M E DI CA L A SS I STA N T
     C A RE E R L AT T ICE
          P RO J E C T


    A REGIONAL FOUR COUN TY STUDY
  FOCUSED...
included Medical Assistants and the other,
                                                   employers of Medical Assista...
Workforce Investment                                                                     April 2007
Medical Assistant Latt...
Workforce Investment                                                                     April 2007
Medical Assistant Latt...
Workforce Investment                                                                    April 2007
Medical Assistant Latti...
Workforce Investment                                                                    April 2007
Medical Assistant Latti...
Workforce Investment                                                                  April 2007
Medical Assistant Lattice...
Workforce Investment                                                                      April 2007
Medical Assistant Lat...
Workforce Investment                                                                April 2007
Medical Assistant Lattice, ...
Workforce Investment                                                                   April 2007
Medical Assistant Lattic...
Workforce Investment                                                                       April 2007
Medical Assistant La...
Workforce Investment                                                                               April 2007
Medical Assi...
Workforce Investment                                                                    April 2007
Medical Assistant Latti...
Workforce Investment                                                                    April 2007
Medical Assistant Latti...
Workforce Investment                                                                     April 2007
Medical Assistant Latt...
Workforce Investment                                                                     April 2007
Medical Assistant Latt...
Workforce Investment                                                                                                      ...
Workforce Investment                                                                                                      ...
Workforce Investment                                                                                                      ...
Workforce Investment                                                                                                      ...
Workforce Investment                                                                                                      ...
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II
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Microsoft Word - MEDICAL ASSISTANT REPORT DRAFT Final Revision II

  1. 1. M E DI CA L A SS I STA N T C A RE E R L AT T ICE P RO J E C T A REGIONAL FOUR COUN TY STUDY FOCUSED ON EDUCATIONAL LATTICES, RETENTION AND TRAINING OF MEDICAL ASSISTANTS M E RC E D C O U NT Y D E PA R T M EN T OF WORKFORCE INVESTMENT 2007 MERCED▪ SANTA CLARA▪ SANTA CRUZ ▪ STANISLAUS
  2. 2. included Medical Assistants and the other, employers of Medical Assistants. Using a focused conversation format, the groups discussed career lattices, training, Medical Assistant Career Lattice retention and other related topics. The following conclusions and recommendations Project were made after a careful examination of the 2007 Merced County Department of Workforce responses provided by the focus groups. Investment  Incentives such as the 20/40 Nursing Program (employee enrolled in nursing Executive Summary program for 20 hours and employed for 20 hours and gets wages for 40 hours On March 1, 2005, Merced County total) should be expanded for Medical Department of Workforce Investment (WI) Assistants to successfully complete any received funding though the Workforce type of continued training. Investment Act 15 Percent (Governor’s  Similar career lattices established for Discretionary) funding for the Medical C.N.A.s should be duplicated for Assistant Lattice Project. This project Medical Assistants. addresses issues related to an educational  Back office or “clinical” pathways need lattice, retention and training for Medical development for ease of access modeled Assistants by conducting a regional study. The after office or “administrative” career study gathered information that determined choices. Medical Assistant training qualifications and  Eighty percent of employers report retention needs and determined the feasibility problems with retention. of developing an educational lattice from  Increasing opportunities within their Medical Assistant curriculum to local nursing own organization, employers can create programs. their own pipeline thus stabilizing retention. The results of the study reinforced the need for  Employers can use more “recognition building an educational/career lattice between techniques” and increased “scheduling the Medical Assistant and nursing programs, flexibility” if monetary incentives are identified ways to improve the retention rate not available to increase retention. for Medical Assistants, and addressed needs  A good work environment and job for improvements in the educational training security were reported as most important programs for Medical Assistants. to MAs. Employers should focus their retention strategies to include these In order to provide continuing opportunities to areas as well. front-line medical workers, the need for a  Over fifty percent of MAs reported that comprehensive framework to enable upward their externship was NOT long enough mobility is imperative. Currently, a model to prepare them for their profession. does not exist that purposely and successfully  Inconsistencies in training programs guides Medical Assistants to continue their stem in part to the lack of State and upward progress. As part of the study, the Federal regulations as well as the Merced County Department of Workforce absence of mandatory certifications. Investment organized focus groups, one format
  3. 3. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training  California Certified Skill Standards are ratings, Medical Assistants are the closest currently not being addressed. match to Registered Nurses (RNs) in abilities  Portable and recognized skills sets as compared to other health care occupations.3 within the MA profession do not exist. The benefits for developing career lattices and Introduction pathways have been substantiated by many studies. Some of the benefits for employers According to EDD reports, Medical Assistants include greater competency of employees, will have the 34th largest number of job greater employee retention, lower investment openings in the State from 2000 to 2010 and in recruitment and improved quality of patient will have the 11th fastest growth rate. Many care. For the employee, some benefits include California counties have a moderately difficult receiving nationally recognized credentials and time in recruiting entry-level Medical positions, increased wages tied to Assistants.1 competencies, identifiable career pathways, and improved self-esteem.4 The Center for the Health Professions at University of California, San Francisco Developing well-defined career paths, ladders, completed a report that summarizes pertinent and lattices with the healthcare services areas of interest for the “Medical Assistants in requires collaborative and coordinated efforts California”. The critical issues and policy between many entities: health care service concerns addressed included difficulty in organizations, educational facilities, recruiting, turnover rates, workforce shortages, professional associations, labor unions, lack of consistency in requirements, scope of workforce development agencies, government practice, lack of career path, and future licensing, certifying and policy-making directions in training. Similar articles voice the agencies. Coordination and collaboration are same concerns facing this health care key components for any successful project. profession.2 The direct collaboration between employers, employees, training providers, and other Medical Assistants have been identified as groups have been increasing, but have a short critical front-line workers to explore in the history.5 health field. Exploration on the issues and challenges facing Medical Assistants, Reports have been published as occupational employers and training providers, has clearly resource tools designed to assist in been established and documented, but many of improvement of recruitment and retention in the proposed solutions are still in the planning the health care industry. There are several stages. Career lattices are recommended as a examples of health care career ladder viable solution for many of the projected programs that have had measurable success. health care worker shortages. To date, Medical Assistant lattice programs have not been located for review or research. Medical Assistants are exposed to many other We currently have samples of career lattices occupations in the health care industry. The but we cannot find programs. skills, knowledge, and work activities required of Medical Assistants (see Appendix A) make The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation them a potential pool to recruit and train for (RWJF) approached their “Defining the nursing professions. According to the Frontline Workforce” study with the point of Occupational Information Network (O*NET) view that frontline workers, such as Medical 2
  4. 4. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training Assistants, have been “understudied and are feasibility of advancement to nursing facing key challenges that may obstruct their programs, job retention issues, and ability to work effectively, contribute at their training qualifications for the maximum potential and enhance their own workplace. work experience and career advancement 3. Developed a survey and held employer opportunities.”6 The study further shows a focus groups to determine employer preliminary analysis revealing that the needs, appropriate skill levels and workforce is “lacking a viable, skilled consistency of training that Medical emerging working population to adequately Assistants need to be successful in the fill the projected shortages.”7 workplace. 4. Analyzed current training Medical The RWJF recommends that strategic Assistants receive and address initiatives may be most effective by “targeted inconsistencies, employer’s needs, and outreach and training opportunities along with retention issues for Medical Assistant career advancement pathways in order to graduation from these programs. advance entry into frontline workforce 5. Created a report from this regional occupations and to strengthen existing study that can be used both locally and occupations frameworks” to address the statewide to address the feasibility of nursing shortage. Collaboration and creating Medical Assistant to nursing coordination are strongly recommended in the program lattice, training, and retention report. RWJF also stresses “employer- strategies. provided” education in which work-based learning is key to enhancing the healthcare Methodology industry and recognizes the education value of experience in practice. The Project Objective was to address issues related to the creation of an educational lattice This “Medical Assistant Lattice Project” study for Medical Assistants, training, and retention. will be a forerunner in providing valuable The Merced County Department of Workforce input from the employers and Medical Investment conducted a regional study Assistants’ perspectives. between June 2006 and October 2006. The study gathered information to determine Planned Approach and Expected Outcomes current Medical Assistant training, qualification and retention needs, and The approach was to address the issues determined the feasibility of developing an identified with Medical Assistant educational educational lattice from Medical Assistant lattice, retention and training, included the curriculum to the local nursing program. following. WI: 1. Hosted a four-county action-planning This project addressed health related industry meeting with Santa Cruz, Santa Clara issues: 1) the possibility of creating a Medical (Silicon Valley Workforce Investment Assistant program to nursing program lattice, Network, SVWIN replaced San 2) addressing retention issues and 3) reported Mateo), and Stanislaus Counties to inconsistencies in Medical Assistant training. develop a regional study. The career lattice process for Medical 2. Developed a survey and held focus Assistants to continue their education and be groups to gain data from current able to transfer credits from their Medical Medical Assistants regarding the Assistant training toward credits in the 3
