Medical Assistant Programs & Certification in Illinois
Entering the medical field with little or no experience can be challenging, but one effective way to do it is through medical assisting. Medical assistants provide support to both doctors and patients by performing tasks such as scheduling, prepping patients for medical procedures, and organizing lab specimens. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be a 19% increase in medical assisting positions within the next decade. This means that there will be plenty of opportunities to fill the empty positions that need to be filled for the next ten years. To get an idea of what medical assisting is like and to prepare yourself for the job, many people suggest enrolling in a training program. This can often be done through an online program from the comfort of your own home.
While there are many medical assistant programs available in Illinois, there are currently none that offer online education as an option. This will likely change soon as the current trend amongst colleges since the 2020 pandemic is to make as many courses available online as possible. You can keep tabs on this as it progresses by doing an occasional online search, or by talking with friends or family that are already working in the medical profession. If you'd like to check out a few medical assistant programs in Idaho that aren't offered online, check out the Medical Assistant Certificate program offered by Southwestern Illinois College or the Medical Assistant Program offered by Illinois Central College.
In the state of Illinois, medical assistants are not mandated to obtain licensure or certification from state-specific organizations in order to practice in the medical field. However, pursuing certification through nationally recognized organizations can greatly enhance your professional qualifications and improve your chances during the application process.
One such organization is the Illinois Society of Medical Assistants (ISMA). While certification through ISMA is not mandatory, joining this professional association can offer valuable networking opportunities, continuing education resources, and access to industry updates specific to Illinois.
To become a member of the ISMA, you can visit their website and follow the membership application process. They may require proof of completion of an accredited medical assistant program and payment of membership dues.
Additionally, medical assistants in Illinois may also find support and resources from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Although IDFPR does not offer specific certification for medical assistants, they oversee various healthcare professions in the state and provide regulatory guidance.
To pursue medical assistant certification in Illinois, you can follow these general steps:
Education and Training: Enroll in an accredited medical assistant program that adheres to the standards set by recognized accrediting bodies, such as the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These programs typically provide a comprehensive curriculum that combines classroom instruction with hands-on clinical training, equipping you with the necessary skills and knowledge.
Certification Exam: Upon completion of your education and training, you may opt to take a certification exam offered by nationally recognized organizations like the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). These exams evaluate your proficiency in various medical assistant competencies, encompassing administrative and clinical tasks.
Application Submission: If you choose to pursue certification, submit your application to the relevant organization, following their specific guidelines and requirements. Ensure you include all necessary documentation, such as proof of education, training, and exam results, and pay any applicable fees as stipulated by the organization.
Background Check: Depending on the certification organization and state regulations, a background check may be required as part of the certification process. This step guarantees the safety and integrity of healthcare professionals.
Certification Issuance: After successfully completing the application process, meeting the education, training, and exam requirements, the certification organization will issue your medical assistant certification. This certification validates your competence and confirms your qualifications as a medical assistant.
Your medical assistant program will often have the option of transitioning you into the workplace upon completion. This is often done by giving you the option of jobs in local medical institutions such as Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Loyola University Medical Center, Advocate Sherman Hospital, or any other hospital, medical center, or physician’s office.
According to Salary.com, the salary range for medical assistants in Illinois is $34,000 to $46,000. However, your actual salary will depend on many factors such as specific location, experience, and any licensing you may hold.
Get More information on medical assistant salaries in Illinois.