Medical Assistant Education Requirements: What You Should Know

As the healthcare industry continues to boom, medical assisting (MA) has become a fast-growing, highly-desired, and in-demand field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of certified medical assistants is expected to rise 23 percent by the year 2024. This is much faster than the average for all other occupations, and one of the top reasons why so many are now looking towards a medical assisting career – not only are there thousands of job openings, but also great job security and the potential for growth. Undoubtedly, now is a momentous time to join the medical field.

If you desire to become a bigger part of the healthcare field, and are looking for a fast-track to get there, you may be considering the medical assisting career path. Medical assistants are vital and versatile members of the health team, working alongside physicians and nurses to offer the best possible patient experience. They are cross-trained in both administrative and clinical duties, and are therefore essential to the day-to-day workings of the medical office or clinic.

Medical assisting may sound like the right career choice for you, but what do you need to get there? What does the state of Connecticut require of medical assistants? What medical assistant education requirements do you need to fulfill to land a job – a college degree, a diploma, a certificate, or other postsecondary award? What does it take to get into a medical assistant school?

In this article, Goodwin outlines the various state-specific medical assistant education requirements in Connecticut, as well as the requirements asked of our own MA degree and certificate programs. Goodwin College is the only medical assistant school of its kind in Connecticut – a fully-accredited, well-respected, non-profit institution that offers real college credits towards an associate or bachelor’s degree. Here, you can complete your Medical Assistant certification in as few as 12 months.

Connecticut Medical Assistant Education Requirements

If you are considering becoming a medical assistant in Connecticut, there are certain steps you must take before you can qualify for a position in the field. Currently in the state, there are no official educational requirements; however, medical assistants are expected to receive and maintain certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to obtain this certification, you must pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination.

At Goodwin College, medical assisting students have the option to work towards a certificate or associate’s degree. Both programs will qualify you to apply for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination as well as the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) examination administered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT) immediately upon graduation.

The state of Connecticut also does not require medical assistants to have any particular training or experience in the field. However, most healthcare employers today will set the bar high in terms of formal medical assistant education requirements. Most want to see some relevant college coursework. Most want to see some previous experience in a practical setting. Most want to see certification. This is especially the case for higher-level medical assisting careers and future job promotions.

A postsecondary medical assistant program is a great step if you are looking to get ahead in your career. It will provide you with training in both administrative as well as clinical duties, and will put you at a great advantage against your peers. At Goodwin College, for example, we train our MA students in:

  • Taking patient vital signs
  • Performing EKGs
  • Collecting and processing lab specimens
  • Preparing patients for medical procedures
  • Handing patient records and insurance information

Requirements of Goodwin’s Medical Assistant Program

The medical assisting program at Goodwin College is uniquely designed to prepare students for a professional career as a Certified Medical Assistant. Here, critical thinking, personal development, community involvement, as well as clinical experience are at the heart of our coursework. To get into our medical assistant program, we ask prospective students to fulfill just a few requirements, to ensure they are fully ready and able to join the healthcare field:

  • Meet with Us – Prospective students of Goodwin’s medical assistant school are asked to meet with a Medical Assistant Program Director or Practicum Coordinator within their first weeks of the program. This will allow you the chance to ask questions and discuss your goals and class schedule. In addition, you will discuss the medical assistant program, your qualifications, as well as Connecticut’s medical assistant education requirements.
  • A Physical Examination – All medical assisting students must complete a physical examination with their primary care physician before they can continue to the second semester of our MA program. This ensures that students are fully healthy and able to work with patients safely in a clinical setting. Part of this physical will require vaccinations or proof of immunity of varicella, MMR, Tetanus, and Hepatitis B.
  • Prerequisite Coursework – Before entering our medical assistant school, students must also complete two prerequisite courses: BIO 101, which covers the fundamental concepts of human biology, as well as HSC 105, which teaches basic medical terminology. These courses must be passed with at least a “C” grade or better.
  • CPR/First-Aid Certification – Like with most medical assisting programs, Goodwin students are required to become certified for Healthcare Providers through the American Heart Association and First Aid through the American Red Cross. This certification does not need to be completed immediately upon entering the program, however, will be required before you take on the internship phase (in which you will work in a real-life healthcare facility, with actual patients). If you do not have certification, Goodwin does offer CPR classes to medical assisting students.

Discover why Goodwin College is a leading medical assistant school in Connecticut. Call 800-889-3282 or visit www.goodwin.edu/landingpages/medical-assisting to learn more.