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Medical Assistant Programs and Jobs in Washington

Medical Assistants (MAs) in Washington state must pursue a professional healthcare credential from the state’s Department of Health. Where the vast majority of state’s will accept a national certification, such as the title awarded by the American Association of Medical Assistants, Washington’s own credential simply must be earned by every in-state MA. You can learn more about the process of earning said credential on the state’s DOH site.

It should be noted that while this credential is mandatory, pursuing a nationally recognized credential or associate degree will further the qualifications and employability of any MA. Such a distinction will also give an MA greater job mobility outside of Washington’s borders.

Washington defines a number of duties MAs are permitted to carry out under the supervision of a health practitioner. Some of the duties laid out are as follows:

  • Procedures for sterilizing equipment and instruments
  • Disposing of biohazardous materials
  • Taking vital signs
  • Preparing patients for examination
  • Capillary blood withdrawal, venipuncture, and intradermal, subcutaneous, and intramuscular injections
  • Specimen collection
  • Telephone and in-person screening limited to intake and gathering of information without requiring the exercise of judgment based on clinical knowledge
  • Maintaining medication and immunization records
  • Screening and following up on test results as directed by a healthcare practitioner

The complete list of medically-based duties can be found here. In addition to these permitted tasks, many Washington MAs are expected to carry out a degree of administrative and clerical work.

Salary and Employment Data for Major Cities Across Washington

LocationTotal MAs EmployedMean Hourly WageAnnual Mean Wage
Source: Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013
Mount Vernon-Anacortes290$16.06$33,410
Wenatchee-East Wenatchee240$17.53$36,450

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