Schools in Tennessee

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Tennessee is steeped in American history – from old civil war battlefields to the country music legends of Nashville – this state has plenty of charisma. With a population of over 6.2 million, it also has many possibilities for prospective medical assistants. Recent listed salary rates for medical assistants started at about $21,000 to $32,000 depending on the facility. With the increase of baby-boomers approaching retirement throughout the State, the demand for well-trained medical assistants is continuing to grow.

Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville are the three largest cities in Tennessee. There are a variety of hospitals and medical facilities to start your job search in these cities. To supply the need for trained medical assistants, there are plenty of schools that provide you with the necessary skills to begin your career as a medical assistant.

Medical Assistant Training in Tennessee

The key to finding a good education program is to know where to look. By doing a little digging, you are taking the first step toward a rewarding career in the health care field.

Certification

Although medical assistants aren’t required to be certified in Tennessee, it’s preferred by most employers. An accredited medical assistant program will provide you with the opportunity to take the national certification examination. The following certifications are recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) – American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) – National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) – National Healthcareer Association(NHA)

Each one of the above certifications has their own governing body. However, to obtain certification by the American Association of Medical Assistants, the 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).

Education

Training usually takes about nine months to two years to complete – depending on if you choose a diploma or associates degree program. Before you invest in your education, take a look at potential financial aid packages. Many schools in Tennessee offer financial aid for qualified applicants to include a few of the following:

  • Ned McWherter Scholars Program
  • Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program
  • Robert Byrd Honors Scholarship
  • Stafford Loan
  • Pell Grants

Medical Assistant Programs in Tennessee

Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville

Overview

Students at Tennessee Center at Knoxville can earn a medical assistant diploma in 12 months. The program requires students to take 1296 hours of instruction. Curriculum includes courses in anatomy/physiology, medical terminology, keyboarding, pharmacology and clinical procedures.

Students, who are enrolled in the program, also take a specialized course that helps them prepare for the certification examination. Moreover, the coursework includes a hands-on externship program.

Cleveland State Community College

Overview

The two-year associate degree program at Cleveland State Community College provides students with a comprehensive education. Interested students must maintain at least a C grade point average and should meet with an academic advisor to discuss their options prior to enrollment.

Once students complete training, they can register for the certification exam. The college also has a career-services department, which provides job placement assistance.

Anthem Career College

  • Campus Location: Nashville, Memphis
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Website: www.anthem.edu

Overview

Anthem Career College provides instruction leading to a medical assistant diploma, or an associate degree in medical assisting for students wanting to broaden their education. Both programs provide courses related to administrative and clinical duties required by working medical assistants.

Full-time students can earn their diploma in about one year and approximately two years for the associate program. Externships are provided for both educational tracks that help students gain real world clinical skills. Graduates are also eligible to sit for the AAMA certification exam.

Miller-Motte Technical Institute

  • Campus Location: Chattanooga, Clarksville, Madison
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Website: www.miller-motte.edu

Overview

The medical assistant program at Miller-Motte Technical Institute offers a medical assistant diploma and a two-year associate of applied science degree for students.

The curriculum usually takes just over a year to complete for the diploma program, while the associate degree is a typical two-year program.

Prerequisite classes consist of health, science and laboratory coursework. The training includes courses in anatomy, physiology, laboratory procedures and curriculum concerning other administrative duties. The goal of this instruction is to arm future medical assistants with the ability to work independently and make decisions that will allow them to be productive in a medical environment. Successful graduates are eligible to sit for the certified medical assistant examination.

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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 AssistantSchools in Tennessee