Healthy Prospects for Medical Assistants in Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has the 17th largest economy in the world, and the third most vibrant biosciences cluster in America. It's no wonder that pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Shire are located in Pennsylvania, or that health care jobs are abundant here in the Keystone State.
In fact, last July, Governor Rendell announced that the state will invest $2 million in Warren Hospital's new Pine Grove Center. This new medical facility will feature an 11,000-square foot ambulatory surgery center, assisted living center, independent living residencies, and medical office buildings. Pine Grove Center alone will create 60 new health care jobs. Plus, Pennsylvania's $2.3 billion Economic Stimulus Package is an unprecedented effort by the state to create jobs, retain talent, and grow the economy.
Health care jobs will certainly abound in Pennsylvania, but some of the most highly sought health care professionals will be medical assistants, which is why medical assistant training in Pennsylvania is a great idea.
Medical Assistant Training
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that medical assistants will be one of the fastest growing occupations through 2014. Prospects should be best for medical assistants with formal training. The median salary in 2004 for medical assistants was $24,610.
Medical assistants handle the administrative tasks necessary to keep health care offices running smoothly. This may include anything from answering phones and filing, to updating and maintaining patient files, to working with insurers and filing claims, to scheduling, bookkeeping, or even preparing exam rooms. In clinical situations, medical assistants may even collect and prepare lab specimens, administer medications, authorize prescriptions, or administer some minor diagnostic tests. Their ability to handle patient service, light medical work, and administrative tasks makes medical assistants invaluable, which is why among all health care jobs, these professionals will be in such demand.
Earning an associate degree as a medical assistant may take one to two years. Courses include anatomy, medical terminology, transcription, recordkeeping, insurance processing, lab techniques, pharmaceutical principles and administration, first aid, ethics, and even some medical law.
Aside from the obvious availability of health care jobs in the state, Pennsylvanians enjoy a rich quality of life. The cost of living is relatively low here; the median housing value is at least $30,000 less than the national average, which is why a full 71% of residents own their own homes. Plus, Pennsylvania is home to professional teams in the four major sports -- football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. Outdoor lovers will be happy to hear that Pennsylvania has over 17 million acres of forest and 83,000 miles of rivers and streams.
As a medical assistant looking for employment opportunities and a great quality of life, you'll find that Pennsylvania is truly your Keystone State.