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MEDICAL ASSISTANT

 
Natasha
 Natasha
(@Natasha)
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Hello, I did my research and once im finish with school, ill have a degree as a medical assistant. I would like to know how much a MA makes in St. Thomas?

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Topic starter Posted : April 17, 2007 11:50 am
goalusvi
(@goalusvi)
Advanced Member

According to the employment / wage information on the another section of this board ( https://www.vimovingcenter.com/employment/wages.php#b29-0000 ) it looks like the mean salary for a medical assistant is $21820. Hope that helps 🙂

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Posted : April 17, 2007 12:20 pm
Becky R
(@Becky_R)
Trusted Member

Natasha, that may be one of those things that has changed recently - pharmacist salaries have definitely risen from the quoted figures - there is a recent post on pharmacists indicating the pay is much higher - on the other hand, my husband worked on STX and he never had a pharmacy tech that made as much as is quoted here for the mean......although that may have risen too. I know the pharmacist salaries for newbies used to be very low because they hired them as interns, regardless of years of experience, until they passed NAPLEX. Lived that one.

No wonder new docs don't want to relocate there.......mean of $69K? Surely that can't be correct??? I had a spine surgeon friend who wanted to move to the island and got scared away by some figure he was quoted, although he never said what the figure was - if that's the one he saw, I'd be scared, too.......

Hopefully someone that is an MA on STT or STX can give you something concrete to work with....bear in mind that costs, salaries, and all manner of things change overnight - there's no way Islander could keep it all current....

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Posted : April 17, 2007 2:50 pm
Natasha
 Natasha
(@Natasha)
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Becky-

I saw that MA only make $11 an hr. at US virgin islands. Im trying to alteast make 15. Is it possbile that i gain my exp. here in the states before i got to virgin islands. Do they bump your salary pay with exp. or it is that much for a MA plan and simple?

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Topic starter Posted : April 17, 2007 3:43 pm
Becky R
(@Becky_R)
Trusted Member

I am only guessing, Natasha, but I would say that figure could possibly be outdated....again, there is no way Islander could keep things current, as the financial climate in the islands has changed dramatically even in the last 5 years - even since we arrived in Aug. 2005.

I can't say - I didn't deal with that, I'm a transcriptionist. Jane's husband was a physician, perhaps maybe she would know?

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Posted : April 17, 2007 4:59 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

"Jane's husband was a physician"

I believe you mean "is a nurse practitioner."

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Posted : April 17, 2007 7:23 pm
jane
 jane
(@jane)
Trusted Member

Thank you - you beat me to it.

I will ask him when he returns from his bag pipe lesson - oh yes, I jest not!
My guess is that it is not very well paid,but that is only a guess.

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Posted : April 17, 2007 7:32 pm
Becky R
(@Becky_R)
Trusted Member

Sorry, yes, my fingers go faster than my brain, which isn't really hard......sorry Natasha - but Jane and hubby will have more light to shed on this particular subject, I'm sure....

My apologies to Mr. Jane - and thanks, dntw8tup!

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Posted : April 17, 2007 8:23 pm
Islander
(@the-islander)
Member Moderator

Hello Natasha,

The VI Dept. of Labor has stats on their site as well, and they break up the wages by entry levels. You can check that information out at http://www.vidol.gov/Units/BLS/WageRates.htm. The wage table we have on this site is from the US Dept. of Labor and dated May 2006. I just checked to see if more recent data was posted but no such luck. The mean has likely gone up a little bit from the $10.49 posted a year ago on the US Dept. of Labor stats - but not to $15 an hour. Yes education and experience are factors that typically will help you negotiate and get better salaries here.

--Islander

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Posted : April 17, 2007 10:04 pm
Jules
(@Jules)
Trusted Member

Regarding Becky R's information about physician salaries-- those published figures are what the hospital pays. Those particular physicians accept a salary from the hospital in exchange for providing emergency room/hospital coverage. In many if not most cases, this is the way a physician gets their VI medical license. Most of those docs also engage in private practice, which is billed/collected separately.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that physician's income is not that dismal. Those figures only tell part of the story.

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Posted : April 17, 2007 10:35 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

One thing about physician salaries is that the hospital (or other agency) pays them to provide service for an amount of time, I think it is 4 hours a day. Then they may have a private practice on the side. There is a liability limit (Onika, help?!) for government employees, which really helps surgeons, especially. If your physician is not affiiated with a hospital (either private or health clinic doc), they can't take care of you if you are admitted. It is a strange way to provide medical care, but it is what it is.

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Posted : April 17, 2007 10:53 pm
Jules
(@Jules)
Trusted Member

East Ender, to clarify-- who pays the physician and hospital privileges are two different things. You can be a be an independently-licensed private-practice VI physician (ie, not a hospital employee) and still have admitting privileges. Just like the states, most physicians here apply for hospital privileges. Those who don't are usually family practice doctors and like in the states, most of those docs don't see their patients in the hospital either.

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Posted : April 17, 2007 11:07 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

And beyond salary, the hospital doctors are unionized/government employees with excellent benefits packages.

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Posted : April 18, 2007 12:39 am
natasha
 natasha
(@natasha)
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Hello, THANK YOU everyone with your comments and feedback. As of right now, I decided to do a one year course as a LVN only b/c my mother who is a RN thinks being a medical assistant with a certificate or degree is a waste of time. And I rather be making atleast $20 an hr. first hand.

