If you live in Sacramento and are thinking of registering for a medical assisting (MA) program, you’re in the right place. According to TalentWorks, a job recruiting agency, Sacramento is one of the best cities for finding a job as a medical assistant, with a monthly demand of 270 jobs. The best news is that demand for skilled MA students is only going up – regardless of where you live.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of the medical assistant field on the national level is expected to increase by 24 percent through 2024. One reason for the increased demand for medical assistant degree holders is the rapidly aging population – the baby boomers. With technological advancements, more technology-savvy individuals are needed to use them. In addition, there is predicted growth in the number of physicians’ offices, hospitals and outpatient clinics to accommodate the increasing elderly population.
There is predicted growth in the number of physicians’ offices, hospitals and outpatient clinics to accommodate the increase in mature patients. Why, though, is Sacramento leading the way in job demands to serve those facilities?
Sacramento’s need for skilled MA students
With new key healthcare businesses moving into Sacramento, such as RxTE Health, new jobs will be created. There are already 100 biotechnology and medical device companies in the region, and the healthcare industry is responsible for approximately 20 percent of the total payroll for the region’s workforce. In addition, in recent years, more than $18 million has been spent on expansion projects at Kaiser, Mercy, Sutter and UC Davis. Whenever a facility expands, it needs more personnel to operate.
This year, in particular, the widespread flu outbreak is requiring even more trained medical assistants.
The roughest flu season in years
This year’s designer flu, the H3N2 strain, is claiming the most victims nationwide since the swine flu of 2008–09.
The death rate among people younger than 65 in California already hit 97 by the third week of January – and that doesn’t include the elderly, who are at greater risk. The flu can be especially devastating to the following groups of people:
- Pregnant women
- Children under 5 (and especially younger than 2)
- People over the age of 65
- Those with weakened immune systems and chronic medical conditions
- Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
Many of those who show symptoms of flu activity (cough, sore throat, headaches, fatigue, body/muscle aches, runny or stuffy nose, fever) are making outpatient visits or are being hospitalized. The CDC says the number is higher than in the past five flu seasons. Medical assistants are needed to help with the influx of patients who harbor infection, helping physicians who are extra busy and who need to focus on diagnosis and treatment. The medical assistant can be a lifesaver to a doctor or medical facility, performing the following tasks:
- Welcoming patients and surveying the situation
- Filling out patient charts
- Overseeing patients’ medical history
- Supervising patients’ insurance information
- Organizing hospital admissions and laboratory services
- Preparing patients for medical examinations
- Collecting fluid samples
- Taking vital signs
- Drawing blood
- Assisting the doctor during exams
When there is a shortage of trained healthcare professionals, as there is in Sacramento, patients can suffer from a lack of speedy and quality care.
Trying to keep up with industry demands
Unfortunately, the Sacramento region does not have enough trained graduates to keep up with its significant job growth – especially in the healthcare field – according to Sanjay Varshney, chief economist of the Sacramento Business Review. That supports TalentWorks’ report that indicates Sacramento has a 10-percent “unmet” demand for medical assistants, indicating that companies are having a difficult time filling medical assistant jobs.
Fortunately, MTI College at Sacramento offers a certified medical assistant degree program that prepares you for a career in medical assistance. You receive comprehensive training in administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures, and a required 160-hour off-campus externship provides hands-on experience in a professional healthcare facility setting. With the flexibility of MTI’s MA program, you can be on your way to that important first career opportunity by going to school just three times a week.
If home and family obligations require you to work while you earn your medical assistant certification, the MTI College program is ideal for you. In as little as one year, you can graduate and be ready to take your California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam. From there, it’s on to your first job and a career with many opportunities for advancement.
When you start your career as a medical assistant, it opens the door to more choices down the road. You will have a versatile portfolio of skills that you can take with you wherever you go.
Help Sacramento catch up with its rapidly growing healthcare job market. Contact MTI College today to start your MA program.