Job growth for medical assistants in Minnesota is expected to be brisk at almost 20 percent from 2012 to 2022. In more good news, the income for medical assistants in Minnesota is higher, on average, than that of medical assistants in other states. Under the supervision of nurses and other licensed personnel, medical assistants have the flexibility to engage in a wide variety of tasks, including those in the front office and those that deal directly with patient care. This guide will delve into what students can expect from training and education in Minnesota, as well as what they might seen in terms of salary upon graduation.
- Minnesota's Best Medical Assisting Schools
- Finding a Medical Assistant Program in Minnesota
- Minnesota's State Certification Requirements
- Medical Assistant Salaries in Minnesota
- Minnesota's Medical Assisting Career Trends
- School Spotlights in Minnesota
- More Resources
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Top Medical Assisting Colleges in Minnesota
To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:
- Accredited at the institutional level
- Private nonprofit or public school
- Minimum of 1 bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools
- Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools
Schools were then scored on factors such as:
- Cost & Financial Aid
- Number and variety of program offerings
- Student-teacher ratios
- Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
- Placement and support services offered
- Academic/Career counseling services
- Employment services
- Loan default rates
These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or "bang for your buck" of a college or degree program.
When a career in health care is on your radar, finding the right program is key. A career in medical assisting allows you to work directly with patients and physicians, checking vital signs, taking medical histories, assisting with examinations and other tasks. To find the right program for you, check out our list of Top Medical Assisting Colleges in Minnesota in 2017. After looking at a number of factors, including student-to-faculty ratio, student reviews and programs available, we ranked Minnesota’s schools to get you on the right track.
The Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting at Minnesota West Community and Technical College prepares students to get certified by passing one of the American Association of Medical Assistant certification tests. Qualifications to enroll in the two year degree program include a high school diploma or GED. Enrollees also need to be CPR or first aid certified. Faculty teach classes in subjects like body structure and function, medical office procedures, laboratory skills and principles of biology. As required by Minnesota law, students must pass a background check prior to graduation.
To graduate with an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting degree from Dakota County Technical College, students must complete core and general education courses. A practicum and a capstone course are part of the program's core classes. The total credits that comprise the core classes is 42. Disease, medical treatment, fundamentals of radiographic imaging and anatomy and physiology are types of core courses in the curriculum. Among the program's general education classes are communication and composition. Training takes place in simulated learning settings that mirror real life medical environments. Credit for prior learning is granted to eligible students.
On average, it takes full-time students two years to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting from Central Lakes College. Learning takes place in a team oriented environment. Students learn, in part, while practicing medical procedures alongside classmates. Students must use medical and office equipment effectively. Upon graduating with the degree, students should be comfortable interacting and communicating with patients, nurses, physicians, technologists and patients' relatives. Clinical internships that are finished at approved, local medical facilities help to deepen learning. Framework for the entire degree program follows the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Patient care and the skills to support physicians and nurses are primary aims of the Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting degree at South Central College. Post graduation, students could start to work in the allied health career field. Technical and liberal arts courses like medical terminology, laboratory skills for medical assistants, medical ethics and lifespan psychology are courses that medical assisting majors take. The bulk of the classes are technical. Admission into the program starts during Fall semester. Classes are taught in person at the college's North Mankato campus.
Classes in Hennepin Technical College's Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting program are taught during the day. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. The in person classes are taught at the Eden Prairie campus and start during the fall and spring semesters. Instructors work with students to help them gain solid medical office, laboratory medical assisting, clinical and patient care abilities. Equipment and supplies that students use during classes include a blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, scrubs and white lab jackets. Part-time and full-time class schedules are offered at the college.
Three paths to medical assisting training exist at Ridgewater College. The college awards a phlebotomy certificate, medical assistant diploma and the Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assistant. It takes 20 credits to graduate with a certificate and 49 credits to graduate with a diploma. As many as 60 credits are required to earn the associate's degree. Specific skills that graduates should gain during classes cover administrative, clinical and laboratory functions. Among these skills are the ability to take vital signs, schedule patient appointments, update medical records and assist physicians and nurses with medical procedures.
Classes are taught during the day and evening in Anoka Technical College's Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assistant degree program. Key skills that graduates gain are in the technical arena. Examples of these technical skills include the ability to sterilize medical equipment, take patients' vital signs, remove sutures and perform other medical procedures that assist physicians. Administrative skills that students gain cover scheduling appointments using medical computers, billing insurance companies and interpreting and using medical diagnostic codes. It takes 60 credits to graduate from the degree program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
People who want to care for children and adults in healthcare settings like clinics, hospitals, emergency centers and private physicians' offices could pursue an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting from Pine Technical Community College. Classes are flexible and cover subjects like life span development, medical dosages, medical terminology, medical ethics, pharmacology and administrative procedures. Clinical procedures and a practicum are part of the curriculum. The practicum is worth seven credits and takes place in a local ambulatory care environment. About 224 unpaid hours of first hand training completes the practicum requirement.
St. Cloud Technical and Community College offers nursing assistant postsecondary training through its Health and Human Services division. There are at least 75 hours built into the academic program. Nursing assistants care for patients in the patient's' private homes, hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics and private doctor's offices. During the college's training, students must complete clinical rotations at an area nursing home. In addition to getting applicable textbooks, students also need materials like a supply kit, forms packet and skills book. Students also need to submit health records and pass a background check.