  5. 5. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) program  Stanislaus County-13 MA in was explored. In Merced County, no part of attendance held on September 20, 2006 Medical Assistant training is counted towards  Santa Cruz County- 5 in attendance the LVN program and employees and held on October 18, 2006 employers who wish to expand their staff capacity must start from scratch. Employers Focus groups were also held for providers who also reported difficulty in retention of Medical employ Medical Assistants in Merced, Santa Assistants statewide. Retention issues may be Clara, Santa Cruz, and Stanislaus Counties. A due in part to: total of 28 providers attended the focus groups.  limited career lattices for Medical The focus groups sessions are as follows: Assistants;  a statewide inconsistency in training  Merced County-4 providers in programs producing adequately trained attendance held on 6/22/06 and MAs ready to meet the needs of their 6/27/06. employers.  Santa Clara County-12 providers in attendance held on 9/15/06. The project studied the problem of Medical  Santa Cruz County-6 providers in Assistant retention and explored the idea of attendance held on 10/18/06. building an educational/career lattice between  Stanislaus County- 6 providers in the Medical Assistant training programs and attendance held on 9/20/06. LVN programs. Because these issues have a broader impact than just Merced County, WI Each employer focus group was asked to invited three diverse central California respond to twelve questions (Appendix C). counties to participate in this study. The goals were to identify how to: a) Examine the Findings - Career Lattice pipeline into the nursing field for Medical Several inconsistencies in Medical Assistant Assistants, b) improve the retention of Medical training need to be addressed in order to create Assistants for employers, and c) address needs a sustainable Medical Assistant to nursing for improvements in the educational programs program lattice. Almost eighty-five percent of for Medical Assistants. The results and MAs surveyed stated that the job required recommended actions are included in this skills that were not included in their training. report and will be published for statewide The highest rated skills missing from MA dissemination. training centered around “front office” duties, including computer input, scheduling, Focus groups were held for Medical Assistants paperwork and referrals (Figure 1). Over sixty in Merced, Santa Clara County/SVWIN, Santa percent of Medical Assistants reported training Cruz County, and Stanislaus Counties. A total on equipment such as EKG and computers to of 52 Medical Assistants attended the focus be outdated by the time they entered groups and were asked nine questions employment (Figure 2). (Appendix C). The focus group sessions are as follows: Of great interest are reasons why MAs would leave the medical profession. Almost 50% of  Merced County- 23 MA in attendance the respondents felt that pay, benefits and held on June 15 and June 22, 2006 receiving no recognition would cause them to  Santa Clara County - 11 MA in leave the MA profession (Figure 5). attendance held on September 15, 2006 Additionally, advancement on the job was 4
  6. 6. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training reported as limited due to lack of education employer in Santa Clara County added that and money. When asked if there were any their Medical Assistants can have up to a 20% incentives for furthering their education or in work reduction with manager approval, and obtaining a National Certification, the majority not lose any of their current employee benefits. of MAs reported they were “unsure” and did not know about employer incentives. Only Of special note is that currently there are 13% of the respondents knew of incentives to numerous career lattices offered to Certified further their education (Figure 8b). Pay and Nursing Assistants (CNA) to become Licensed Advancement was also reported by employers Vocational Nurses (LVN) (see Appendix D). as reasons why MAs leave their positions The same opportunities do not exist for (Figure 18). Medical Assistants. Furthermore, Santa Cruz County (see Appendix E) reported career Many Medical Assistants must work full-time growth opportunities for Medical Assistants while attending school in order to survive. who follow both an administrative or clinical This creates difficulties in completing any type path but, does not delineate the proper steps of career lattice program, unless, the employer into either an LVN or RN position. is willing to provide exceptional incentives. The 20/40 Nursing program offered in several This implies that the emphasis has traditionally counties is a model that can be followed. The been placed for Medical Assistants to continue employer is willing to pay the Medical their path in their “administrative roles” in Assistant for 40 hours of employment but only order to promote within an organization, thus require them to work 20 hours per week and taking the path of least resistance.8 Back office the other 20 hours are spent in an upgrade or “clinical” pathways require much more training (usually RN Program). emphasis on pre-requisites and they have extensive waiting lists in order to enter a Kaiser Permanente and Memorial Hospital nursing program. For example, Santa Cruz (Sutter Affiliate) provide 20/40 Nursing County has a four-year waiting list for the programs. Currently, career lattices are only Nursing Program. being implemented by larger medical establishments (Appendix F). Smaller offices Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs) can be tend not to have a pipeline due to staffing used by employers and offered as an addition resources. Larger facilities also encourage to the benefits package. LiLAs will increase their Medical Assistants to enter an RN opportunities of continuous life-long learning program rather than any other medical by sharing the responsibility between the MA position. But, overall, Medical Assistants and the employer. currently plan their career paths by themselves and do not have access to medical career In order to provide opportunities for continued professionals who can guide them through the MA skill upgrades, smaller offices can pool process. their training, thus allowing for more scheduling flexibility for both MAs and The efforts of smaller employers can be employers. summarized by both tangible and intangible incentives. Smaller employers tend to offer Another Career Lattice option would be to set educational allowances in the form of tuition up a Licensed Practical Nurse Program which reimbursement as well as intangible incentives has been recognized as an “Apprenticeable such as flexibility in work schedules. An Medical Occupation” by the Department of 5
