While Rhode Island does not mandate formal training for its MAs, employers prefer employees that have completed affiliated medical assistant programs. Use this widget to find the best MA programs by entering your zip code.
The medical assistant programs offered in Rhode Island usually aim at giving medical assistants rewarding careers, with proper training on improving patient welfare. Having a medical assistant degree is beneficial as it elevates your credentials in front of your employers and gives you a clear insight into the medical world you’re stepping into.
Usually, there are three types of medical assistant programs that are offered to MA aspirants. Some schools offer an Associate in Applied Sciences, a degree that spans over 18 months and can take up to 2 years to complete. The other course offered is a diploma, which usually spans over 8 months to 1 year. Certificate courses are also available, which go on for about a year. All these courses have clinical externship or practicum of 120 hours+ necessary to provide practical training to the medical assistant aspirants.
Admissions to all these programs, whether a diploma or a degree, require MA aspirants to have a high school diploma or an equivalent GED. The course fee for degree programs usually ranges around $25,000. The fee for diploma and certificate courses are mostly within $5,000 for public college and about $20,000 for private institutions. However, for non-resident students, the costs are higher than resident students. Federal grants and financial aid programs are provided by most schools and depend on the eligibility of students based on their merit and academic performance.
Rhode Island has many medical assistant schools that empower individuals by training them methodologically and effectively in numerous disciplines. With medical assisting gaining popularity, prominence, and fast pace, more and more schools offer this program of study to its students. However, one cannot be casual about the school they choose to invest their time, money, and effort. Picking the wrong course can have a considerable impact on your career.
There are several factors that one has to take into due consideration while choosing a medical assistant school in Rhode Island. From the coursework and course duration to student-teacher ratio, placement ratings, and success stories, the right college provides you the best of everything. Here is a glimpse of the 3 best MA schools in RI:
The New England Institute of Technology offers its medical assistants an Associate Degree program in medical assisting and administration. This course is divided into 6 terms, with total credit hours being 96. All classes usually begin in April. The average class size is around 20 to 25 students per classroom, ensuring a better student-teacher ratio. For admission to this program, a candidate must have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalency diploma (GED). The program can be completed in as less as 18 months.
Medical assistant aspirants taking this course are required to take 32 credits of liberal arts core program every term. If they are unable to accommodate the time, they have two additional terms to work on their liberal arts courses without additional tuition assessment fee. Federal financial aid programs are available to students to pay for their education. Every student is required to maintain 12 credits per academic term, to be eligible for financial aid. This course is also designed to train students for national certification examinations and exams on phlebotomy.
|Number of Courses||Associate's Degree|
|Campus||East Greenwich, RI / Warwick, RI|
With numerous campuses around, Lincoln Technical Institute at Rhode Island provides a diploma program for medical assistants. The total instructional hours are 720, whereas the total credits required for completing the course is 31.5. It offers both day and night classes for the convenience of students. For day classes, it takes approximately 39 weeks to complete the course, whereas it takes about 54 weeks to complete the course for night classes. A clinical externship of 6 weeks at the end of the program is mandatory, and it requires a full-time commitment of 180 hours. It requires students to devote 30 hours per week to this practicum. Externship, for both day and night courses, happens at daytime hours.
Transporting to medical clinics is the student’s responsibility. Transfer credits are available, and they usually depend on the school you’re transferring to. Some of the renowned contenders in the market hire their graduates. Cardionet, CVS, IC Laser Eye, Medco Health Solutions, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Health Network are the same that confirm the training in the diploma offered by Lincoln Tech helps procure good placements and monetary benefits.
|Number of Courses||Diploma|
Being a public college, Rhode Island College offers a medical assistant certificate to MA aspirants in the state. Applicants who are 18 or above can apply to this course, and they should have a high school diploma or an equivalent GED in their possession. The medical assistant training program runs for 720 instructional hours, with 120 hours of external practicum necessary to complete the course. The classes go on from Monday to Friday for 24 weeks from 9 am to 3 pm, with 30 hours required to be devoted weekly. These classes are offered twice annually.
The school also offers “Medical Assistant Training Plus”, which is for students needing English as their second language, or having to take re-meditation classes. The class hours and credit hours are the same for this course, and a prior criminal background check is necessary before securing admission in either of the courses. Housing facilities are also available for non-resident students, and candidates can choose from single rooms to single apartments. Moreover, the Office of Student Financial Aid encourages students to apply for financial grants to pay for college.
|Number of Courses||Certificate|
The most crucial part of getting admitted to a degree program is to find a course that fits your skills and increases your employability in front of potential recruiters. Some degrees add to your credentials, while others do not. Here, search for the best MA degrees in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline (BMLD) has outlined the scope of practice for medical assistants in the state. They have laid down rules, regulations, and authorized what activities a medical assistant can do, and what actions they are not allowed to perform. According to BMLD, a medical assistant can have formal training. Though it is not mandatory, it is desirable. There are also other practical ways to procure experience through a job or gaining certification.
