While the state of Iowa has yet to regulate medical assistant, their own trade group the Iowa Society of of Medical Assistants has clearly detailed their scope of practice. They have drawn their information from careful interpretation of state regulations that apply to healthcare across the board.
In preparing to enter this profession, it is important to look at areas such as quality educational programs, recognized credentialing, and state requirements which differ based on where one intends to practice. Furthermore, the person planning to take this step needs to look at the cost of this investment with respect to time, energy level, and tuition. Careful planning and thoughtful decision making will yield a higher level of long term success in this field.
Training programs offer diplomas, certificates and associate’s degrees. National organizations then offer testing to verify one’s skill level. The title certified medical assistant is awarded by the American Association of Medical Assistant (AAMA) while the title registered is given by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). Both of these groups are recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA). The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) requires continual in-service to maintain their national registration, which is not as well known as the other titles. Furthermore the AAMA has established curriculum requirements for education programs that guarantee that the student has every opportunity for success. Look for this recognition when you are choosing the program that will prepare you as a medical assistant.
In the state of Iowa programs to train medical assistants can be found in most urban areas Some are offered by colleges and universities. Others are organized by technical schools These are the programs that are recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa Lakes Community College in Spencer, Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Kaplan University in Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Mason City, and Urbandale, Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapid, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City, Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines, North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, and Southeastern Community College in West Burlington.
The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) recognizes Vatterott Educational Centers in Des Moines. Countless other institutions are available throughout the state that have yet to apply for these credentials: Ashworth College in Clinton, Brown Mackie College system of schools in Bettendorf, Kaplan University – Ground in Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Des Moines, Kaplan University – KHE in Davenport, and Globe University MSB in Rochester.
Remember only your careful planning will ensure successful employment in this emerging career. While this summary focuses on your getting your training at a traditional school, take a look at the increasing number of schools across the country that are developing online programs to prepare you as a medical assistant.
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