Medical assistants play a very valuable role, but they are NOT nurses !
Medical assistants play a very valuable
role, but they are NOT nurses !

Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and programs in South Dakota

The health services job market is expanding in South Dakota. The United States Bureau of Labor predicts that employment for medical assistants is expected to grow by as much as 31% in the upcoming years. The average salary for medical assistants in South Dakota, with about five years on the job, is over $31,000.00. This growing career path along with South Dakota’s reasonable cost of living makes a job as a medical assistant a smart choice.

Medical Assistant Training in South Dakota

Before you start a career as a medical assistant, you will need to explore the certification process as well as your options for training.

Certification

Medical assistants aren’t required to be certified in South Dakota, but don’t let this stop you from getting certified. Many employers will look for some type of certification when they are scouting through resumes. The following four types of certifications are recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) – American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) – National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) – National Healthcareer Association(NHA)

Each one of the above certifications has their own governing body. However, to obtain certification by the American Association of Medical Assistants, the school’s program must be accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Education

Training can take nine months to two years to complete, depending on whether you choose a diploma program or associate degree. The duration depends on if you choose to go to school part time or full time. There are also financial-aid options to explore. Some examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The Dakota Corps Scholarship Program
  • South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship Program
  • ACMPE Scholarship Fund, Inc.

Medical Assistant Programs in South Dakota

Lake Area Technical Institute

Overview

This institution, founded in 1965, offers a medical assistant diploma program and an associate of applied science in medical assisting degree. The curriculum includes courses in medical ethics, patient preparation, insurance, medical billing as well as skills required for administrative and clinical setting.

Students will also receive hands-on training in local participating medical facilities. Upon graduation, students are qualified to take the medical assistant certification examination.

Presentation College

Overview

The medical assistant training program at Presentation College offers a two-year associate of applied science degree in medical assisting. This four-semester program requires students to successfully complete 70 credits. Prerequisite courses include health, science and basic math.

Toward the end of the program, students participate in a nine-week supervised externship. After graduation, students are eligible to register for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) test.

Mitchell Technical College

Overview

The city of Mitchell has a population of fewer than 15,000 residents. Mitchell Technical Institute has a current student population of about 1800 people and offers a two-year associate of applied science degree for medical assistants.

The medical assistant associate degree offered by the school requires students to complete 73 credits. The program offers courses in anatomy/physiology, psychology, pathophysiology, medical ethics, patient preparation, insurance, medical billing as well as skills required for administrative and clinical settings.

Students also receive hands-on training in any one of the local participating medical facilities. Successful graduates of the program can sit for the AAMA certification exam.

Colorado Technical University

Overview

Colorado Technical University has designed a two-year associate of science in medical assisting program that prepares students for a career as a professional medical assistant. The coursework gives students the opportunity to develop skills that will allow them to perform technical and administrative duties in a variety of healthcare settings.

Curriculum includes courses in emergency medical procedures, phlebotomy, minor surgical techniques and medical office administrative skills. Prior to graduation, students must pass an externship at a local medical facility. Once students successfully pass the educational requirements and externship, they can register for the AAMA certification exam.

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