  7. 7. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training Labor (DOL), requiring 2000 hours (DOT or third most important reason why they leave O*Net Code 079.374-014). An interesting side (Figure 5). Employers reported MAs note is that DOL also has Medical Assistant advancing and entering nursing programs as Apprenticeship but entails 4000 hours to the second and third reasons why MAs leave complete. Currently there is only one in the in addition to pay. Paradoxically, what is State ETPL at San Bernardino Adult School. helping solve one problem (nursing shortage alleviated by increased MA enrollment) is in Findings – Retention fact affecting retention issues for employers The study found that only 20% of employers who hire MAs. felt that they did not have any problems with retention. Not being able to pay higher wages Forty percent of MAs reported Good Work and advancement accounted for almost 50% of Environment and Job Security as being most retention problems. Advancement usually important to them in the profession. meant MAs enrolling into a Nursing Program Employers can focus on these two areas in (Figure 16). order to increase the retention of their MAs. Employers can promote a team atmosphere, Employers were asked what they were doing make MAs feel valued, important and to retain their MAs. Team Building and empowered, especially when financial rewards Flexibility accounted for 36% of specific are not available (Figure 6b and 17). activities employers engage in to deal with Flexibility with time is considered to be an retention issues. What was interesting to note effective retention strategy by Stanislaus was that the four counties differed greatly in County employers. how they handled retention issues. Only Stanislaus County and Santa Cruz County Findings – Training overlapped in “flexible” as a way to ensure Over half of the MAs reported that their retention was being met. By flexible, they externship was not long enough to prepare meant flexibility in scheduling to them for the profession. A study by the accommodate child care needs or University of California, San Francisco, transportation. Center for the Health Professions, cited that “minimal State and Federal regulations and the Conversely, if we look at what keeps MAs in absence of mandatory certifications for their line of work, fresh challenges and career Medical Assistants” has created a lack of growth within the employer were reported by consistencies in requirements for MAs9. MAs as methods to address retention issues. If employers promote from within, by increasing The study goes on to state that large managed opportunities, they will create their own care organizations develop their own standards pipeline and allow others to fill the spaces for hiring and retaining their MAs. This study being vacated. This is a win-win situation for found that such large organizations also both employers and Medical Assistants. require their MAs to be certified (Figure 20). Based on input from all four counties, “soft” Employers and MAs agreed that Pay is the skills, primarily customer service skills, need number one reason that MAs leave their to be incorporated into the Medical Assistant positions. Employers are losing MAs to other curriculum. There currently are 464 MA offices for sometimes as little as 50 cents an programs on the Eligible Training Provider hour. Further, MAs ranked not having benefits List (ETPL). They range from no cost to and receiving no recognition as the second and $30,000.00 and from no credit courses up to 6
  8. 8. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training 98 quarter units (equivalent to AS degree). offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 Additionally, many community colleges do not a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the need for schooling to be have their MA program in the ETPL. available in the evenings and weekends is paramount to giving individuals an A Medical Assistant shall receive training, as opportunity to enter a career lattice. necessary, in the judgment of the supervising physician, podiatrist, or instructor to assure the The focus group also revealed an increased MA is competent to perform that service at the need for translation services. Eighty-eight appropriate standard of care.10 The MAs had a percent of employers responded in the good understanding of the basics, but stated affirmative to needing bilingual staff, with that they had a better handle on back office Spanish ranked first as language needed but duties and less focus was made on front office interestingly, American Sign Language was duties. 44/52 Medical Assistants felt that the ranked second (Figure 13). job definitely required other skills not included in their training. Conclusion It is this inconsistency that leads to employers These are the conclusions that were drawn not being able to depend upon continuous skill from the analysis of the responses that could quality from trained MAs. Recruitment also create a sustained career lattice program, poses problems and some employers even address retention and training strategies. recommended specific training providers being  It would benefit smaller and medium favored over others due to the quality MA they sized organizations to support are known for providing. “exceptional incentive” programs. The 20/40 Nursing Program could be Skill standards provide advantages to both modeled and incorporated as part of the employers and MAs in the form of workers longer-term planning goals to combat knowing exactly what skills and knowledge retention while simultaneously creating they need to acquire to move ahead. Workers a career lattice. are less likely to waste time or be discouraged by taking trainings not based on skill  By creating an internal “pipeline” standards. Additionally, workers have skills through the use of a career lattice, both that are nationally recognized and portable MAs and employers will mutually across geographic areas.11 benefit by maintaining the employee and increasing opportunities for new MAs. In order to establish skill standards, the California Certified Skill Standards could be  Employers should focus on using used as a guide to develop recognized skill “recognition techniques” to create a standards within an industry and are portable team environment and implementing from employer to employer and across methods to empower MAs. geographic boundaries.  Employers would benefit from Some of the goals of the California Certified exercising “scheduling flexibility” as an Medical Assistant (CCMA) are to upgrade the incentive for MAs entering a career MA profession standards and professional lattice, especially when monetary competence, with the underlying goal to incentives are not available. update the MA profession. Since medical 7
