Start MA school? yay or nay?

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    hi guys, so i don't really go on this site that much, so it's been a while since i've posted but basically just wanted to put this out there and ask.

    i've in the past considered becoming a LVN, but since recently the thought of becoming a MA intrigued me.

    the school i am interested in is an associate of applied science degree, not one of the 5 or 9 month medical assistant programs. it's front and back office, drawing blood, ekgs, etc.

    i live in the SF bay area, not precisely sure on what the pay rate would be, but i'm guessing 12-20 an hour ish. LVN's here usually make 25 an hour, ish.

    i live in an area where there are many big hospitals, kaiser, sutter, john muir, ucsf, stanford, uc davis, etc etc and they all employ MA's in their doctor offices. LVN's are mostly employed at SNF's and the VA around here, and a little in home health and hospice.

    i am thinking that being an MA would be appealing because i could definitely talk to the patients, i would have some variety (not JUST be doing patient care, but also front office work) and the hours would be much better (usually m-f ish normal hours.)

    is anyone in my area an MA, and have any input?

    thanks for all your help.
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  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Quote from cookiemonster84
    hi guys, so i don't really go on this site that much, so it's been a while since i've posted but basically just wanted to put this out there and ask.

    i've in the past considered becoming a LVN, but since recently the thought of becoming a MA intrigued me.

    the school i am interested in is an associate of applied science degree, not one of the 5 or 9 month medical assistant programs. it's front and back office, drawing blood, ekgs, etc.

    i live in the SF bay area, not precisely sure on what the pay rate would be, but i'm guessing 12-20 an hour ish. LVN's here usually make 25 an hour, ish.

    i live in an area where there are many big hospitals, kaiser, sutter, john muir, ucsf, stanford, uc davis, etc etc and they all employ MA's in their doctor offices. LVN's are mostly employed at SNF's and the VA around here, and a little in home health and hospice.

    i am thinking that being an MA would be appealing because i could definitely talk to the patients, i would have some variety (not JUST be doing patient care, but also front office work) and the hours would be much better (usually m-f ish normal hours.)

    is anyone in my area an MA, and have any input?

    thanks for all your help.
    I say go for it it's really what you want. I used to live out that way, I live in Sacramento now, but it's really hard getting jobs out here. So I have considred moving back to SF because pay rate is the highest in Cali first off. And there's way more jobs in SF. So you are in the perfect location for that profession. I seen a MA position in the financial district that started off 18 an hour and every 6 months depending on your performance they said they give you a 1-2 dollar raise...so YES it would be a good idea and if you are intrigued by it then why not? Good Luck!
    cookiemonster84 likes this.
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    Quote from CMAtoRN
    I say go for it it's really what you want. I used to live out that way, I live in Sacramento now, but it's really hard getting jobs out here. So I have considred moving back to SF because pay rate is the highest in Cali first off. And there's way more jobs in SF. So you are in the perfect location for that profession. I seen a MA position in the financial district that started off 18 an hour and every 6 months depending on your performance they said they give you a 1-2 dollar raise...so YES it would be a good idea and if you are intrigued by it then why not? Good Luck!
    thank you so much for such a quick response! i really appreciate it. i see your screen name is CMA to RN--are you a CMA right now? what kind of advice would you have for me when it would be time to apply for work, is it similar to nurses where you typically need "2 years previous exp"? i do have a lot of CNA experience, not sure if that would be helpful or not. and would you recommend getting phleb certified by the state?
    CMAtoRN likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from cookiemonster84
    thank you so much for such a quick response! i really appreciate it. i see your screen name is CMA to RN--are you a CMA right now? what kind of advice would you have for me when it would be time to apply for work, is it similar to nurses where you typically need "2 years previous exp"? i do have a lot of CNA experience, not sure if that would be helpful or not. and would you recommend getting phleb certified by the state?
    Yes, I am a Nationally Certified Medical Assistant. I was not looking for a job for awhile due to me being pregnant back to back...lol which was unplanned..but am still in college. As far as jobs go YES, especially in the California they want you to atleast have 2-3 years experience in the field. I would say probably about 90% of employers want this. I know because I have been looking for jobs lately. I have applied everywhere and just now got one email back and I have an interview Thursday. BUT in San Fran I am sure someone will hire you. Some places out there just require completion of the MA program. I was looking for jobs that way because I was thinking of moving and I seen a need for 15 MAs in one hospital..So yeah...San Fran is good for you as a MA. As far as getting certified in Phlebotomy , some employers want that as well. Depends...very few do..I know one of my classmates from my MA class works in a Diagnostic testing clinic and all she does is draw blood but she is only trained as a MA. Blood draws are part of our training though and everyone knows this so most of the time they just want you to have experience. It also depends on the job you apply for. I would say Phlebotomy Cert would look good on the resume and if I were you I would get Certified in Medical Assisting. Doesn't hurt to get it. 20% of the cert test is on Phlebotomy so that's what I was a little confused about with the certs being separate. I studied my butt of for my cert test! lol and a lot of it was EKGs and Phlebotomy and procedures....protocols...but yeah if you want to ask me anything feel free. You can message me if you want to.
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    babies will come. lol. yea i was expecting the 2-3+ years of exp for hiring. but i'm hoping with completion of the program along with working in health care for a while before that, i'll have some luck. i definitely want to get certified for medical assisting, and i think i would take the phleb course as well, because it would make me well rounded? thanks for all your help! where did you go to MA school (if you did) & did you find it challenging?
  8. 0
    Quote from cookiemonster84
    babies will come. lol. yea i was expecting the 2-3+ years of exp for hiring. but i'm hoping with completion of the program along with working in health care for a while before that, i'll have some luck. i definitely want to get certified for medical assisting, and i think i would take the phleb course as well, because it would make me well rounded? thanks for all your help! where did you go to MA school (if you did) & did you find it challenging?

