Kentucky Medical Assistant Guide

Career Description

Medical assistants in Kentucky are part of the support structure that doctors and nurses rely on, so they can effectively care for patients.  Medical assistants take care of administrative aspects of the medical system, as well as some clinical parts.

Some Administrative Aspects:

  • Rescheduling cancelled appointments
  • Reminding patients of upcoming appointments
  • Receiving patients
  • Communicating with other doctor’s offices and hospitals

Some Clinical Aspects:

  • Documenting patients’ medical histories
  • Blood preparation for laboratory tests
  • Cleaning and properly storing equipment
  • Updating patients’ records

Certifying Medical Assistants in Kentucky

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            There are several organizations that certify medical assistants in the United States.

            Although it is not necessary to be certified, certification often helps medical assistants find employment.  Certified medical assistants (CMAs) are also more likely to receive raises than those without certification.

            Of these organizations, the AAMA is the most established.  Here is what their certification process looks like.  Most other organizations follow a similar progression.

            Register for a Course

            The AAMA does not have a single, standard CMA training course, but there are many AAMA-sanctioned courses.  These programs are taught at colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions throughout Kentucky.  They can also be found online (although online students must also complete a clinical program).

            Apply for the Mary Williams Scholarship (Optional)

            The Mary Williams Scholarship fund was created to financially help CMA students.  It is awarded to students who have at least a 3.0 GPA and have completed at least a quarter of their medical assistant training.  Those interested in this scholarship can visit the scholarship’s page or email the AAMA.

            Apply for the Test

            Before taking the exam, students must apply for it.  For most people, who have completed the necessary training, this is merely a formality.  The application is available as a PDF document.  It should be sent in with the appropriate payment.

            Schedule the Test

            The AAMA has approved testing centers throughout Kentucky.  At these centers, students can schedule a time for the exam, after they have received a permit.  The AAMA emails applicants the permit within three weeks of their approval.  After receiving the permit, applicants have three months to find a testing center.

             Study and Review

            Students must study for the exam, as they would for any other test.  In addition to reviewing their class notes, students should obtain practice exams from their school or local chapter (see last section).

            Ace the Exam

            The AAMA certifies all applicants that pass the exam, which includes both clinical and academic sections.  The AAMA’s CMA list can be found online, and those who pass the test will be listed there.

            Kentucky CMA Career Outlook

            Career One Stop, which is funded by the Department of Labor, has the following chart.

            United States

            Employment

            Percent
            Change

            Job Openings 1

            2010

            2020

            Medical Assistants

            527,600

            690,400

            +31%

            24,380

            Kentucky

            Employment

            Percent
            Change

            Job Openings 1

            2008

            2018

            Medical Assistants

            7,100

            9,210

            +30%

            290

            1Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

            CMAs have a promising career before them, which will likely grow immensely in the coming years.  Between 2008 and 2018, there should be over 2,000 new jobs for medical assistants in Kentucky.  With about 290 open positions each year, newly certified CMAs have many opportunities to find a job, despite the current labor market.

            Kentucky CMA Salary Outlook

            The latest salary information for CMAs in Kentucky comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Their data shows that medical assistants earn around $26,640 (median wage in 2011).  CMAs who worked near Louisville and Cincinnati earned slightly more, an average of $28,240 and $29,180 respectively.

            The chart below, which is also from Career One Stop, shows CMA salaries by hourly wage and annual salary.

            Location Pay
            Period

            2011

            10%

            25%

            Median

            75%

            90%

            United States Hourly

            $10.04

            $11.86

            $13.99

            $16.87

            $19.62

            Yearly

            $20,900

            $24,700

            $29,100

            $35,100

            $40,800

            Kentucky Hourly

            $9.30

            $10.79

            $12.75

            $14.46

            $16.88

            Yearly

            $19,300

            $22,400

            $26,500

            $30,100

            $35,100

            Recertify and Transfer

            Medical assistants must be recertified on a periodic basis.  Every five years, they must go through this process with the AAMA.

            Recertification is relatively simple, but transferring is even easier.  The AAMA is a national organization, so CMAs simply need to work through their local chapter (below) and national headquarters to transfer to or from Kentucky.

            Kentucky’s AAMA Chapters

            • Bluegrass
            • Central Kentucky
            • Jefferson County
            • Madison County
            • Purchase Area
            • South Central Kentucky

            Sites Used: