Connecticut Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
Medical assistants looking to settle into a career in Connecticut have a good chance at landing the perfect job. Salaries for medical assistants in Connecticut are well above the national average. The state also boasts many well-known medical centers and healthcare facilities that hire medical assistants. Top cities in Connecticut for medical assisting jobs are:
- New Haven
There are several medical assisting schools across the state. Be sure to look for medical assisting programs that are accredited. Graduating from an accredited program means you’ll be able to take the certified medical assistant (CMA) exam from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). The CMA designation is required by many employers.
Connecticut Medical Assistant Certification Requirements
In the state of Connecticut, medical assistants – unlike other entry-level healthcare workers such as Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LVNs) – are not required to hold a national or regional accreditation to work as a professional in the field. Regardless of this reality, in order to set themselves apart from others practicing in the profession, all medical assistants are highly advised to seek the relevant credentials available.
In Connecticut, two national credentials – the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – are administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT), respectively.=
OPTION 1: To be eligible to sit for the AAMAs Certified Medical Assistant (CMAs) credential exam, you must:
- Have enrolled in and graduated from a medical assisting program which not only has been approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), but contains the following curriculum:
- Clinical and theatrical sections which cover a broad range of both administrative and clinical topics like pharmacology, medical law & ethics, computer competency, office practices, clinical and diagnostics procedures, and record-keeping and account, among others.
- CMA credentials must be renewed every 60 months and can be done so by providing proof of completing continuing education hours or by taking a test
OPTION 2: To be eligible to sit for AMT’s Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential exam, you must satisfy ONE of the following requirements:
- Path 1: Enroll in and complete a medical assisting program with the following characteristics:
- 720 hours of theoretical instruction in-class or online and 160 hours of hands-on clinical practice at a local healthcare facility
- The program must be accredited by a regional or nationally recognized agency which has been approved by the US Department of Education, The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or the AMT Board of Directors
- Path: 2 Complete a medical assisting program as a part of military training that – like MA programs at the college-level – contain 720 hours of lecture instruction and 160 hours of hands-on clinical training at a healthcare facility
- Path 3: Have at least five years of prior work experience as a medical assistant program instructor in the past seven years OR have more than one year of experience as an instructor and three or more years working in the field
- Path 4: Have five years of experience working as a medical assistant, carrying out administrative as well as clinical functions, during the past seven years.
List of Connecticut Medical Assisting Programs
1. Quinebaug Valley Community College
Quinebaug Valley Community College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in medical assisting. Students must take required prerequisites before entering the core medical assisting course. The course combines clinical and administrative courses, along with electives and general education courses. Students complete a medical externship prior to graduation. Upon graduation, students may sit for the AAMA certification exam.
2. Porter and Chester Institute
Porter and Chester Institute has campus locations in Branford, Enfield, Rocky Hill, Stratford and Watertown. This school offers both day and evening classes for students to earn a medical assisting degree. The daytime course may be completed in about nine months, with the night course taking fifteen months to complete. Students earn a certificate in medical assisting. A medical externship is required for graduation and students may sit for certification exams upon successful program completion.
3. Stone Academy
Stone Academy offers medical assisting classes at several locations, including West Haven, East Hartford and Waterbury. Students earn a diploma of medical assisting. Students participate in a comprehensive program that teaches clinical skills and administrative tasks like medical billing and medical records management. An externship must be completed prior to graduation and students may sit for the AAMA certification exam.
4. Capitol Community College
Located in Hartford, Capitol Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science degree. Students learn a balanced skill set in clinical and administrative medical assisting. Those interested in medical administrative work may choose to earn an additional degree as a medical assistant insurance specialist, also offered through the college. Students may be required to take an entrance exam and prerequisites prior to entering the program. However, students currently employed in the medical field may qualify for advanced placement. Graduates may sit for the AAMA certification exam.
5. Goodwin College
Goodwin College is located in East Hartford. The school offers both one- and two-year programs in medical assisting. Goodwin states it has small class sizes for better personal instruction and offers hands-on training in all aspects of medical assisting. Students complete an internship before graduation and may take certification exams upon graduation. Career placement is also offered.
6. Northwestern Connecticut Community College
Northwestern Connecticut Community College is located in Winsted. This school offers a certificate in medical assisting; however, students may elect to continue for an additional year and earn an Associate degree. Students going on for the advanced degree must take elective courses as well as additional core classes. Graduates are eligible to sit for the AAMA certification test.
7. Norwalk Community College
Norwalk Community College offers a certificate in medical assisting. Credits earned in this program may transfer to nursing programs or other advanced degrees at the College for students who wish to continue past medical assisting. Students must take a placement and entrance exam before being accepted into the medical assisting program. Upon graduation, students may sit for the AAMA certification exam.
8. Lincoln Tech
Lincoln Tech is a private, for-profit educational institution which offers a medical assistant program at its Shelton campus. In total, the program is 34 credit hours and 675 instructional hours. The daytime program can be completed in as little as 40 weeks, while the evening program can be finished in 71 weeks. Once completed, students will be proficient in performing clinical patient care duties, front office duties, and basic urgent care procedures. Lincoln Tech’s medical assisting program costs $19,700 for tuition, books, uniforms, etc. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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I am a 2009 medical school graduate from the St. George’s University School of Medicine, and I earned a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Connecticut in 2001, specializing in Alzheimer disease. I was pathology resident at Pennsylvania Hospital from 2010 to 2012 and during that time I felt that I was better suited to be a clinician. I was offered an internal medicine residency in northeast Pennsylvania but the position was given to someone else at the last moment. Subsequently, I have been unsuccessful in obtaining a residency. My wife died last year after a long illness and I moved back to the southern New England area after living in the southeast US for the past several years. I am currently working as a home health aid and I have been professionally advised that being a certified medical assistant would make me marketable in my desire to work as a clinician in a geriatric practice. With my extensive training I would like to know if I can be fast tracked through any of the CMA programs so that I can concentrate on my clinical skills and externship.