  9. 9. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training  It is imperative that training providers o Non-traditional training focus on “portability” of skill sets by opportunities such as Lifelong using the California Certified Medical Learning Accounts (LiLAs) and MA Assistant (CCMA) standards or another Pooling should be explored due to recognized standard. the various financial, family, and scheduling needs of medical  Medical terminology for proper assistants. translation and increased patient care should be strongly encouraged for o Incorporate more soft-skills training bilingual MAs. into the MA curriculum which employer input indicated as critical  The length of externships should be to retention. increased to a minimum of 400 hours with increased exposure to varied  Provide this report to policy makers and specialties. advocate for standardization of Medical Assistant curriculums.  There will be an increased demand for American Sign Language translators. Contact Information  There exists a need for standardization Merced County of the MA curriculum. A State Board Department of Workforce Investment certificate would ensure minimal 1880 W. Wardrobe Avenue competencies are being achieved and Merced, CA 95340 provide stability in the MA arena. http://web.co.merced.ca.us/wi/wib/wib.html Next Steps Santa Clara County/SVWIN work2future  Provide this report to educators and 1290 Parkmoor Avenue encourage changes in MA training. The San Jose, CA 95126 following should be included in www.work2future.biz/Library.html discussions with educators and training providers. Workforce Investment Board of Santa Cruz County o Medical Assistant courses need to 1040 Emeline Avenue meet the pre-requisite requirements Santa Cruz, CA 95060 for nursing or other medical www.santacruzwib.com professions, especially in medical terminology and anatomy. Stanislaus County Alliance Worknet o Extend the length of time for P.O. Box 3389 externships and place students in 251 E. Hackett Rd. C-2 medical settings that are more Modesto, CA 95353-3389 comprehensive versus specialized www.allianceworknet.com fields. 8
  10. 10. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training Appendix A – LMI  Interview patients to obtain medical information LABOR MARKET INFORMATION  Prepare patients for examinations and treatments COMPARISON  Record patients’ medical information and vital signs WI completed a comparison of Medical Assistants from each of the four regional  Prepare and administer medications as counties based on the 2005 California Labor directed by physicians Market Department Surveys.12 The similarities  Collect laboratory specimens and prepare between the counties were in the areas of job them for testing description, career options, and sources  Explain treatment and physicians’ available for additional information. The instructions to patients differences centered on working locations,  Help physicians examine and treat patients salaries, benefits and job outlook.  Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information MEDICAL ASSISTANTS (MA)  Prepare treatment rooms for patient Merced County examinations Santa Cruz County*  Clean instruments and dispose of Santa Clara County contaminated supplies Stanislaus County * LMI for Santa Cruz includes Monterey and What working conditions can I expect? San Benito Counties as well. The information is the same for all four counties. What do Medical Assistants do? Medical Assistants work in well-lighted, clean The information is the same for all four environments. They constantly interact with counties. other people and may have to handle several Medical Assistants perform administrative and responsibilities at once. Most full-time certain clinical duties under the direction of Medical Assistants work a regular 40-hour physicians. Administrative duties may include week. Some work part-time, evenings, or scheduling appointments, maintaining medical weekends. records, billing, and coding for insurance (Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook-see purposes. Clinical duties may include taking Sources Page) and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, and Where do Medical Assistants work? administering medications as directed by Merced County-survey information physician. represents 24 firms that employ 159 MA. (Source SOC 31-9092-see Sources Page) Most MA work in doctors’ offices and clinics and a few work in laboratories, outpatient care What are the work activities and tasks? centers, hospital and mental health facilities. The information is the same for all four counties. Doctors’ offices and clinics 71% Listed below are the top 10 work activities and Hospitals 4% tasks that Medical Assistants perform. (Source Laboratories 13% O*NET-see Notes Page). Mental Health Facilities 4% Outpatient Care Centers 8% 9
  11. 11. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training Santa Cruz County-survey information Low $ 9.40/$ 19,538 $ 12.34/$ 25,674 represents 59 firms that employ 337 MA in $ 13.53/$ 28,132 $ 11.48/$ 23,888 Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Median $ 11.31/$ 23,537 $ 14.38/$ 29,909 $ 15.97/$ 33,222 $ 13.30/$ 27,651 Counties. Almost all MA work in doctors’ High $ 12.87/$ 26,779 $ 16.82/$ 34,979 offices and clinics and a few work in public $ 18.15/$ 37,743 $ 15.50/$ 32,743 administration, outpatient care centers, mental health facilities and hospitals. What percent of medical insurance do employers pay? Doctors’ offices and clinics 83% Mental Health Facilities 3% Public Administration 8% Of the Merced County employers who Hospitals 2% provide medical insurance, all reported that Outpatient Care Centers 4% they pay for half or more of the cost of Santa Clara County-survey information medical insurance for full-time, and most pay represents 19 firms that employ 708 MA. for half or more of the cost for part-time. Many MA work in doctors’ offices and clinics. Some work in hospitals, and a few work in Of the Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito other areas. Counties