Idaho Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
Idaho is a great state to be in if you are considering a medical assisting career. The median salary for medical assistants in Idaho is around $29,500. The state has many medical clinics, hospitals, and healthcare centers that offer medical assistant employment.
Top cities to work as a medical assistant include:
- Twin Falls
- Idaho Falls
There are several schools throughout Idaho that offer medical assistant training. Most of the schools offer an Associate of Science degree in medical assisting. Many of these programs are fully accredited, which allows graduates to sit for independent certification exams. These certification exams, like the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam from the American Association of Medical Assistants, help boost credibility and competence in the field, which is why it’s important to seek out programs with proper accreditation.
Idaho Medical Assistant Certification Requirements
If you’ve ever gone into a doctor’s office, a medical assistant (MA) is typically the first person you’ll encounter during your visit. Entry-level healthcare personnel like medical assistants play crucial roles making sure healthcare facilities run efficiently and effectively. Unlike their CNA and LPN colleagues, however, there’s no nationwide credential that MAs are obliged to acquire for employment. Despite this, many MAs seek certification in order to enhance employment prospects and earn higher salaries.
At present, two national medical assistant certifications exist and are widely recognized:
- The American Medical Technologists (AMT) – a national agency which certifies healthcare personnel including medical lab techs, phlebotomy techs, and dental assistants, among others – administers the exam needed to become Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential
- The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) – an umbrella organization which seeks to assist medical assistants in several ways – administers the exam needed to become Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) Credential
The American Medical Technologists (AMTs) – a national agency which certifies healthcare personnel like phlebotomy techs, medical lab techs, molecular diagnostic techs, and dental assistants, among others – administers the examination individuals must pass to RMAs.
In order to be eligible for the exam needed to become an RMA, ONE of the following paths must be completed:
- Path I: Successfully finish a medical assistant program with the following attributes:
- Regionally or nationally accredited by agencies approved by:
- The US Department of Education
- The Council for Higher Education Accreditation
- AMT Board of Directors
- Has a total of 880 hours of instruction: 720 hours of theoretical instruction taught in-class or online and 160 hours of hands-on clinical practice at a healthcare facility or doctor’s office under the supervision of an instructor/medical professional in the field
- Regionally or nationally accredited by agencies approved by:
- Path II: Previous employment in the profession/field
- Have at least 5 years of work experience as a medical assistant performing both administrative and clinical tasks
- Path III: Previous employment as an instructor for future medical assistants
- Have at least five years of experience working as a medical assistant program instructor OR have more than one year of teaching experience in addition to having three years of employment as a medical assistant
- Path IV: Successfully complete a medical assistant program via US military
- Like collegiate MA programs, the program offered by the US Armed Forces must be comprised of a total of 880 hours of instruction: 720 hours of theoretical instruction and 160 hours of real-world clinical practice under the supervision of a medical professional/instructor
The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Credential
The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) – an organization whose stated mission is to “provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care” – administers the test which must be passed to earn a CMA credential.
In order to be eligible for the exam needed to become a CMA, the following requirements must be satisfied:
- Successfully complete an MA program that:
- Has been accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP).
- Contains the following curriculum:
- Clinical and theoretical components which include course like computer competency, human anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, record keeping and accounting, clinical and diagnostic procedures, medication administration, and medical law & ethics, among others.
- CMAs must renew their certification every 60 months by:
- Passing a recertification exam
- Completing a series of pertinent continuing education credits
List of Idaho Medical Assisting Programs
1. Lewis-Clark State College
Lewis-Clark State College is located in Lewiston, Idaho. The college offers both an Associate of Applied Science and a Bachelor’s degree in medical assisting. The AAS degree prepares students for entry-level employment as a medical assistant. The Bachelor’s degree is suitable for current medical assistants who want to enter management or patient educator positions. Students must first earn their AAS before entering the 4-year Bachelor’s program. Students take a combination of general education courses, core courses, and liberal arts classes. Students must pass an entrance exam and complete pre-requisite courses before entering the medical assistant program. Graduates are eligible to sit for certification exams.
2. Idaho State University
Idaho State University offers an Associate of Applied Science in medical assisting at its Pocatello campus. Students can usually complete the degree in about five semesters. Students in this program are prepared to continue into the Bachelor of Science in Health Science if they wish. Students must complete an entrance exam to be admitted to the program. Students are prepared to handle both clinical and administrative duties in a medical office, including medical technology like spirometry and electrocardiography. Graduates are eligible to take certification exams.
3. College of Eastern Idaho
College of Eastern Idaho is located in Idaho Falls. The school offers an Associate of Applied Science in medical assisting, which prepares students for entry-level positions in a medical office or clinic. This program takes four semesters, plus two summer sessions to complete. Most students graduate in two years. Students may also consider earning a medical technology certificate which prepares them for an administrative specialty in a medical office. Medical assisting graduates may sit for certification exams.
4. Carrington College
Carrington College offers both a certificate and Associate of Applied Science degree in medical assisting at its Boise campus. The certificate program is appropriate for students who want to enter the workforce sooner, while the AAS degree offers a broader educational experience. Both programs offer general education and core courses, while the AAS degree requires liberal arts courses as well. Students are also prepared to take certification exams upon graduation.
5. College of Southern Idaho
The College of Southern Idaho offers a ten-month certificate of medical assisting. Students learn in a simulated medical office, for a real-life experience and employment preparation. After entering the core program, students must complete a 180-hour externship in an off-site clinic or medical office. Students learn both clinical and administrative medical assisting at the Twin Falls, Idaho campus. Upon graduation, students may sit for certification exams.
6. North Idaho College
North Idaho College offers two distinct Medical Assistant programs at its campus in Coeur d’ Alene: a 47-credit hour Intermediate Technical Certificate and a 60-62 credit hour Associate of Applied Science Degree. Each program consists of didactic lecture and on-site clinical practice sections. Although the Associate degree program is more comprehensive, both programs allow students to begin entry-level work in a wide variety of healthcare facilities once they’re completed. North Idaho College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
7. Milan Institute
The Milan Institute is a private, for-profit career college that offers Medical Assisting programs at its campus in Boise. Students can choose between the traditional Medical Assistant program or the Administrative Medical Assistant option. This school is also approved to train Veterans, and military education benefits are accepted.
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