At only 1,045 square miles, Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States. The population is just over one million; however, its small size doesn’t diminish the need for qualified medical assistants. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there is currently 1880 medical assistants employed in Rhode Island. The demand for well-trained medical assistants is continuing to grow.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to increase by 31% over the next several years. Also, the median annual income for medical assistants in Rhode Island is $32,390.00. If you’ve been contemplating a career as a medical assistant in Rhode Island, there’s no time like the present.
The largest city in Rhode Island is Providence with a current population of just over 178,000. The city of Warwick ranks second with only about 82,000 residents, and the third most populated metropolitan city is Cranston with a population of approximately 80,000 people.
Rhode Island is perfect if you like a small town environment. However, like most small towns, you will need to do your homework to find the best opportunities. Nevertheless, there are plenty of large hospitals in Rhode Island to start your search after training. A few examples include:
- Our Lady of Fatima Hospital
- The Miriam Hospital
- Kent Hospital
- Rhode Island Hospital
Medical Assistant Training in Rhode Island
Before you can work as a medical assistant in Rhode Island, you will need to participate in a training program that will give you the confidence to administer care to patients.
Although medical assistants aren’t required to be certified in Rhode Island, obtaining certification can set you apart from other applicants. To obtain certification, you must graduate from an accredited medical assistant program, which allows you to take the national certification examination. The following certification programs are available through their respective governing agencies:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) – American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – American Medical Technologists (RMA)
- National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) – National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) – National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
To obtain certification by the AAMA, your school’s program must be accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
The duration of training depends on what type of program you choose. Medical assistant diploma programs take anywhere from nine months to about a year; an associate of arts in applied science degree takes about two years to complete. Don’t forget to talk to your potential school’s guidance counselor about financial aid options. Some examples of current programs for financial aid in Rhode Island include:
- The Rhode Island State Grant Program
- Rhode Island Health Professional Loan Repayment Program
- College-Bound Fund Academic Promise Scholarship
Once you are enrolled in a program, you can expect to encounter clinical and administrative instruction that include courses in:
- Taking blood
- Assisting physicians
- Assessing patients
- Administering vital signs
- Scheduling patient appointments
Medical Assistant Programs in Rhode Island
- Campus Location: Cranston
- Accreditation: ABHES
- Website: www.sbcranston.com
Sanford-Brown was nationally accredited in 2010, and currently offers a medical assistant diploma in medical assisting. The diploma takes about one year to complete for full time students. The curriculum includes courses in administration, anatomy, physiology and laboratory procedures.
The coursework culminates with a clinical externship where students gain hands-on experience working in a local medical facility. Once students complete training, they can register for the certification exam. Sanford-Brown Institute also ha a comprehensive career-services department, which provides job placement assistance and resume services for alumni.
Lincoln Technical Institute
- Campus Location: Lincoln
- Accreditation: ABHES
- Website: www.lincolnedu.com
Students at Lincoln Technical Institute receive a medical assistant diploma, which takes about a year to complete. This school has been providing a real-world approach to education since 1946. The program at this school offers a popular learning environment, known as the “Doctors Office Classroom” (DOC). In this simulated professional environment, students learn clinical procedures and techniques needed to successfully operate a medical office.
The instruction includes disease procedures, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology and medical coding. Students also participate in an internship that allows them to gain experience working in a healthcare environment. Additionally, there is a full-time career services department that helps students find a job after graduation..
New England Institute of Technology
- Campus Location: East Greenwich
- Accreditation: RMA
- Website: www.neit.edu
New England Institute of Technology offers students an associate degree in clinical medical assistant technology, which provides the necessary skills to become a professional medical assistant.
This two year program requires successful completion of 180 credits. At the conclusion of the program, students participate in an externship program where they can practice their skills in an actual medical-setting. Graduates are also eligible to sit for the Nationally Certified Medical Assistant Exam.