employers who provide medical insurance, almost all reported that they pay for Doctors’ offices and clinics 48% half of more of the cost of medical insurance Other 10% for full-time and part-time. Hospitals 30% Mental health Facilities 3% Of the Santa Clara County employers who Outpatient care centers 16% provide medical benefits, almost all reported that they pay for half or more of the cost of medical insurance for full-time, and most Stanislaus County-survey information reported that they pay for half or more of the represents 15 firms that employ 256 MA. cost of medical insurance for part-time. Most MA work in doctors’ offices and clinics. Of the Stanislaus County employers who Doctors offices and clinics 78% provide medical benefits, almost all reported Mental health facilities 3% that they pay for half or more of the cost of Hospitals 12% medical insurance for full-time Medical Other 2% Assistants. Outpatient care centers 5% What benefits can I expect to receive? * LMI for Santa Cruz includes Monterey and San Benito Counties as well. Santa Santa Merced Cruz Clara Stanislaus Medical 67% 92% 100% 87% How much can I expect to earn? 13% 19% 42% 20% This occupation does not pay as well when Dental 42% 47% 79% 47% compared to other occupations that require 8% 8% 32% 3% similar levels of education. Wages for full- Vision 25% 34% 42% 47% 4% 8% 32% 0% time for hourly/annual are as follows: Life 33% 29% 53% 13% Merced/ Santa Cruz/ 8% 5% 21% 0% Santa Clara Stanislaus Disability 21% 15% 53% 20% 10
  12. 12. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training 8% 2% 32% 07% To find training programs, refer to the Vacation 83% 80% 74% 80% Employment Development Department’s 29% 37% 21% 27% Sick 75% 71% 58% 73% Labor Market Information Web site. Leave (Source: LaborMarketInfo-see Sources Page) 29% 27% 21% 20% Note: Contact the schools that you are interested in Paid Time 21% 36% 42% 13% to learn about the availability of classes and any Off Bank prerequisite course work. 13% 27% 32% 13% Retirement 71% 76% 89% 53% Licensing Requirements Plan Licensing is not required in any of the four 17% 39% 37% 3% counties. Full-time Work Part-time Work Experience Most of the employers in Merced County What education, training, and experience do I require new hires to have prior experience need? working as a Medical Assistant. Most employers will not accept experience in related Education/training requirements occupations and many employers will not The information is the same for all four accept training in place of experience. counties. Formal training in medical assisting is Most employers in Monterey, Santa Cruz and generally preferred but is not always requried. San Benito Counties require new hires to have Applicants usually need a high school diploma prior experience working as a Medical or the equivalent. Assistant. Many employers reported not Medical Assistants are not licensed, certified, accepting experience in related occupations, or registered by the State of California. but most employers will accept training in However, most employers prefer graduates of place of experience. formal programs in medical assisting. Almost all employers in Santa Clara County require new hires to have prior experience Medical programs are offered in vocational- working as a Medical Assistant. Most technical high schools, postsecondary employers do not accept experience in related vocational school, and community or junior occupations, and many do not accept training colleges. in place of experience. The training institutions or instructors certify Most employers in Stanislaus County require students who complete the required training new hires to have prior experience working as satisfactorily. Each employer retains a copy of a Medical Assistant. Many employers accept the certificate as a record. experience in related occupations but do not accept training in place of experience. Recommended High School courses: mathematics, health, biology, typing, bookkeeping, computers, and office skills. Schools that offer training The information is the same of all four Employers requiring work experience as a counties. Medical Assistant. 11
  13. 13. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training Santa Santa 58% 32% 58% 53% Merced Cruz Clara Stanislaus What skills, abilities, and knowledge are Required Experience needed? 79% 73% 84% 67% More than 1 year The information is the same for all counties. 0% 28% 31% 10% 7-12 months Skills: Skills are the use of knowledge 61% 53% 31% 40% required to perform a job. Skills are developed 4-6 months through practical experience and training. The 33% 16% 31% 50% top five skills that are very important to 1-3 months employers are Active Listening (87), Speaking 6% 3% 7% 0% (79), Social Perceptiveness (79), Instructing Not required (78), and Reading Comprehension (75). 21% 27% 16% 33% Employers accepting work experience in Abilities: Abilities are the capacity to perform related occupations. various tasks related to a job based on skills Santa Santa and knowledge. The top five abilities Merced Cruz Clara Stanislaus important to employers are Oral Accept related experience Comprehension (88), Oral Expression (85), 37% 49% 26% 53% Speech Clarity (78), Near Vision (72), and More than 1 year Problem Sensitivity (69). 0% 15% 0% 0% 7-12 months Knowledge: Knowledge is the understanding 46% 48% 50% 63% of facts or principles relating to a particular 4-6 months subject area. The top five knowledge areas are 33% 22% 25% 25% English Language (75), Customer and 1-3 months Personal Services (69), Medicine and 22% 15% 25% 12% Dentistry (64), Clerical (56), and Therapy & Not accepting experience Counseling (47). 63% 51% 74% 47% Numeric scores represent the degree of importance in performing this job. Employers accepting training in place of 75-100 = Very Important experience. 25-49 = Somewhat Important Santa Santa 50-74 = Important Merced Cruz Clara Stanislaus 0-24 = Not Important Accept Training Students considering employment 42% 68% 42% 47% opportunities as Medical Assistants can More than 1 year determine whether they have the interest and 0% 11% 13% 14% background that make a good fit for this 7-12 months occupation. 30% 38% 50% 57% 4-6 months Medical Assistants are expected to actively 40% 24% 25% 29% help people, and therefore they must be neat 1-3 months and well groomed, courteous, and pleasant. 30% 27% 12% 0% Medical Assistants must be able to put patients Not accepting experience at ease, explain physicians’ instructions, and respect the confidential nature of medical 12