There are alot more job openings and I cant jepardize in making less than $15 since Ill be living on my own when I move to Virgin Islands.

Once again, I thank you!!

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Posted : April 18, 2007 1:28 am
jane
 jane
(@jane)
Trusted Member

FYI - Mr Jane says that a medical assistant on St Croix would be very lucky to make even 11 dollars per hour with no benefits. That would be the upper end. Yikes.

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Posted : April 18, 2007 1:34 am
Natasha
 Natasha
(@Natasha)
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Any LVNs in US virgin Islands? How is ur exp.?

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Topic starter Posted : April 18, 2007 1:35 am
jane
 jane
(@jane)
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there are LPN's - somewhat similar I believe - they are paid slightly more than MA's - probably about $12 per hour in the private sector and somewhat more in the hospital. he wouldn't hazard a guess for the hospital figure.

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Posted : April 18, 2007 1:37 am
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

omg it pays better to work in a office,restaurant or bar here then the hospital?? Do they get benefits or something?

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Posted : April 18, 2007 2:01 am
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

Yes and yes, but some people who work in the hospital find it more rewarding than working in an office, restaurant or bar and factor that into their decision about where to work.

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Posted : April 18, 2007 2:41 am
natasha
 natasha
(@natasha)
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Betty-

I agree! Im shocked too. I saw the salary range for all jobs and office is making more than hospitals.

I dont understand, but even as a LVN your only making $13.00 an hr.

So from a MA to a LVN its a $2.00 difference???

All that school work and time and you make two dollars extra.

QUESTION: So basically even if you get ur education in the states, you still make Virgin Island salary amount?

I find that hard to believe......

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Posted : April 18, 2007 3:16 am
Becky R
(@Becky_R)
Trusted Member

And there will be your first stumbling block, Natasha.......finding things hard to believe......"Disbelief" will be your middle name in the islands for at least a period of time.

Here's more than I wanted to tell, but it's cold and brutal and may get your panties in a wad.....and all you pharmacists can let your mouths drop open, too. Fortunately, things have changed for the better for pharmacists...

My husband obviously has years and years of education under his belt for his doctorate in pharmacy. He has practiced for 30+ years....when he got his pharmacy license initially, he was under the state age limit to actually practice in Arkansas. Youngest pharmacist to ever graduate from Univ. of Arkansas. There's just some trivia for ya.

He was making about $100K per year in the states. We were offered a chance to go to the islands - and yes, that was when the islands required NAPLEX, so basically he had to go in as a student. We took about a $25K cut to go, but were assured his salary would "become commensurate" when he passed NAPLEX or reciprocity was instituted, whichever came first. Never happened. NAPLEX was almost impossible to set up, let alone pass if you've been out of school for 30 years (he failed one section by .04%) .....then they absolutely refused to allow him to reschedule because it was "almost time" for reciprocity, which I believe occured some 6 months after the refusal. Island time.

Oh, his salaray eventually became commensurate because he was stroking out over the whole thing - commensurate with other St. Croix pharmacists, that is.....to the tune of going back up to about $90K per year....and we're in paradise, which is expensive, with a pay "raise", which is still a serious pay cut from what we are used to, on top of increased costs of living. At the same time, we are finding out the STT pharmacists are paid almost $20K more than STX with the same company. That, too, has changed.

I will cut through the gorier parts, but when he was offered almost $30K more to return to the mainland, we jumped all over it. Our dollar goes further, the level of care is higher, and the challenges - well, maybe at 55 my husband is an old fogey who doesn't need a lot of challenges.

Short answer - you can be as educated as you want and get that education wherever you want, at whatever cost you want.... but there are X number of jobs, they pay X much, and there you are....and truly, I am not trying to sound snooty, but we're talking the difference between a MA and a doctor of pharmacy here. I would imagine the same percent conversions could be made at the MA level, however.

It sounds wonderful, Natasha, and you may make a very successful life for yourself in the islands - however, you sound reasonably young - I would recommend you get all the education you can stateside and let things continue to progress in the islands, then reconsider. I just don't think you are going to have much of a life at less than $15/hr., whether you have a roommate or not.....but again, I could be wrong. If so, I am quite sure the good people of this board will not hesitate to tell me so.

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Posted : April 18, 2007 11:52 am
natasha
 natasha
(@natasha)
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Thanks for the info Becky

I really do appreciate it.

I am young and im trying to think ahead far as living on an island. I can tell that its diff. and its gonna be tough.
What i was trying to say is, i know alot of CMA's who got bumped as a nurse or x-ray tech. from working a couple years in there office or hospitals. I figure i could do the same her in the islands, but i see different.

In the states LVNs make $20--25 hr
Virgin Islands LNVs make $11-13hr. which isnt bad either..

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Posted : April 18, 2007 2:18 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Trust me $11 to $13 dollars an hour is not good at all if you are the sole bread winner in the usvi. You would most likely need a second job.

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Posted : April 18, 2007 2:23 pm
promoguy
(@promoguy)
Advanced Member

natasha Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> In the states LVNs make $20--25 hr
> Virgin Islands LNVs make $11-13hr. which isnt bad
> either..

You're kidding, right??? Your math is terrible, You half your income, but double your cost of living and you say

"which isn't bad either".

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Posted : April 18, 2007 3:45 pm
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