    I did my MA at Bost Reed college through Treasure Island Job Corps. How challenging it is really depends on your instructor..when I was on externship I seen a lot of students who were not on top of their game. My teacher who I love so very much like another mother. She is a MA,RN, and NP. She was a flight nurse in the military so she was very challenging. She really pushed me because she knew I was on top of my game already so she pushed me a lot harder. For example, before I left to externship she put us through drills...like she would have us prep, palpate the vein and obtain a blood sample all under 5 mins. It was definitely a blessing being her student because she is known around the Bay for teaching her students and we are the best of the best. And that's what I mean by it depends who is your teacher. If your teacher is one of those people who just wants you to pass, then there will be no challenge, but if they are like my teacher and actually want you to be taught to be on top of your game as a MA then yes it will be challenging. It was funny...she was so strict everytime someone would come in our classroom they said the intensity was so thick you could cut it with a knife, because everyone was always on pins and needles..lol But I'm glad I made it through..so here I am today Nationally Certified Medical Assistant..hahaha that was a brief recap..oh yeah and we wore ALL WHITE scrubs lol which is tricky but we had to earn them as well so see what I mean ...it was definitely challenging..
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    All white, ahhhh! Lol. Sounds like you went thru a great program
  10. 1
    I've been an MA for 25 years. I am now just going back to school for nursing. I say do the LPN program instead. It is the same amount of time and you get a better title and better pay when done. You can always do MA office work as a LPN. Don't waste your time with MA school.
    lungu2007 likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from SheldonCooperPHD
    I've been an MA for 25 years. I am now just going back to school for nursing. I say do the LPN program instead. It is the same amount of time and you get a better title and better pay when done. You can always do MA office work as a LPN. Don't waste your time with MA school.
    while i have considered nursing for a good amount of time, what draws me to medical assisting is that i most likely will not have to work holidays, just have a normal "9-5" ish schedule. the LVN program where i live is actually shorter than the MA program by 6 months. LVN is about a year here, unless i went to a CC/JC and earned an associates. the LVN program and MA program are both offered at vocational college, so LVN is 11 months, MA is 18.
  12. 0
    Quote from cookiemonster84

    while i have considered nursing for a good amount of time, what draws me to medical assisting is that i most likely will not have to work holidays, just have a normal "9-5" ish schedule. the LVN program where i live is actually shorter than the MA program by 6 months. LVN is about a year here, unless i went to a CC/JC and earned an associates. the LVN program and MA program are both offered at vocational college, so LVN is 11 months, MA is 18.
    That is odd. Where I live, the MA program is 9 months at a vocational school and LPN is a year at community college and vocational school, and the duties are almost the same. If you do go to a MA program keep in mind there is a lot unemployed right. I even have CMA and I havn't had a job since October 2010.


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