  14. 14. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training information. They are also required to have a The number of Medical Assistant jobs in reasonable level of manual dexterity and visual Santa Clara County is projected to grow by acuity to perform clinical duties. 23.7% between 2001 and 2008. The job growth rate is much faster than the projected Note: Information provided about skills, growth rate of 7.6% for all jobs in Santa Clara abilities, and knowledge applies to this County. occupation on a national level. The number of Medical Assistant jobs in What if I am considering educational Stanislaus County is projected to grow by opportunities in this occupation? 22.2% between 2001 and 2008. The job The information is the same for all four growth rate is faster than the projected growth counties. rate of 15.3% for all jobs in Stanislaus County. Medical Assistants must be knowledgeable All of the Counties job growth rates for and have a good understanding of the English Medical Assistants are much slower that the language. Other helpful courses are: job growth rate of 46% for Medical Assistants mathematics, health, biology, computers, and in all of California. office skills. Number of Medical Assistants What is the job outlook? Santa Santa Merced Cruz Clara Stanislaus Current Employment: Estimated 2001 Employment 250 Medical Assistants are employed in 210 980 2190 1350 Merced County. Estimated 2008 Employment 1100 Medical Assistants are employed in 280 1190 2710 1650 Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Counties. Are qualified applicants available? 2490 Medical Assistants are employed in Santa Clara County. Many employers in Merced and Santa Cruz 1520 Medical Assistants are employed in Counties find it somewhat difficult to find Stanislaus County. experienced applicants and not difficult to find inexperienced applicants for Medical Employment Forecast: Assistants vacancies. The number of Medical Assistant jobs in Merced County is projected to grow by Most employers in Santa Clara County find 33.3% between 2001 and 2008. The job it “somewhat” to “not difficult” to find growth rate is much faster than the projected experienced applicants, and many find it not growth rate of 15.7% for all jobs in Merced difficult to find inexperienced applicants for County. Medical Assistants vacancies. The number of Medical Assistant jobs in Many employers in Stanislaus County find it Santa Cruz County is projected to grow by not difficult to find experienced applicants and 21.4% between 2001 and 2008. This job most find it not difficult to find inexperienced growth rate is faster than the projected growth applicants for Medical Assistants vacancies. rate of 11.5% for all jobs in the counties. 13
  15. 15. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training What does this mean to me? Experienced applicants may need to spend Related careers are occupations with more time looking for available positions and characteristics such as skills, abilities, inexperienced applicants may find there are knowledge, or general work activities that are more applicants than positions when looking similar to those required of Medical or work as Medical Assistants in Merced, Assistants. Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Counties. Experienced and inexperienced applicants may find there are more applicants than positions when looking for work as Medical Assistants in Stanislaus County. Medical Assistants will be in high demand in California and most of the nation for the next 7 years or more. The needs of a growing population and technological advances in medicine will ensure the availability of work for Medical Assistants for many years to come. Where can job seeker find a job? Most Medical Assistants work in Doctors’ Offices and Clinics in Merced and Stanislaus Counties. Many Medical Assistants in Santa Clara County work in Doctors’ Offices and Clinics. Almost all Medical Assistants in Santa Cruz What sources are available for additional County work in Doctors’ Offices. information? The information is the same for all four counties. What are job seekers’ career options? In addition to the information displayed in this The information is the same for all four report, other sources are available with counties. additional information. These sources are explained below with links that will connect There are many occupations in the health care you to the appropriate website. field that are related to Medical Assistants. These related careers can be grouped by the Job Description amount of education they require, ranging SOC Code (Standard Occupational from 30 days of on-the-job training (OJT) to classification) postsecondary and vocational education, to advanced professional degrees. 14
  16. 16. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training A universal occupational classification system Licensing requirements produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, None required for Medical Assistants. Go to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). California Board of Register Nursing for http://www.bls.gov/soc additional career opportunities. http://www.rn.ca.gov/ Work Activities and Tasks O*NET Center (Occupational Information Skills, abilities and Knowledge Network) O*NET Center (Occupational Information Detailed information on work activities and Network) tasks. Click on Find Occupations, type in the An expanded list of skills, abilities and occupation title and click Go. Click on knowledge. See instructions under Work, occupation and then Details. Scroll down to Activities and Tasks (left-hand column). needed information, http://online.onetcenter.org http://online.onetcenter.org Job Outlook Working Conditions EDD, Labor Market Information divisions OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), Projections Bureau of Labor Statistics Long-term projections for occupations. Type Enter the title of the occupation and click in title of occupation, select an area, and then Search. Select the occupation title and double click on Search. Scroll to desired projections click. Select Working Conditions and double information. click. http://www.labormarketinfor.edd.ca.gov http://www.bls.gov/search/ooh Supply and Demand Wages and Benefits America’s Job Bank Wages are from the Employment Development Department, Occupational Find job openings in your designated area. Employment Statistics (OES). Select the Enter the occupation and location then click Geographic Area, Year, and type of file you Search Now. would like to see. Scroll down to the http://www.jobsearch.org/seeker/jobsearch/qui appropriate SOC code. ck http://www.calmis.ca.gov/file/occup$/oes$.ht m One Stop Career Center Education and Training Allows you to search for the nearest Career EDD, Labor Market Information Division, Center. Enter the location and your service Find Training Programs requirements and click on GO. http://www.servicelocator.org/ Enter a Keyword under Program Name and then select county. Click on Search and then select a program to view the schools. http://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/cqi/dat abrowsing 15
