Arizona Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
Arizona offers one of the highest employment rates for medical assistants in the United States. With a nice mixture of urban, rural, and metropolis areas, Arizona offers many opportunities for trained medical assistants. With many hospitals, ambulatory care centers, and clinics, like the renowned Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale and Phoenix, medical assistant schools in Arizona are plentiful.
Researching medical assistant schools takes time and diligence. You’ll want to find a program that fits your location’s needs, education budget, and learning objectives. Some medical assisting schools in Arizona offer online learning via the Blackboard system and in-class instruction. Arizona medical assisting schools may also offer programs at multiple locations throughout the state. Likely, you’ll be able to find a medical assisting program close to you.
The type of medical assisting degree you earn varies based on your chosen school. Certificates, diplomas, and Associate of Applied Science degrees in medical assisting are available. Certificate and diploma programs tend to be shorter-about nine to twelve months in length-than A.A.S. degrees. An A.A.S. degree offers credit transfer opportunities if you plan to further your education beyond medical assisting.
Additionally, consider cost and learning objectives when interviewing schools to be sure they meet your needs. Accreditation is also important. Your MA 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). Accreditation is essential as it allows you to sit for the certified medical assistant exam (CMA) or registered medical assistant exam (RMA). These certifications are earned after successful program graduation and help identify you as a competent medical assistant. Employers often seek medical assistants with either the CMA or RMA designation.
Arizona Medical Assistant Certification Requirements
While medical assistants working in the U.S. are not required to hold a formal certification or credential to practice, having one of the national certifications available is an excellent way for a medical assistant to gain a leg up on their competition when finding highly sought-after work.
Right now, medical assistants in the U.S. can seek two national certifications which are highly regarded and widely recognized. They are: 1) The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification provided by the American Medical Technologists (AMT)
Individuals looking to gain the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential provided by the American Medical Technologists (AMT) will need to have fulfilled ONE of the following requirements to be eligible for the certification:
- Path 1: Complete an accredited medical assistant educational program with the following attributes
- 720 hours of didactic instruction in class or online and 160 hours of a clinical externship
- Accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency that the US Department of Education, the AMT Board of Directions, or The Council for Higher Education Accreditation has approved
- Path 2: Have experience as an instructor
- Have no less than five years of experience acting as a full-time medical assistant program instructor
- Path 3: Real-world experience working in the field
- Have 5-7 years of experience working in the area within the past seven years
- Have experience carrying out both clinical and administrative duties
- Path 4: Training in the Armed Forces
- Have finished an official medical assistant training program composed of no less than 720 hours of didactic instruction in the classroom or online and 160 hours of a clinical externship
Individuals looking to gain the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) will need to have fulfilled the following requirements to be permitted to take the exam:
- Have graduated from a medical assisting program that’s accredited either by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- The program’s coursework must have included medical terminology, first aid, coding and insurance processing, pharmacology, human anatomy, physiology, pathology, medical law, and ethics, among others.
- Have passed the CMA exam within one year of having completed a medical assistant program
- CMA credentials must be renewed every 60 months and can be done so by passing an exam or by completing 60 continuing education credits
List of Arizona Medical Assisting Programs
1. Central Arizona College
Central Arizona College offers an Associate of Applied Science-Medical Assisting degree. This 66-credit course is accredited, and graduates may sit for the CMA exam. Program fees for this course depend on credit transfer and residency status.
2. Phoenix College
Phoenix College is a public Maricopa County Community College that offers students two a Medical Assisting Certificate of Completion program and an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Medical Assisting program. The latter-mentioned program comprises 60 credits, whereas the certificate program is 32 credits. During the fall semester, both programs meet four days a week from 8:00am to 5:00pm. During the spring semester, both programs meet four days a week in the evening from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. Courses are held at the Main Campus, the Center for Nursing Excellence, and the Center of Excellence for Healthcare Education – all in Phoenix.
3. Brookline College
Brookline College is a private academic institution offering students a medical assistant program at Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson campuses. Students who enroll in the program will undergo courses in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and more. Courses can be taken on weekday mornings from 8:00am to 12:00pm or during evening hours from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. The 27.5 credit, 646 contact hour program takes about nine months to complete – 32 weeks for daytime students and 39 weeks for evening students. All courses must be completed on campus.
The approximate tuition price is $15,225. Financial aid may be available. The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools accredits the program.
4. Carrington College
Carrington College offers a certificate in medical assisting and an Associate’s degree. Students may take the one-year certificate course or continue for an additional year to earn the A.A.S. degree. Medical assisting programs at Carrington College are broken into clinical, administrative, and externship sections. This fully accredited program costs between $14,000 and $26,000, depending on the program chosen. Graduates are eligible to sit for the CMA exam.
5. Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute offers a nine-month certificate program in medical assisting. This 34-credit program is focused on the exact skills and knowledge a medical assistant needs to gain an entry-level position. This program costs about $11,000, and graduates can sit for the CMA exam.
6. Arizona College
Arizona College offers a diploma and an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting. Students may complete one year to earn a certificate/diploma or continue an additional year to complete an Associate’s degree. Program fees start at $18,334; graduates can sit for the RMA examination.
7. Northland Pioneer College
Northland Pioneer College is a public college that offers students a medical assisting program designed to equip its students with the clinical and administrative skills required to be an invaluable employee at a medical office. Program graduates will be well prepared for medical tasks like medication administration, phlebotomy, electrocardiography, vital sign measurement, exam preparation, and more.
Apart from its in-class learning and applied learning courses, NPC’s medical assistant program includes a 160-hour externship where students can work inside a medical office or in a hospital setting.
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