Medical assisting in Utah is growing fast, with employment of medical assistants expected to grow by 40 percent between 2012 and 2022. Schools that offer medical assisting programs in the state are already gearing up to meet that demand. According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, certified medical assistants may have better job prospects than uncertified applicants.
This guide focuses on the variety of tasks medical assistants can and cannot perform, what to expect from medical assisting programs, and what might be available in terms of salary across the state of Utah.
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Utah's Best Medical Assisting School
To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:
- Accredited at the institutional level
- Private nonprofit or public school
- Minimum of 1 bachelor's or master's degree in subject area for 4-year schools
- Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools
Schools were then scored on factors such as:
- Cost & Financial Aid
- Number and variety of program offerings
- Student-teacher ratios
- Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
- Placement and support services offered
- Academic/Career counseling services
- Employment services
- Loan default rates
These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or "bang for your buck" of a college or degree program.
A medical assisting program is an excellent option for students interested in beginning a career in the medical field. A quality program will teach the area-specific information needed to excel in the field while allowing students to earn valuable credentials. Because finding the right school is a crucial step to starting an education, we've found Utah's best program in terms of graduation rate, cost, and provided student services. Check out below to find the best medical assisting program in Utah.
Utah Medical Assisting Careers: By the Numbers
1. How are medical assistants described in Utah?
In various statutes, Utah defines a medical assistant as "an unlicensed individual working under the direct and immediate supervision of a licensed [or osteopathic] physician and surgeon, and engaged in specific tasks assigned by the licensed [or osteopathic] physician and surgeon in accordance with the standards and ethics of the profession."
2. Is certification required?
Utah specifically exempts medical assistants from licensure, but makes no mention of certification. However, those who choose to become certified might find better hiring opportunities in the state, as most employers prefer to hire those who have proven knowledge and skills related to medical assisting. Certification proves that knowledge and skills, and is therefore preferable.
3. Is certification available?
Certification for medical assistants in Utah can be earned through any of the following certifying agencies. Remember that these certifications are recognized nationwide, not just in Utah.
|Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)||American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)|
|Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)||American Medical Technologists (AMT)|
|Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)||National Healthcareer Association (NHA)|
|National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)||MNational Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)|
4. Is formal medical assisting training required?
In order to sit for the certification exam, an applicant must have completed a formal training program. Though Utah doesn't require formal education to become a medical assistant, it does require formal training to become a medication aide. This training allows medical assistants and other unlicensed personnel to administer medications to patients under the supervision of a licensed nurse. Those who intend to become a medication aide certified (MAC) must complete the following:
- Complete an approved program. These programs are offered through health care facilities, health care associations and educational institutions.
- Complete 60 clock hours of classroom training
- Complete 40 hours of practical training in a long-term care facility
5. Are there tasks outside the scope of medical assistants in Utah?
Medical assistants in Utah can provide services that do not require a license, and are delegated by a licensed physician or nurse. Medical assistants may not engage in:
- Diagnosing a patient
- Establishing a treatment plan for a patient
- Surgical procedures
- Prescribing prescription medications
- Administering anesthesia
- Does not engage in medical procedures that were not delegated by licensed personnel
Those who have earned the MAC can administer medications only through certain routes, and cannot administer any of the following:
- Barium and other diagnostic contrasts
- Chemotherapy agents, except oral chemotherapy
- Medication pumps, including patient-controlled pumps
- Nitroglycerin paste
Salaries for Medical Assistants in Utah
Understanding what salary to expect can help those in Utah make decisions about a medical assisting career. The following chart compares Utah median wages with those of other medical assistants throughout the nation.
Utah City and Metropolitan Area Salaries
The city or metro area in which a medical assistant works can have an influence in their salary. Though those who work in larger metro areas might see higher annual incomes, that isn't always the case. The chart below offers insight into what medical assistants can expect to make in various parts of the state.
|St. George, UT||$24,100||$27,730||$31,840||$13.33|
|Salt Lake City, UT||$26,160||$29,210||$34,090||$14.04|
|Northern Utah nonmetropolitan area||$22,230||$25,160||$29,450||$12.10|
|West Central Utah nonmetropolitan area||$22,650||$27,000||$32,890||$12.98|
|South Western Utah nonmetropolitan area||$24,920||$27,930||$31,210||$13.43|
Utah Medical Assisting Employments Trends
The growth of employment for medical assistants in Utah is expected to be impressive, hitting almost 40 percent between 2012 and 2022. The chart below breaks that down into hard employment numbers.
Medical Assistant Estimated Employment Growth 2012-2022
Utah Medical Assisting School Spotlight
There are numerous schools in Utah that offer medical assisting programs. The following spotlight school offers a strong example of what students in Utah can expect when they begin to look into these programs.
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
With small class sizes, this community college ensures each student gets all the skills needed to succeed as a medical assistant. Upon program completion, students will not only be ready to take the Certified Medical Assistant exam, but also the Licensed Radiologic Practical Technician exam.
The medical assisting certificate program is comprised of 3 semester totaling 42 credits, some of which are offered online.
Utah Medical Assistant Resources
Utah Administrative Code, Nurse Practice Act Rule
This site has information on the Medical Aide Certified training programs and protocols.
Utah State Society of Medical Assistants (USSMA)
The USSMA is an affiliate organization of the AAMA which works to update medical assisting professionals and students about professional advancement opportunities and news relevant to the medical assisting profession.
Utah's Medical Practice Act
]Utah's statute which discusses the practice of doctors in Utah also describes how a doctor may delegate tasks to a medical assistant.
Utah's Osteopathic Medical Practice Act
Utah's statute which controls the practice of osteopathic doctors in Utah and lists which tasks may or may not be delegated by a licensed osteopathic doctor to a medical assistant.
Utah's Physician Assistant Act
The statute outlining the physician assistant practice in Utah provides for certain exemptions from licensure for medical assistants who are working under the supervision of a doctor and do not engage in certain medical acts.