Maryland Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
Maryland is a bustling state, home to the United States Naval Academy and rich with history and booming urban areas. The many medical facilities, hospitals, and clinics in the state make it ideal for a medical assisting career. If you’re thinking of working as a medical assistant in Maryland, these areas may offer the best employment opportunities:
There are several colleges in the state that offer medical assisting education. Be sure to visit more than one school and see which one meets your needs the best. Being informed about a potential school’s accreditation status is also important. Medical assisting programs that are not accredited means you may not be able to take critical certification or registration exams after graduation. The registered medical assistant (RMA) and certified medical assistant (CMA) exams are required by many employers, so be sure to ask any potential school about these exams.
Maryland Medical Assistant Certification Requirements:
Generally, MA healthcare professionals are the first workers that patients encounter during their visit to a physician’s office. Medical assistants, like other entry-level healthcare personnel, are critical to America’s healthcare system. However, unlike their colleagues working as LPNs, CNAs, CPTs, and CMLAs, there are no laws in the state of Maryland that require medical assistants to hold institutionally recognized credentials in order to practice. There are, however, two credentials that are widely recognized and sought after in the medical assistant profession:
- The American Medical Technologists (AMT) – a national agency in charge of handling the certifications of CPTs, CMLAs, and others – administers the exam one must pass to gain the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
- The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) – an organization that offers networking and educational opportunities along with memberships – administers the exam one must pass to gain the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification.
The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
For individuals who’re aspiring to acquire the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential, they’ll first need to pass the AMT’s certification exam. In order to be eligible to sit for the certification exam, however, ONE of the following requirements MUST first be satisfied.
1) Successfully complete a college-level medical assistant program which has the following:
a. A regional or national accreditation from an agency which has been approved by one of the following institutions:
i. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation
ii. US Department of Education
iii. American Medical Technologists (AMT) Board of Directors
b. 720 hours of in-class/online instruction in medical assistant theory and 160 hours of hands-on, real-world clinical practice that’s supervised by an instructor in the field
2) Through the US Armed Forces, successfully complete a medical assistant program that’s comparable to programs offered at colleges
a. The program should be composed of a total of 880 contact hours: 720 hours of theoretical instruction and 160 hours of supervised, real-world clinical practice in the field
3) Provide proof of having past experience as an instructor for a medical assistant program
a. Must have at least 5 years of experience working as an instructor for a medical assistant program OR over 1 year of teaching experience combined with at least 3 years of experience working in the field as a medical assistant
4) Provide proof of having at least 5 years of experience working full-time in the field of medical assisting
The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
For individuals who’re aspiring to acquire the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential, they’ll first need to pass the AAMA’s certification exam. In order to be eligible to sit for the certification exam, however, prospects will need to first have fulfilled the following requirements:
- Provide proof of having graduated from a medical assisting program approved by one of the following agencies:
- Program’s coursework must be composed of:
- Two main components: Clinical application and theoretical instruction
- Include clinical and administrative topics which include but aren’t limited to:
- Record keeping and accounting, pharmacology, medical law & ethics, computer competency, pathophysiology, medication administration, and coding and insurance processing
- Individuals must renew their CMA credentials every 60 months via presenting 60 continuing education credits, or by passing a 200 question recertification exam
List of Maryland Medical Assisting Programs
1. Ann Arundel Community College
Students at Ann Arundel Community College can earn a certificate or an Associate of Medical Assisting degree. Students who wish to enter the workforce quickly may find the certificate more appealing. The AAS degree provides a broader medical assisting education and may work well for students looking to expand their education in the future. Students may also earn additional certifications, such as medical coding and electrocardiography. Students perform an externship before graduation and may sit for the certified medical assistant exam through the AAMA upon graduation.
2. Fortis Institute
Fortis College offers a diploma in medical assisting. This degree prepares you to perform administrative duties in a medical setting, like medical billing and coding, handling medical records, and patient scheduling. You’ll also learn clinical skills like monitoring vital signs, performing patient examinations, and medication administration. Graduates often work in medical clinics and hospitals. Upon program completion, grads may be able to sit for certification exams; contact Fortis College for accreditation and certification exam opportunities.
3. Cecil College
Location: North East
Cecil College offers a certificate in Medical Assisting. This program is 900 hours and takes about nine months to complete. The college offers the program full-time, during daytime hours. Students must take a pre-entrance exam and meet with a program counselor before being admitted to the program. Cecil College’s program is accredited, and graduates are eligible to sit for the certified medical assistant exam through the AAMA.
4. Allegany College of Maryland
Allegany College of Maryland offers a fully accredited Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Assisting. The program covers in-depth instruction in both clinical and administrative medical skills. Students must pass several entrance requirements, including an entrance exam and documentation proving 13 college credit hours in biology and human anatomy and physiology have been completed. Students complete a 210-hour externship prior to graduation. After graduation, students are eligible to sit for the certified medical assistant (CMA) exam.
5. Harford Community College
Harford Community College offers students an Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Assisting. The program, which combines theory, lab practice, and clinical practice, is comprised of 60-semester units that can be completed in as little as four semesters. Courses that students will encounter during the program include Human Body in Health and Disease, Medical Terminology, Pharmacology, Medical Billing, and more.
6. Frederick Community College
Frederick Community College offers students an Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Assisting. The 60 semester-unit program can be completed in five semesters. Required coursework includes Information Systems and Technology, Foundations of Medical Assisting, Insurance Billing, and more. In addition to theoretical courses, students will be required to attend lab and to complete a clinical externship at a local healthcare facility.
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