New Jersey Accredited Medical Assisting Schools and Programs
New Jersey has put out a great deal of pop cultural icons, and it is widely known as being the most population-dense state in the union. This means that it has more people per square mile than any other state. With so many people in New Jersey, it is a prime breeding ground for the medical industry. If you want to enter a healthcare career, medical assisting can be a great option.The following are just a few of the metropolitan areas that are teeming with medical assisting schools and employment opportunities:
- Jersey City
There are many school choices if you are looking to pursue a medical assisting career in New Jersey, but you should choose carefully. Ensure that any school you attend has accreditation from ABHES (the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools) or CAAHEP (the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs). This will guarantee that the majority of employers will accept your degree, and you will be able to sit for national certification. This certification is becoming more important in obtaining employment, so checking your school for proper accreditation should be a top priority.
New Jersey Medical Assistant Certification Requirements
Medical Assistants (MAs) are not required by either New Jersey state or federal law to hold institutionally recognized credentials. Despite this, most employers of MAs – doctors, nurse practitioners, surgeons, etc. who have private practices – without a doubt give employment preference to those in the field who’ve acquired one of the two nationally recognized MA credentials. Earning one of the credentials available is a great opportunity for MAs to find more favorable employment and earn higher salaries.
Those working in the medical assistant field have two nationally recognized credentials that are available to them:
- The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential which has its certification test administered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT) – an organization that offers a wide variety of credentials to allied healthcare professionals
- The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential which has its certification test administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) – an organization that provides memberships, certifications, continuing education, and networking opportunities to MAs
CREDENTIAL I: Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
To be eligible for the AMT’s certification exam individuals will need to have satisfied at least ONE of the following requirements:
- Provide proper documentation of having successfully completed a college-level medical assistant program that maintains a regional or national accreditation by an organization that’s been sanctioned by one of the following institutions: The US Department of Education, The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or the AMT Board of Directors. The program must be made up of at least 880 total contact hours: 720 hours of theoretical instruction in an online or in-class setting and 160 hours of supervised, hands-on clinical training at a medical office.
- Provide proper documentation of having worked as a medical assistant for at least five of the last seven years; administrative and clinical experience is a must.
- Provide proper documentation of having worked as an instructor for a medical assistant program for at least five years OR more than one year combined with three years of work experience in the field as a medical assistant.
- Provide proper documentation of having completed a medical assistant program through the US Armed Forces with the following attributes:
- A total of 880 contact hours of instruction: 720 hours of theoretical instruction in an online or in-class setting along with 160 hours of hands-on clinical training under the supervision of a medical professional
CREDENTIAL II: Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
To be qualified to sit for AAMA’s certification exam individuals will need to have fulfilled the following requirements:
- Provide proper documentation of having completed a medical assistant program accredited by either The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) OR the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP)
- The medical assistant program has to contain the following components:
- Two main program sections: clinical and theoretical
- Coursework which introduces students to the administrative and clinical aspects of medical assisting
- Coursework that includes topics like clinical and diagnostic procedures, computer competency, patient relations, record keeping and accounting, pharmacology, medical law & ethics, and medication administration
- CMAs credentials must be renewed every 60 months via:
- Passing a 200 question exam
- Taking a certain amount of continuing education credits relevant to medical assisting
List of New Jersey Medical Assisting Programs
1. Bergen Community College
Locations: Paramus, NJ
Bergen Community College offers a medical assistant program resulting in an associate’s degree. This means that you will need to devote at least two years of full-time study to earn your degree. Full-time generally means taking on 15 to 18 credits per semester. BCC’s program teaches students the fundamentals of clinical practice, including sterilization techniques, vein punctures, taking vital signs, and more. Administrative tasks learned include scheduling appointments, billing and collecting, working computer applications, and others.
2. Hudson County Community College
Locations: Jersey City, NJ
Hudson County Community College offers an associate’s degree in medical assisting. This will prepare you to work in healthcare facilities such as doctor’s offices, dentist’s offices, and hospitals. It will take approximately two years to complete if attending full-time, or longer if you decide to take part-time courses. This school does offer evening classes, but some aspects of the training, such as the externship, require that you work daylight hours. In the state of New Jersey, you must sit for a registered medical assistant examination. This examination tests your ability to deliver injections to patients.
3. Raritan Valley Community College
Locations: Somerville, NJ
Raritan Valley Community College only offers a diploma (certificate) program in medical assisting. This can be helpful if you do not want to enter the workforce quickly, but it may restrict you from certain employers. RVCC’s program consists of 36 total credits, and the curriculum includes courses in phlebotomy, medical terminology, pharmacology, and more. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for certification examinations.
4. Warren County Community College
Locations: Washington, NJ; Philipsburg, NJ
Warren County Community College offers both a certificate program and an associate’s degree program. If you try the shorter program and wish to upgrade to the degree medical assisting, the college has the plans in place for you to do so. In addition, if you finish your associate’s degree, you can apply your general education credits towards a four-year degree. This means that you can open up your opportunities to nursing, physical therapy, and other more advanced degrees. Note that the certificate program is offered only through the continuing education department located in the Philipsburg area.
5. Advantage Career Institute (ACI) Medical & Dental School
Locations: Eatontown, New Jersey
One of the top technical schools in NJ, Advantage Career Institute Medical & Dental School in Eatontown, New Jersey offers a variety of programs in the in-demand medical and dental industries, including their Medical Assistant Certification Program with Phlebotomy, EKG, and Patient Care Technician training. They provide hands-on training in their fully equipped facility, offering small classes with individual workstations for all of our students. Advantage Career Institute is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and approved by the New Jersey State Department of Education and the New Jersey Department of Labor. They are approved for Title IV funding and VA benefits through the Post-911 GI Bill.
6. Berkeley College
Locations: Newark, Paramus, Woodland Park, Woodbridge
Berkeley College is a private, for-profit college that offers students a 60 credit-hour Medical Assistant Associate in Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.) and a 33 credit-hour Medical Assistant Certificate Program. The certificate program can be completed in as little as three semesters, whereas the A.A.S. program typically takes four semesters to complete. Both programs prepare students for entry-level work in the healthcare industry. Upon successful completion, students will know how to collect and prepare lab specimens, bill patients, take vitals, assist doctors during examinations, and more. Graduates will also be eligible to sit for the following certification exams: Certified Medical Assistant, Certified Phlebotomy, Certified Electrocardiography, and more.
7. Harris School of Business
Locations: Cherry Hill
Hill School of Business is a private, for-profit career training institute that offers a Medical Assistant Certificate program that prepares students for an entry-level career in the healthcare industry. The program is composed of in-class lecture, hands-on lab practice, and a clinical externship at a local healthcare facility. Students who decide to enroll in the program should be prepared to take courses like Medical Office Procedures, Pharmacology, Anatomy and Physiology, and others. The program is designed to be completed in 30 weeks, and will cost $15,342 if it’s completed on time.
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