Normandale Community College awards a certificate in nursing assisting. Flexibility to complete the certificate is achieved via daytime and evening classes. At the end of the program, students should have the knowledge to pass the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry test. In addition to taking on campus classes, students attend lectures. They also complete at least 24 hours of clinical training. Laboratory work is also mandatory. Adults who graduate with the nursing assistant certificate generally enter careers and work under the supervision of a licensed nurse. Places where certificate earners work include nursing homes, hospitals, clinics and emergency centers.
Minnesota Medical Assisting Training
1.How does Minnesota define "medical assistant"?
Minnesota considers medical assistants as unlicensed assistive personnel. According to the Minnesota Board of Nursing, "unlicensed assistive person (UAP) means any unlicensed person to whom nursing tasks or activities may be delegated or assigned, as approved by the board."
2.Is certification required for medical assistants?
Certification is not required by Minnesota. However, many medical assistants choose to earn certification in order to stand out when hiring time rolls around. Certification means that the medical assistant has a certain amount of knowledge concerning the job and potential duties; that can come in handy in a busy office, where physicians and nurses hope to hire someone who already knows how to handle several responsibilities that might be delegated.
3.Is certification available?
Those who choose to earn certification can do so through four major certifying agencies. The agencies and their corresponding certifications are listed below.
|Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)||American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)|
|Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)||American Medical Technologists (AMT)|
|Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)||National Healthcareer Association (NHA)|
|National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA)||National Certification Career Association (NCCA)|
4.Is formal education and/or training required?
Though Minnesota does not require training or education of unlicensed assistive personnel, such as medical assistants, formal education and training must be obtained in order to gain certification. Therefore, many medical assistants do complete a training program that prepares them to sit for the certification exam.
5.Are there tasks outside the scope of medical assistants in Minnesota?
According to the Minnesota Board of Nursing, both licensed practical nurses and registered nurses can delegate nursing tasks. Though there is no set description in Minnesota law about what medical assistants can and cannot do, nurses cannot delegate tasks that require advanced training.
Medical Assistants Minnesota Salaries
Medical assistants in Minnesota make a substantially higher median wage compared to other medical assistants across the nation. Here's what Minnesota medical assistants might expect to see on their paychecks.
Source: BLS, 2014
Minnesota City Salaries
Salaries for medical assistants can vary widely depending upon a variety of factors, including geographical location. It is possible for someone in one part of the state to make a dramatically different salary than someone in another part of the state, simply due to local economies. The following chart illustrates the various income expectations across various regions of Minnesota.
|Mankato-North Mankato, MN||$25,650||$30,180||$36,540||$14.51|
|St. Cloud, MN||$24,550||$28,950||$34,250||$13.92|
|Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||$26,630||$30,440||$35,350||$14.63|
|Northeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||$24,740||$32,490||$36,600||$15.62|
|Southwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||$23,890||$29,120||$35,200||$14.00|
|Southeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area||$25,040||$29,750||$34,480||$14.30|
Source: BLS, 2014
Minnesota Medical Assisting Job Growth
Though Minnesota's median income for medical assistants is higher than the national average, the rate of employment growth for medical assistants is not. At just shy of 20 percent, it's about 9 percent lower than the national average. The chart below goes into further detail.
Medical Assistant Estimated Employment Growth 2012-2022
*Source: Projections Central, 2012-2022
Minnesota Medical Assisting Schools Spotlight
For students interested in attending a medical assisting program in Minnesota, there are dozens of schools available. Below are three examples.
CENTRAL LAKES COLLEGE
School Type:Public College
School highlights:This school emphasizes team-based instruction and has many quality internship placement opportunities available to provide the best learning and career advancement opportunities. The curriculum will help students sit for the Certified Medical Assistant exam.
Programs offered:Central Lakes College has both associate's degree and diploma paths available. The associate degree consists of 60 credits, while the diploma takes 39 credits to complete.
LAKE SUPERIOR COLLEGE
School Type:Public College
School highlights:The medical assisting program can be taken on campus at Lake Superior College's Duluth campus. Before taking medical assisting coursework, students will have to show a certain level of math, English and reading proficiency.
Programs offered:Lake Superior College offers a medical assisting diploma, which is comprised of 43 credits and can be finished in about one year.
Minnesota Medical Assistant Resources
American Association of Medical Assistants
The AAMA not only provides the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification, but the AAMA also helps promote the medical assisting profession by supporting local AAMA affiliated medical assistant organizations.
American Medical Technologists
The AMT administers one of the most widely accepted medical assistant certifications - the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification.
Minnesota Society of Medical Assistants
By serving as the statewide affiliate of the AAMA, the Minnesota Society of Medical Assistants provides professional development opportunities to Minnesota medical assistants, as well as helps promote and protect the profession of medical assisting in Minnesota.
Minnesota Statutes - Nurse Practice Act
The Minnesota Nurse Practice Act dictates the practice of nursing in Minnesota, which includes allowing nurses to delegate certain tasks to unlicensed healthcare assistants, including medical assistants.
National Healthcareer Association
The NHA provides for two medical assisting certifications by administering the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exams.