Find Schools and Learn About Wages & MA Certification in the State
Medical assistants are in demand in Arkansas; today there are just over 2,000 employed in the state of Arkansas, with another 470 expected to be employed between 2012 and 2022. They might find work in offices of physicians, which is the most common employer, but they might also work in home health, outpatient care centers, nursing homes and more.
This guide is designed to delve deep into the work of medical assistants in Arkansas, including what aspiring graduates can expect after graduation.
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Top Medical Assistant Schools in Arkansas
With the various options for medical assisting programs in Arkansas, it can be a challenge to find just the right one. Medical assistants work directly with patients and physicians in a professional health care setting, helping to serve the community as a whole. The job market continues to grow, making it a lucrative career opportunity for those looking to go into the field. We did some research for you, looking at class sizes, student services, the number of degrees available and more to bring you our list of the 2017 Top Schools for Medical Assisting in Arkansas.
4 - Year Colleges
Arkansas Medical Assisting School Spotlight
Medical assistants must earn the proper training in order to become certified. Medical assisting schools in Arkansas offer everything from a certificate to an associate's degree. Learn what Arkansas Tech University offers aspiring medical assistant students.
Arkansas Tech University
The Arkansas Tech University associate degree program offers students a wide variety of courses that will prepare them for both clinical and administrative tasks. After graduation, students will be ready to take the Certified Medical Assistant exam.
Only the associate degree in medical assisting is available to students at Arkansas Tech University. This degree consists of 60 credits, which takes two years to finish.
Arkansas Medical Assisting Careers: By the Numbers
1 How does Arkansas define "medical assistant"?
According to Regulation 31 of the Arkansas Medical Board, a medical assistant is defined as an employee of a physician who has been delegated medical practices or tasks, and who has not been licensed by or specifically authorized to perform the practice of task pursuant to other provisions or Arkansas law. The regulation sets forth mandatory guidelines a physician must follow when delegating any procedures to a medical assistant, yet still gives the physician a great deal of discretion in choosing what is appropriate to delegate.
2 Is certification required in the state?
Though medical assistant certification is not required in Arkansas, some employers may prefer to hire someone who has been certified, and thus can prove certain knowledge and skills relating to medical assisting.
3 Is certification available?
While the state does not offer specific certification, medical assistants in Arkansas who choose to become certified can choose from any of the certifications:
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
- National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)
4 Is formal education and/or training required?
Unlike some states, there is technically no formal training or education requirement in place for medical assisting in Arkansas.
5 Are there tasks outside the scope of medical assistants in Arkansas?
Medical assistants in Arkansas can perform tasks that are delegated to them by their supervising physician. There are very few guidelines as to the scope of practice for medical assistants in Arkansas, but physicians in the state are instructed not to delegate the following:
In addition, physicians can only transfer delegation to other physicians; they cannot turn to registered nurses or other healthcare providers to delegate tasks to medical assistants.
- Medical practices or tasks that require advanced assessment skills or training
- Administration of drugs that require substantial, specialized judgment
- Administration of anesthesia
- Anything that might be outside the limits of the medical assistant's training and experience
Salaries for Medical Assistants in Arkansas
How does payment for Arkansas medical assistants stack up against the rest of the nation? Here's a comparison on wages based on both hourly and annual medians.
Source: BLS, 2014
Arkansas City and Metropolitan Area Salaries
There are numerous factors that play into the salaries of medical assistants, including certification status, formal training or education, years of experience and more. Geography is also a factor; where in the state someone works has a strong influence on their bottom line. Here's what medical assistants make across the state.
|Fort Smith, AR-OK||$21,350||$25,550||$28,940||$12.83|
|Hot Springs, AR||$25,910||$28,630||$31,980||$13.91|
|Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR||$24,900||$27,800||$30,840||$14.19|
|Pine Bluff, AR||$23,460||$27,200||$30,910||$13.31|
|Central Arkansas nonmetropolitan area||$24,200||$26,950||$29,480||$12.89|
|East Arkansas nonmetropolitan area||$18,930||$23,230||$27,600||$11.21|
|South Arkansas nonmetropolitan area||$19,140||$26,070||$32,030||$12.38|
|West Arkansas nonmetropolitan area||$21,040||$23,990||$28,020||$11.82|
Source: BLS, 2014
Arkansas Medical Assisting Employments Trends
The chart below illustrates the growing need for medical assistants in Arkansas, as well as how state growth compares to the national average.
Medical Assistant Estimated Employment Growth 2012-2022
*Source: Projections Central, 2012-2022
Arkansas Medical Assistant Resources
This regulation is designed to explain the scope of what physicians are allowed to delegate to medical assistants while still allowing for a great deal of discretion.
Arkansas Medical Practices Act and Regulations
Arkansas' law regulating the practice of medicine, including what tasks physicians can delegate to medical assistants.
Arkansas Society of Medical Assistants
The Arkansas Society of Medical Assistants has the goal of improving patient care provided by medical assistants through the education and advocacy of the profession.