Find the top MA programs in Washington DC that have CAAHEP or ABHES accreditation that can add to your credentials. Enter your zip code to get the best listings in Washington DC.
There are numerous MA courses that are provided in the state. There are short duration and long duration courses, and students usually choose based on their convenience and willingness to study further. A diploma is a shorter course taken up by students who are willing to complete the course in less than a year and do no more than 2 semesters of study.
A certificate course has a similar program length for medical assisting students in the state and can be completed in 8 months. The maximum program duration for certificate courses in MA is no more than 12 months.
Most colleges and schools provide day as well as evening classes to ensure that the student can procure formal training at their own pace and convenience. The above program length is only suitable for full-time students. Part-time students take longer to complete these programs.
The longer course most medical assistants opt for is an advanced course with a total duration of 2 years. An Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting is a degree program that provides a holistic knowledge of the field. An unpaid clinical externship of a minimum of 160 hours is mandatory for all courses undertaken for medical assisting.
The average cost of courses is around $500 to $17,000 in District of Columbia. These are costs for resident students, and non-resident students might have to pay more tuition fees and incur separate residential charges.
You need to invest a significant amount of research when finding a medical assistant school for yourself. Many factors go into consideration, like whether the faculty is up to the market, the medical facility partners they have are reliable and essential players in the market, and the course is suitable for your needs. You must find a school that enhances your life, increases your chances of employability, and sets you apart from the rest.
Not all degrees are valuable. Hence, find a school that’s accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES so that later you’re eligible for the national certification examinations of medical assistants. Finding the right school is no easy feat, and to help you with the tedious task, here is an insight into the best medical assistant schools in the District of Columbia in 2020:
Known for empowering lives and providing brighter futures through the best vocational courses, Career Technical Institute provides a medical assistant program to aspirants in a fun and collaborative environment. They offer a special CTI Medical Professional Career Training Readiness Quiz, which lets you know if you’re a fit for the profession and if medical assisting is a suitable fit for you. It takes less than 3 minutes to complete the quiz and get your personalized report. It offers an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Allied Healthcare – Medical Assistant Concentration.
Both day and evening classes are provided. The total program length of the day course is 60 weeks, and that of the evening course is 84 weeks. Besides medical assisting skills, a candidate also learns biology, human resources management, business etiquette, business problem solving, communications, American government, and business math. This program also includes an unpaid externship experience at a nearby ambulatory setting or a local medical office. Their healthcare and medical partners include Special Care, LLC, Bethesda, Genesis, and Decal. Students are usually chosen on their merit or academic performance.
|Number of Courses||Certificate, Associate's Degree|
Known as the college that cares, Prospect College offers a program in medical assisting, with prospects of job placement in as less as 8 months. They offer a Medical Assistant Diploma, and once graduated, all graduates are eligible to take various medical assisting national certification examinations, like Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT), Certified EKG Technician (CET), and Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS). The total program length of the diploma is 33 weeks or approximately 8 months. Classes are held in morning, afternoon, and evening schedules.
The program also includes a 170-hour unpaid externship opportunity. For the externship opportunity, transport reimbursement is provided to medical assistant candidates. They have a dedicated Career Services Coordinator who looks after medical assistants’ needs and their career-related requirements. They work closely with every graduate till each candidate of the program is successfully placed.
|Number of Courses||Diploma|
Notable for providing associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees to students all across the state since 1851, the University of the District of Columbia is a community college that offers around 81 degree programs. It provides a certificate for medical assistants, which has a total course duration of 1 semester. The industry-recognized certification that comes with this course is NHA-Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), for which students must pass the qualifying examination post graduation.
