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Arkansas Medical Assistant Programs and Schools

Although Arkansas state law does not recognize medical assisting as a profession, there is still a demand for such trained professionals within the state. As of May 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were as many as 7,000 medical assistants working in the state’s clinics, physician’s offices, and other healthcare facilities. The fact is that, recognized or not, medical assistants are a vital part of the day-to-day operations of many of these businesses, and medical assistants across the state handle everything from administrative tasks to assisting physicians in providing direct patient care. Unfortunately, Arkansas is one of the lower paying states for medical assistants, with an average salary of between $22,460 and $28,140. Because the salary can vary so greatly, it is very important that anyone wishing to enter this field in Arkansas get the proper training and become licensed, certified or registered. This will show potential employers that you are skilled, knowledgeable, and serious about your profession. As such, the first step to entering this field is to find a properly accredited training program.

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Arkansas Medical Assisting Employment Environment

Arkansas does offer some great opportunities for medical assistants, but there is stiff competition for the best positions. Since the salary is substantially lower than that of some neighboring states, some medical assistants choose to cross state lines to work. If you want to work in Arkansas, however, you will have a great opportunity to find employment at a variety of healthcare providers. Having the right education and credentials will serve to give you a boost over the competition.

The Future of Medical Assisting in Arkansas

As in most areas, the demand for skilled medical assistants is expected to grow substantially over coming years. This, combined with increasing pressure on the state government to recognize medical assisting as an official profession, is sure to change the working environment for the better and to boost salaries and benefits for qualified medical assistants across the state.

Arkansas Medical Assisting Programs

Arkansas Tech University

  • Program Link: A.A.S. in Medical Assisting
  • Description: Arkansas Tech University is located in Russelville, Arkansas, and offers a high-tech medical assisting program that culminates in an A.A.S. degree in Medical Assisting. The program is highly competitive and only accepts 12 students each year. As such, it is vital to make the highest GPA possible during the first year of study for the best chance of being accepted into the program. The University was founded in 1909 and is currently known as one of the fastest growing institutions of higher learning in the state. With a small campus feel and one of the highest graduation rates in the state, there is little doubt that Arkansas Tech is a great choice for anyone seeking a quality education.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Programs: Associate of Applied Science
  • Average Program Length: 60 credit hours
  • Tuition:  $186/credit hour
  • Clinical Experience: Externship; clinical practicum
  • Job Placement Rate: Current placement rates unavailable.
  • Fun Fact: Graduates of this program are qualified to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) examination.

Eastern College of Health Vocations

  • Program Link: Medical Assistant diploma
  • Description: Eastern College of Health Vocations was founded in Jonesboro in 1979 and moved to its current location in 1985. This private school prides itself on offering a down-to-business training program that eliminates all unnecessary classes and focuses solely on the administrative and clinical knowledge and skills that are vital to success as a medical assistant today. This skill offers professional faculty from the healthcare world and access to the latest in technology and advancements. At Eastern College of Health Vocations, you can get your medical assistant training, including uniforms, books, materials, and fees, for under $10,000, making it a great deal in education.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Programs:  Diploma
  • Average Program Length: 10 months (4 hours a day, 4 days a week)
  • Tuition:  $9,960 (all inclusive)
  • Clinical Experience: externship
  • Job Placement Rate: 77%
  • Fun Fact: Interested students can arrange to tour the facilities and speak with instructors prior to making a decision.

Heritage College

  • Program Link: X-Ray Medical Technician – Medical Assistant
  • Description: Heritage College’s Little Rock campus provides a full training program that gives students a broad range of skills and abilities. In addition to the typical clinical and administrative training that most medical assisting programs provide, Heritage provides training in Limited Scope X-Ray and X-Ray Film Assessment, providing graduates with additional skills that are valuable to employers. In addition, Heritage College provides flexible scheduling so busy students can get the training they need while still working and taking care of families.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Programs:  Diploma
  • Average Program Length: 14 months
  • Tuition:  $20,477
  • Clinical Experience:  Internship
  • Job Placement Rate: 56%
  • Fun Fact: This program provides traditional medical assistant training in addition to limited scope X-ray procedures.

Blue Cliff College

  • Program Link: Clinical Medical Assisting
  • Description:  Blue Cliff Colleges has a main campus and a satellite campus in Fayetteville. The buildings include student resources such as libraries and simulated medical laboratories. Students who enroll in this program receive a kit that includes uniforms, stethoscope, and other needed items. In addition to textbooks, other books that are needed for classes can be checked out as required. Because Blue Cliff College understands that many adult students have numerous obligations, the school offers the medical assistant program through day or night classes.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Programs:  Diploma in Clinical Medical Assisting
  • Average Program Length: 9 months
  • Tuition:  $12,985
  • Clinical Experience:  Internship
  • Job Placement Rate: Information not available
  • Fun Fact: Blue Cliff College prides itself on exemplary service and aid to its students.

Cossatot Community College

  • Program Link: Associate’s Degree in Medical Assisting
  • Description: Located in DeQueen, Cossatot Community College offers a well-rounded medical assistant program that provides you with an Associate of Applied Science degree and helps you find employment upon graduation. If you want to get the terminal degree in the field, this program is a good idea. Having an associate’s degree will make you more attractive to employers and will increase your potential for earning. Cossatot provides you with this at an affordable price.
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA)
  • Programs:  Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
  • Average Program Length: 60 credit hours
  • Tuition:  $935/semester
  • Clinical Experience:  externship
  • Job Placement Rate: 75%
  • Fun Fact: Cossatot’s Financial Aid Office can help you get the funding you need to help pay for your program.