Best Iowa Medical Assisting Programs & Training + Online Options

Working as a medical assistant has a number of strong benefits. The career itself is incredibly exciting and will give you a lot of satisfaction because you are directly helping other people achieve a better quality of life. Additionally, the career offers a lot of stability and bonuses. Finally, the job market is really strong and you are almost guaranteed to find a job once you graduate.

If you would like to become a medical assistant in Iowa, there are a number of schools you can choose from. It is very important to look into a number of colleges and universities in order to find the one that best suits your needs. Some of the things to consider include how much they cost, how long the program will take to complete, where the school is located, and what their admission requirements are. Below are five of the best Iowa medical assistant programs and training options for you to take into consideration.

1. Iowa Central Community College

At Iowa Central Community College, you can get a medical assistant diploma in just 11 months. The curriculum is intensive and includes theory and laboratory work. Additionally, students take part in an eight-week practicum over the summer. The program starts every fall and it is completed after the practicum. Some of the topics covered in the curriculum include medical terminology, lab procedures, health and disease, office management and interpersonal relationships. If students have a passing grade in each of the core courses and if they are able to meet all the other prerequisite requirements, they will be able to take the exam for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification. Those who pass can then choose to work or study on towards their associate’s degree.

They may choose to continue on to their associate’s degree at the same college. This will involve another 13 credit hours in additional topics and they will also have to complete 6 elective hours. Some of the classes they will take include psychology, composition and physiology. Once they have completed this program, they will be able to work in a variety of clinical settings in an entry level position.

• Campus: Fort Dodge, IA
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: HLC
• Tuition: $4,380 for in state students and $6,360 for out of state students
• Minimum time commitment: 11 months for diploma program, 19 credit hours for associate’s degree
• Online availability: No
• Degree requirements: Placement test, high school or GED
• Programs: Diploma and associate’s degree
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

2. Des Moines Area Community College

At Des Moines Area Community College, students can take part in either a diploma or an associate’s degree for medical assistants. The programs follow the same curriculum for three semesters. The fourth semester is not applicable for those who simply want to achieve a diploma. This is an option for those who want to work as soon as possible and who do not wish to have higher professional responsibilities at that particular time. The first three semesters focus on subjects that include business English and math, medical terminology, human relations, word processing, transcription, medical billing, insurance, drug terminology and medical coding.

The degree program is a more specialized option and includes additional credit hours. It builds on the first three semesters and adds subjects like oral communication, business communication, interpersonal communication, accounting and computer applications. To complete the program, students have to perform an internship as a medical secretary. The school does not provide this internship and students are responsible for organizing their own.

• Campus: Ankeny, Boone, Carroll, Newton and Des Moines, IA
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CAAHEP
• Tuition: $3,990 for in state students and $7,980 for out of students
• Minimum time commitment: 48 credits for diploma, 64 credits for associate’s degree
• Online availability: No
• Degree requirements: High school or GED, Grade C in biology or equivalent, typing skills
• Programs: Diploma and associate’s degree
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

3. Mercy College of Health Sciences

At Mercy College of Health Sciences, students can take part in a fully accredited medical assisting program. The certificate program takes three semesters to complete and students will take part in a number of ambulatory care experiences, classroom coursework, as well as lab courses. Additionally, students will take hone their radiography skills, which they will practicing in a clinical setting. Upon completion, they can either become certified as a CMA, or they can continue on to earn their associate’s degree. This will include another 25 credit hours of studying and will focus on subjects, such as administrative procedures, imaging, clinical practicum, physiology, and psychology.

• Campus: Des Moines, IA
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: CAAHEP
• Tuition: $17,733
• Minimum time commitment: 25 credit hours for certificate, 68 credit hours for the associate’s degree
• Online availability: No
• Degree requirements: High school or GED, interview
• Programs: Certificate and associate’s degree
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

4. North Iowa Area Community College

At North Iowa Area Community College, students are prepared to become important members of the health care team. They will undertake clinical and administrative procedures that are necessary for the effective and efficient running of a medical office. Most graduates end up working in medical clinics and offices and other ambulatory care settings.

The college is particularly proud of their innovative classrooms, which include modern offices, computers and lab equipment. Students frequently comment on how much they have learned thanks to the state-of-the-art facilities. The program is fully accredited, which means students can become a CMA once they complete the program and pass the certification exam.

• Campus: Mason City, IA
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CAAHEP
• Tuition: $28,072
• Minimum time commitment: 40 to 44 credit hours
• Online availability: No
• Degree requirements: Skills assessment, CPR certification, physical examination, criminal background check, drug screening
• Programs: Associate’s degree
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

5. Ellsworth Community College

At Ellsworth Community College, students are trained to become the best medical assistants possible. They will learn both about the clinical duties they have to be able to manage and the administrative services that have to be delivered. The curriculum includes various subjects, such as medical terminology, basic physiology and anatomy, patient psychology, medical law ethics, communication, clinical examination testing, medical office procedures and treatment procedures.

• Campus: Iowa Falls, IA
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CAAHEP
• Tuition: $6,624
• Minimum time commitment: 43 credit hours
• Online availability: No
• Degree requirements: High school or GED, COMPASS test
• Programs: Diploma
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid