Why Illinois might be a great choice if you want to become a CMA

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Illinois is a top choice if you’re looking to live and work in a bustling state. The state mixes large metro areas, like Chicago, and smaller urban areas rich in the arts, beautiful parks and fine dining. Many areas offer public transportation or residential areas close to medical centers, which make commuting to work easier.

Illinois has many medical centers and hospitals that offer great employment opportunities for medical assistants. Top cities to work as a medical assistant in Illinois include:

  • Chicago
  • Boiling Brook
  • Rockford
  • Springfield
  • Peoria

There are many schools in Illinois to choose from for medical assistant training. Be sure to interview several schools before choosing a college. Consider how each school’s curriculum, degree type, fee structure and accreditation status meets your needs. Choosing a school that is accredited is important as this allows you to sit for medical assisting certification exams after graduation. Certification increases your credibility as a medical professional and is being increasingly demanded by employers.

Let’s look at accredited medical assisting schools in Illinois:

1. Illinois School of Health Careers

http://ishc.edu/program_med_assist.php

Illinois School of Health Careers offers a diploma of medical assisting at its Chicago campus. In addition to learning clinical and administrative skills, students may earn an additional phlebotomy certification. The school offers job placement assistance and shows a 71% job placement rate. Students are eligible to sit for certification exams upon graduation.

2. College of DuPage

http://www.cod.edu/academic/acadprog/occ_voc/MedAsst.htm

The College of DuPage offers both an Associate of Applied Science and certificate in medical assisting. The campus is located Glen Ellyn, where student receive focused education in medical assisting. The college has specific admissions requirements and recommends prospective students meet with an admissions representative for more information. Graduates of the medical assisting program may sit for certification exams upon completion.

3. Fox College

http://www.foxcollege.edu/programs/medicalassisting

Fox College is located in Oak Lawn, Illinois. The college offers both an Associate of Applied Science degree and a diploma in medical assisting. Students receive concentrated instruction in administration and clinical practice, which prepares them for entry-level employment. The program takes 10-18 months, depending on the degree type chosen. Students from either degree type are eligible to take certification exams upon graduation.

4. College of Lake County

http://www.clcillinois.edu/programs/moa/index.asp?admission

Students may earn a certificate in medical assisting at College of Lake County’s Grayslake campus. The college has a selective admissions process. Students are encouraged to complete required prerequisites before applying to the core medical assisting program. Upon graduation, students may take certification exams.

5. Kaplan University

http://online.kaplanuniversity.edu/health_sciences/Pages/Medical_Assisting_AAS.aspx

Kaplan University offers an Associate of Applied Science degree at its Chicago location. Students with prior earned college credit may be able to apply credits to the program. Students engage in both clinical and administrative education, and a clinical externship is required. After graduation, students may take certification exams.

6. Midwest Technical Institute

http://www.midwesttech.edu/Allied-Health/Medical-Assistant/medical-assistant-course-listing.html

A diploma of medical assisting is offered via Midwest Technical Institute at their Springfield campus. The program takes about 36 weeks to complete full-time. Students learn basic medical assisting skills which prepare them for entry-level employment in the field. The program is accredited and students may take certification exams upon graduation.

7. Moraine Valley Community College

http://www.morainevalley.edu/programs/2011-2012/1455_course.htm

Moraine Valley Community College offers a certificate in medical assisting at their Palos Hills campus. Students enrolled in medical assisting learn administrative and clinical skills. Additionally, students may earn certification in phlebotomy, medical coding and medical transcription. The medical assisting course consists of 42 credits and graduates may sit for certification exams.

8. Northwestern College

http://www.northwesterncollege.edu/career-programs/health-care/medical-assisting

Northwestern College is located in Chicago and offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in medical assisting. The program can usually be completed in six semesters, full-time. Part-time programs are also offered. Students receive well-rounded instruction in general education, core medical courses and medical administration. Graduates may sit for certification exams.

9. Robert Morris University

http://www.robertmorris.edu/healthstudies/medicalassisting/courselist/

Robert Morris University has campuses in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois. Students may earn an Associate of Science degree in medical assisting. Students take a combination of liberal arts classes, core clinical courses and administrative classes. General education courses must be completed before entrance to the program. Students may sit for certification exams upon graduation.

10. Rockford Career College

http://www.rockfordcareercollege.edu/node/69

Rockford Career College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in medical assisting at their Rockford campus. The program combines in-depth instruction in both clinical and administrative medical assisting. Fulltime students usually complete the program in 8 semesters, or two years. The college offers job placement assistance with a 61% job placement rate. Students are required to take an entrance exam and graduates may sit for certification exams.

11. South Suburban College

http://www.southsuburbancollege.edu/en_US/Academics/Allied_Health/Medical_Assistant/default.asp

Located in South Holland, South Suburban College offers a certificate in medical assisting. The school states it has specific requirements for admission. Students who live in the college’s district will be given first priority for entrance to the program. All other prospective students must meet entrance requirements before being admitted. The program combines administrative and clinical training and graduates may take certification exams upon program completion.

12. Southwestern Illinois College

www.swic.edu

Southwestern Illinois College, located in Belleville, offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in medical assisting. Admission to the program is competitive. Prospective students must complete an entrance exam and any prerequisite courses prior to applying to the program. This two year program incorporates clinical fundaments and advanced skills and administrative procedures. Graduates are eligible to take certification exams.

13. Waubonsee Community College

http://www.waubonsee.edu/learning/academics/career/medAssistant/422/index.php

Students can earn a certificate of medical assisting in four semesters at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Students who wish to attend part-time will take longer to complete the course. Students have the option to also earn certification in phlebotomy as part of this program. Graduates may sit for certification exams.

medical assistant

 

Article Written by Janeen Phillips

Janeen Phillips is a freelance writer specializing in medical and health articles. Phillips has worked as a certified medical assistant in specialty practice since 1994 and is also a nationally registered emergency medical technician.

Med AssistantWhy Illinois might be a great choice if you want to become a CMA

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