Medical Assistant Programs in Iowa

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Becoming a certified medical assistant in Iowa can be done in as little as one year. While certification is not legally required to work as a medical assistant, it is highly preferred by all healthcare employers, and would give you a head start on your job search and career.

In order to become a CMA, you need to enroll in either a medical assistant diploma program or an associate degree medical assistant program. Medical Assistant programs in Iowa generally take one year or less, and an associate degree requires two years of courses. There are many medical assistant programs available in vocational training schools as well as junior and community colleges, and there are online medical assistant program options for you as well. Just be sure that the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Once you have completed the courses, you are ready to take certified medical assistant exam, given by the certifying board of the American Association of Medical Assistants. Training or job experience is a requirement for taking the exam.

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Medical Assistant Program Curriculum in Iowa

Actual courses in a medical asssistant program will offer instruction in both administrative and clerical skills as well as in clinical procedures. Medical assistants need to be able to competently handle record keeping, billing, medical coding, communication with insurance companies and patients. Instruction will also offer technical and clinical skills, and you will learn to take vital signs, assess patients, take blood, or perhaps administer medication. Duties are varied and can depend on whether or not you work in a smaller office, a specialist’s office, or a large hospital. An accredited training program will prepare you to cover the many skills required to assist physicians and help their office run smoothly.

The average salary for a medical assistant in Iowa as of 2008 was $28,500. This will be higher with more experience and in larger cities, and the benefits are usually very good. The outlook for medical assistants in the state is excellent. Medical assistant jobs are some of the fastest growing in the already booming healthcare sector. The growing aging population and the greater use of medical support staff are increasing the need for these positions. This will ensure job security in this field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 there were over 4,000 medical assistants working in Iowa, and this is projected to increase each year. You can also join the Iowa Society of Medical Assistants for further vocational guidance and further education. Get started now on a great healthcare career with a future by finding the right medical assistant program for you.

Take a moment to explore the Medical Billing and Coding programs in Iowa to see how they can also help you enter the allied health field.
(Sources: AAMA, Iowa Society of Medical Assistants)

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