Mississippi Accredited Medical Assistant Schools and Programs
Choosing to become a medical assistant is a great option for those looking to enter the healthcare field, and Mississippi is home to many quality schools offering medical assisting programs. Becoming a medical assistant in Mississippi can provide you with a solid career. The average annual salary for a medical assistant is around $30,000, and the state currently has over 2,500 medical assistants. Across the nation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects a 34% growth in the job field, and that means that now is a great time to start getting an education. It’s possible to find certificate as well as associate degree programs that can lead to great entry-level positions in the field.
If you wish to pursue a medical assistant career, there are many cities throughout the state that offer gainful employment opportunities. Some of the top cities for medical assistants in Mississippi include:
There are plenty of desirable cities, activities, and attractions in this state of nearly 3 million people. One of the great things about choosing to become a medical assistant is that the number of jobs is expected to increase in Mississippi by about 27% in the next few years.
This means that right now is one of the best times to start earning your diploma or certificate. Most of the certificate programs are able to be completed in about a year, and earning an associate degree doesn’t take much longer than that. There are several schools to choose from, and researching each prospect thoroughly will help students find the best fit for them.
Mississippi Medical Assistant Certification Requirements
Medical assistants (MAs) – allied healthcare professionals who have crucial roles in supporting doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses – are often the first person a patient will encounter during their visit to a medical office. However, unlike their colleagues working in other entry-level allied healthcare positions, medical assistants are not required by law to hold any kind of nationally recognized certification in order to practice. However, many medical assistants find that pursuing certification is a worthwhile endeavor to signify to employers that they are serious about their role.
The two nationally recognized credentials are:
- The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential which is offered by The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential which is offered by The American Medical Technologists (AMT)
CREDENTIAL I: The AMT’s Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
To be eligible to take the credential exam for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), one must first fulfill at least ONE the following requirements:
- PATHWAY 1: Show proof of having completed a college-level medical assistant program which:
- Is composed of at least 880 contact hours: 720 hours of instruction in medical assisting theory and 160 hours of a supervised clinical externship where students work in a healthcare setting with real patients
- Accredited by at least ONE of the following institutions/agencies:
- US Department of Education
- The Council for Higher Education Accreditation
- American Medical Technologists (AMT) Board of Directors
- PATHWAY 2: Show proof of having prior work experience in medical assisting
- In the last 7 years, have no less than 5 years of administrative and clinical work experience as a medical assistant
- PATHWAY 3: Show proof of having prior work experience as an instructor at a medical assistant program
- Have at least 5 years of experience teaching in a medical assistant program OR over one year of experience teaching and 3 years of experience working in the field as a medical assistant
- PATHYWAY 4: Show proof of having completed a program with attributes similar to a college-level medical assistant program through the US Armed Forces:
- The program must be composed to a total of 880 contact hours: 720 hours of in-class/online lecture focused on theoretical knowledge associated with medical assisting and 160 hours of supervised clinical instruction at some kind of healthcare office
CREDENTIAL II: The AAMA’s Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
To be eligible to take the credential exam for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), one must first satisfy the following requirements:
- Complete a medical assistant program which has been approved by one of the following accrediting agencies
- ALL medical assistant programs must be composed of the following:
- Two primary components: theoretical knowledge and clinical application
- Coursework which introduces students to both administrative and clinical topics which include but are limited to medication administration, computer competency, clinical and diagnostic procedures, pharmacology, anatomy & physiology, medical law & ethics, office practices, and record keeping and accounting
- Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) are required to renew their credentials every 60 months and can do so by the following ways:
- Pass a 200-question recertification exam
- Providing proof of having taken a certain number of relevant continuing education credits
List of Mississippi Medical Assisting Programs
1. Antonelli College
Antonelli College has two campuses in Mississippi. Students can choose whether they want to attend the Hattiesburg or Jackson campus, both of which offer the medical assisting program. These programs culminate in an associate of applied science. This degree provides students with the skills needed to work in the complex and fast-paced medical field. Courses will cover clinical duties as well as administrative duties. The college offers daytime and evening courses to accommodate busy student schedules.
2. Blue Cliff College
Located in Gulfport, Blue Cliff College offers students more than one option when it comes to getting into the field of medical assisting. Students can opt to enroll in a program that results in a diploma in medical assisting, which includes detailed studies of anatomy, pathology, clinical techniques, medical terminology, administrative skills, and more. Graduates will need to complete 64-quarter credit hours. In addition to the diploma program, students at Blue Cliff College may wish to pursue an associate degree in occupational studies, which can help to prepare him or her for a career as a medical assistant. Those who want to receive their degree will need to have 96-quarter credit hours.
3. Delta Technical College
Delta Technical College, located in Horn Lake, offers a certificate program that takes 12 months to complete. Upon graduation and completion of the certificate, graduates will be able to perform all of the basic tasks needed to work entry-level positions in the medical field. The schooling at Delta Technical College will cover the administrative tasks that may come from dealing with front desk areas, billing, and more, as well as a host of different clinical tasks that the medical assistant may need to perform.
4. Northeast Mississippi Community College
Northeast Mississippi Community College provides students with a popular medical assisting program at its campus in Booneville. The school has CAAHEP accreditation, and it offers a medical assistant program that culminates in an associate degree. Once the student graduates, he or she will be able to take the CMA exam to become a Certified Medical Assistant.
5. Meridian Community College
Meridian Community College is a public community college in Meridian, Mississippi which offers students a Medical Assisting Technology Program that prepares students for an entry-level career in the healthcare field. The program is composed of 65 semester credit hours and can be completed in three semesters if the student is enrolled full-time. In 2017, the program had a retention rate of 89 percent.
6. Medical 2 Career College
Medical 2 Career College is a private, for-profit career training institute that can be completed in as little as 41-45 months. The program is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to work as an effective team member in various healthcare settings. It’s comprised of 670 hours of learning and lab practice and 160 hours of clinical externship training. In total, the program costs $6,200.
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