Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and programs in Arkansas
Medical assisting is a growing profession across the United States. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to find education as a medical assistant close to home. Arkansas offers traditional medical assisting training at three schools throughout the state. Alternately, you may find online learning more your taste, with colleges offering programs online. Be sure to take your time and thoroughly investigate any school before making a commitment. Finding the right medical assisting training for you makes all the difference in your professional future!
Be sure to ask each school about:
· Tuition fees
· Accreditation. Find out if the school’s medical assisting program is accredited, and if so, by whom. Medical assisting programs that are not accredited by a supervising agency may not be closely regulated for high standards and ethics. As well, graduates are often not able to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam. It’s best to choose a school with a proven track record of quality education and accreditation.
· Graduation rates and job placement rates.
· Staff qualifications, including teaching experience.
Consider making a list of all the things important to you for your college education. Bring the list with you to each college interview, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Let’s take a look at medical assisting schools in Arkansas:
1) Arkansas Tech University
Arkansas Tech University is located in Russellville, Arkansas. The university offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) degree in Medical Assisting. The course is 24 months in length and covers both elective and core medical assisting courses. Students are required to take most of their foundation courses, like biology, communications and math, in the first year. The second year includes core medical assisting courses, like laboratory, clinical and hands-on instruction. Students also complete an externship in the second year. Arkansas Tech University states that only 12 students per year are admitted to the program. Acceptance is highly competitive and students are advised to be well prepared to enter the program. Once admitted, students must complete the first year with grades of ‘C’ or higher in order to progress into the second year of the program.
The university boasts a well-rounded medical assisting program in which graduates feel prepared to enter the workforce. Arkansas Tech is accredited; graduates of the medical assisting program are able to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam through the American Association of Medical Assistants.
2) Heritage College
Heritage College is located in Little Rock, Arkansas. The college offers an one year degree in Medical Assisting, but with a twist. Medical assisting students have the option to complete a limited scope radiology course which allows them to take limited X-rays in the medical office. This is an exciting addition to medical assisting practice, and one that is not often offered during formal medical assistant training. In rural areas, medical assistants are often required to perform many roles at once: office manager, medical records clerk, laboratory assistant, clinical assistant, and in some clinics, X-ray technician. While students are not able to sit for radiology technician certification exams, graduates will be qualified to take basic X-rays. Heritage provides an added leg-up for students looking to work in rural medicine.
Heritage College states a 100% job placement rate for medical assistants who successfully complete the program. Students are also able to sit for the CMA exam upon graduation. The program typically takes about a year to complete and costs about $18,000.
3) Bryan College
Bryan College is located in Rogers, Arkansas. It offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Medical Assisting, which can be completed in about 80 weeks, according to the college. Students take a mixture of general courses and core medical classes. Some medical assisting classes are offered online, with the remainder of the curriculum offered in a traditional classroom. Students complete an externship, which helps prepare graduates for employment in clinics, outpatient centers and chiropractic offices. Bryan College reports a 100% job placement rate for graduation and the program costs about $33,000.