  17. 17. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training Appendix B MEDICAL ASSISTANT FOCUS GROUP - DATA TABLES 1) Did the job require other skills that were not included in the Medical Assistant training? If so, what were they? Response Some of the Medical Assistants felt that they had a good understanding of the basics, but were better prepared for the back office instead of the front office. A general consensus was that they learn basically what is needed to perform the duties in the classroom, but things are done differently on the job. There were 44 of the 52 MAs surveyed (84.6%) felt that the job definitely required other skills that were not included in their training. The two highest responses were in front office, including computer, scheduling, referrals and paperwork and equipment. There were only 8 of the 52 (15.4%) who felt that they learned the skills necessary in training. The MAs who felt they had sufficient training due to having On the Job Training (OJT) or attending a 2 year community college. Figure 1) Did the job require other skills that were not included in the medical assistant Merced Santa Clara training?Cruz Santa Stanislaus Total 10 8 6 4 2 0 o t ge g n g fi ce N en d ri cs fi ce re ts tin tio al s in of oo at of a en ia ov sk ip m Bl i rc m Tr ns la ica a nt u d ck a at ed m ti - t o Eq ng Pe Ba E e Tr a re ul Fr wi r e/ Tr g M g M a ca in /D r ri n ap l st e su st e Ey e a T M nd TB g/ g a s/ ixi n in nn e M t ur i Su V ac Note: Front office includes computer, scheduling, referrals, and paperwork. Treatments include O2 Stat, Nebulizer, and pulmonary function. 16
  18. 18. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training 2) Was any of the training outdated? If so, what? Response The primary reasons the training were outdated was due to equipment and computers being too old and the educational providers not keeping up with technological medical advances and programs. The EKG machine was specifically named as the primary outdated piece of equipment. Santa Cruz County MAs noted training for computers was not relevant. Figure 2) Was any training outdated? Merced Santa Clara Santa Cruz Stanislaus Combined Total 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 t ns er s K G en se ka y es ur e io ut E m on O su at at p ip p Is r iz om qu es r pe un C E R he m N o ac T e Im m Te 3) How long was the externship and was it long enough? Response The externship ranged from 90 hours up to 3840 hours. Figure 3) Wast the externship long enough? Merced Santa Clara Santa Cruz Stanislaus Total 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 S pec ified Tim e Not 90 160 180 200 240 280 400 480 640 960 2880 3840 Number of Externship Hours 17
  19. 19. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training Long enough? Figure 3) Part II - Was the Externership Long Enough? 25 20 15 10 5 0 Yes No Didn't have one 4) What keeps you in this line of work? Figure 4) What keeps you in this line of work? 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 e s ey nt en t s e t pl er on ie ng ie s av en o rk en em i b le em Pe -w o M nv nc w th ba to tir ng Co Co va ne th ts Re lp i wi an Ad g g He ni n k in W ar or Le s w ve Lo 18
  20. 20. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training 5) What would cause you to leave the Medical Assistant profession? Figure 5) What w ould cause you to leave the Medical Assistant Profession? Merced Santa Clara Santa Cruz Stanis laus Com bined Total 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Lack of teamwork No Recognition Would Not Leave Insurance Co. Advancement Benefits Would not leave School/Education Furthering Getting into Better Patient Better Career Nursing LVN Retirement Pay Professional Conflict with Opportunity business Career Lack of Care Figure 5b) What w ould cause you to leave the MA profession? Combined Totals 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 No Recognition Insurance Co. School/Education Furthering Getting into ould Not Leave Better Patient Better Career ould not leave Advancement Retirement Benefits Nursing LVN Pay Professional teamwork Conflict with Opportunity business Lack of Career Lack of Care W W 6) What is most important to you as a Medical Assistant? What are the two most important? Figure 6) What is most important to you as a Medical Assistant? Merced Santa Clara Santa C ruz Stanislaus 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Patient Care Good Job Security Benefits W age/Pay Continued Flexibility Environm ent Learning 19
  21. 21. Workforce Investment April 2007 Medical Assistant Lattice, Retention & Training Figure 6b) What is most important to you as a Medical Assistant? 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Patient Care Good Job Security Benefits Wage/Pay Continued F lexibility Environment Learning 7) What are the barriers to advancement in your job? Figure 7) What are the barriers to advancement in your job? Merced Santa Clara Santa Cruz Stanislaus Total 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 le sh N e e n ey ily sib ni e ns V tir e es ow ng ty at io ur io rL re on m ni bi li on am os pa S pt te to N na kn ai xi uc M F tp -S ot o en e et ou Tr le Ed al N d l i F no gu ite .t o op l -V y or e nt m pe ua ho e ilin Li .A W M m B .N for ng ce ot C g ili B an N be tin ot v st ai N Ad M u W Figure 7b) What are the barriers to advancement in your job? Combined Total 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 n ey ily le ish e ns VN tir e e e ow g y io ib ur rL on es in ilit at on am oss an tS pt io te re m kn in xib uc o N ra M F p Sp o o en t tn a yo u T Fl e Ed ot al - N d to pl e ie or e tn gu ite eo l-V ho m A. M en lin Li .N . rp gu a W m Bi fo ce ot e C ng ilin an N tb ti B v us ai ot Ad M W N 20

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