The total contact hours for this course are 132. The prerequisite for this course is a course on Medical Assistant Terminology & Anatomy. The assessment scores required for admission are CASAS Reading and CASAS Maths. In this course, an introduction to medical coding is also provided. An unpaid clinical externship is also mandatory for course completion.
|Number of Courses||Certificate|
Known for bringing about two-generation education, Briya Public Charter School provides a Workforce Development program for adults’ continuing education. It offers a medical assisting program. The course goes on for 12 to 15 months, and medical assistants graduate as Registered Medical Assistants. The program is offered in close collaboration with the partner organization Mary’s Center.
As a part of the course, medical assistant students are required to complete a 160-hour externship program in a local medical office or a nearby ambulatory setting. The program usually begins in September and requires a minimum commitment of 20 hours per week. Entrants must display their proficiency in English reading and Maths by passing the entrance examinations that are in place.
|Number of Courses||Certificate|
Making up your mind on the degree you should opt for when it comes to medical assisting is a challenging task, and it must depend on several factors, like duration, course, and placement. Find the best MA degree programs in District of Columbia around you.
Though District of Columbia does not define the scope of practice for medical assistants in the state or make it mandatory for them to procure formal training or national certification, employers prefer candidates that have both. Acquiring both increases your skills and complements your credentials and aptitude. A good course from an accredited school makes you a preferable candidate for employment in the eyes of the recruiter. The two most acclaimed medical assistant certification options in DC are Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by AAMA and Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) by AMT.
For both of these courses, one must complete formal training from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited school. For CMA, you need to pass an examination at a Prometric center with 200 questions that need to be answered within 160 minutes. In contrast, for RMA, you must fulfill a set of eligibility criteria like having relevant work experience for 5 years, training under the US Army, or completing 720 instructional hours with 160 hours of clinical externship. All national certification degrees require renewal after a while. The usual period is between 1 year and 5 years.
For example, for RMA, the certification needs to be renewed every 3 years by staying in compliance with AMT rules and regulations. Other options for national certification also include National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) provided by NCCT, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) by National Healthcare Association (NHA), and Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) offered by the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP).
As per BLS reports, the total number of employed medical assistants in DC is 1,870, whereas the employment rate per 1,000 jobs is 2.58.
The 5 industries employing the highest number of medical assistants in DC are given below:
|Ambulatory Healthcare Services||960|
|General Medical and Surgical Hospitals||760|
|Offices of Physicians||680|
|Outpatient Care Centers||210|
Source: BLS (as of March 31, 2020)
The Census 2020 has revealed that by 2030, all baby boomers would be 65 years of age or older, which means they will require more primary care from physicians and healthcare professionals in medical facilities. As the demand surges, more and more physicians feel the need to delegate a set of clinical and administrative tasks to allied healthcare professionals like medical assistants.
Washington, DC has one of the largest population shares in the population of baby boomers, 12.4%. As per data from careeronestop.org, the growth rate of medical assistants between 2016 and 2026 is 27% compared to 23% of the national average. The annual projected job openings are 240, where the total number of medical assistants employed in the state in 2016 rises from 1,640 to 2,090 in 2026.
|Projected Employment Growth in 10 Years||Annual Projected Jobs||Growth %|
|District of Columbia||1,640 (2016)||2,090 (2026)||240||27%|
|National||686,600 (2018)||841,500 (2028)||99,700||23%|
Short-term projection data reveals that in 2019, 2,080 medical assistants were employed in DC, whereas 2,190 in 2021. The change observed is 110, and the percent change is 5.3%. A total of 290 annual average openings are anticipated by short term projection data.
No law in District of Columbia forbids licensed physicians from delegating clinical and administrative tasks to medical assistants. For a complete insight on their duties and scope of practice, check here.
They represent physicians and the entire medical fraternity since 1817 and look after the interests of the healthcare individuals. They are the only medical society that has been chartered by Congress and is the 13th oldest medical society in the country. For the latest information on job opportunities and continuing education, this is a valuable resource.
Established in 1897, under the Department of Health, this DC Board of Medicine regulates the practice of medicine in the states and protects the best interests of its people. For the latest health-related information in the state, this is an insightful repertoire.
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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