Having formal training depicts your dedication to your profession and displays the meticulous performance that you have been exhibiting at work. It makes you enjoy an edge over your contemporaries and ensures that your application stands out in front of potential recruiters. Most practicing medical assistants get nationally certified for it lands them better opportunities, and more monetary compensation, in the long-run.
You can procure national certification from many authorized organizations. However, the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is considered in high regard in the medical fraternity. For CMA licensure, an examination has to be taken at Prometric centers across the state. 200 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) have to be answered within 2 hours and 40 minutes, which pertain to your field of occupation.
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification provided by the American Medical Technologists (AMT) can be procured if you fulfill their eligibility criteria. You’re eligible for RMA if you have work experience as a medical assistant for 5 years or have procured medical training from the US Army. You’re also eligible if you complete a course in medical assisting that has 720 instructional hours with 160 hours of clinical externship.
The college from where you’re pursuing the MA degree must have the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accreditation for both CMA and RMA licensure.
Other national certifications you can procure include the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) provided by the National Center for Competency Testing, Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) provided by the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP), and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) by National Healthcare Association. All these certifications require you to fulfill specific eligibility criteria.
The May 2019 BLS report shows that 2,820 total medical assistants are currently employed in the state of Rhode Island. The employment rate per 1,000 jobs is 5.8.
The 5 industries employing the highest number of MAs in the state are given below:
|Ambulatory Health Care Services||2,100|
|Offices of Physicians||1,410|
|General Medical and Surgical Hospitals||470|
|Outpatient Care Centers||390|
Source: BLS (as of May 2019)
The projected growth rate anticipated for Rhode Island is high, but not at par with the national growth rate of 23%. The salary for MAs in RI is at par with the national average, and the annual project openings are 300 in the state between 2016 and 2026. The steep increase in the number of the older population, as revealed by The Rhode Island Statewide Planning Office data, from 15.8% to 23.1% in 2030, explains why medical assisting would witness higher growth rates in the state as a profession.
The need for primary patient care would go by, and the physicians would respond to the challenge by delegating administrative tasks to medical assistants and supervising them for appropriate clinical works.
|Projected Employment Growth in 10 Years||Annual Projected Jobs||Growth %|
|Rhode Island||2,530 (2016)||2,760 (2026)||300||9%|
|National||686,600 (2018)||841,500 (2028)||99,700||23%|
The short term projection data for Rhode Island also shows a high growth rate. The number of medical assistants employed in 2019 was 2,450, which is supposed to increase to 2,520 in 2021. Though the percent change is 2.9%, average annual openings of 310 MAs have been predicted by BLS experts. The rise is understandable, considering how healthcare facilities in RI are undergoing a revolutionary change. All medical monitoring has become digital, which requires adept medical assistant professionals to carry out duties and perform tasks so that pressure can be lifted off physicians.
Medical assistants are being considered the first line of defense who are devoted to improving patient well-being and primary healthcare. Hence, this is a profession that would see upward growth in the years to come.
Rhode Island does not have a dedicated medical assistant society or organization that overlooks all the medical assistants in the state. So, MAs in the state can be members of AAMA. It is the national organization responsible for ensuring quality health care and safeguarding the best interests of medical assistants. From educational information to job opportunities to a source of networking, they also determine and define the scope of practice of MAs in the state.
This organization supports and represents all healthcare workers and physicians in the state. By taking care of the personal and professional needs of the healthcare workers, they aim to ensure better and improved patient care. For the latest information on the state of health or newer job opportunities, this is a valuable resource for medical assistants in Rhode Island.
The top priority of the Rhode Island Department of Health is to ensure the well-being and good health of all people of the state, besides preventing disease outbreak in the vicinities. From ensuring access to good healthcare, this organization is responsible for releasing all the essential health-related information in the state. A valuable resource for all medical professionals in the state, the Department of Health also keeps you abreast of recent job opportunities and other health affairs.
Responsible for creating policy statements, the scope of practice, and guidelines for all medical professionals in the state, the Board determines regulations for the scope of practice of different medical health workers. From getting licensure to reactivation, this is the organization you’ve to rely on.
Written by : Casey Gardner
Casey Gardner is both a healthcare support professional and an accomplished content creator. She has been working as a certified health care professional with marketable skills as a physician assistant, and a qualified medical assistant for last two decades. She has dedicated her nursing career to produce over hundreds of content pieces since 2001, and her work has been published both online as well as offline.
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