA Miller-Motte Technical College-Roanoke Roanoke, VA Richmond School of Health and Technology CHESTER, VA Skyline College-Roanoke Roanoke, VA Stratford University Fairfax, VA Tidewater Community College Norfolk, VA Virginia College-Richmond Richmond, VA Westwood College-Annandale Annandale, VA
Medical Assisting Salaries in Virginia
Check medical assisting salaries in Virginia below.
They are categorized into three parts.
There is the minimum, the average and the maximum salary per medical assistants throughout the state.
However, the salary for this profession in Virginia depends on many factors.
It depends on education, skills, work experience as well as the place you work at.
Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary Virginia Beach $34,157 Norfolk $33,643 Chesapeake $33,600 Richmond $35,808 Newport News $33,471 Hampton $33,471 Alexandria $39,451 Portsmouth $33,463 Roanoke $32,999 Lynchburg $32,910