Medical Assisting programs in Tennessee



Tennessee Medical Assisting

About 61% of the medical assistants working in Tennessee are female, making it one of the states where females thrive in the healthcare industry. Earning a mean annual salary of about $28,000, * salary rates for medical assistants in Tennessee is at the same level as the national yearly salary for assistants across the nation. Considering that the cost of living is low in this state, average salary of experienced medical assistants (pegged at around $41,000 per annum) is considered competitive and high already.

Employment prospects for Tennessee medical assistants is bright, with the Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimating a 31% increase in number of open positions for medical assistants in the next eight years. Generally, with an aging population needing medical attention, physicians have no recourse but to hire additional medical support personnel to handle the daily goings-on in the clinic. If taking care of sick people and keeping everything organized is what you want to do, then you should consider a career in medical assistance.

Pathways of Becoming a Medical Assistant in Tennessee

There are three different types of medical assistants you can choose from: Clinical, Administrative and Clerical.

Clerical and Administrative medical assistants perform many of the administrative taks such as:

  • Creating, updating, and maintaining patient medical records
  • Accounts payable/receivable
  • Secretarial duties (greeting patients, scheduling appointments, etc.)

Whereas clinical staff spend less time on administrative duties and more on patient care such as:

  • Preparing and administering medications
  • Performing basic laboratory tests
  • Removing sutures etc.

Tennessee has no specific state requirements when it comes to medical assistant education. In general, those who have been in the industry for more than 10 years already began their medical assistant career with only a high school diploma. However, this scenario is slowly changing as employers choose well-trained and certified assistants to non-formally trained assistants.

Short courses in medical assisting are typically available in local colleges and universities. You may choose to attend the one-year certificate course or the more thorough associate's degree program in medical assisting. The latter option is designed to be completed within a period of two years.

One thing you should consider when choosing the program is whether the medical assisting training is accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES, the accrediting agencies of the Department of Education for allied healthcare programs. This is crucial because only graduates from accredited schools are allowed to take the certification exams for medical assistants.

Medical Assistant Schools and Colleges in Tennessee

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South College

At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career. Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.

Enjoy a small college environment with a variety of educational programs and courses offered at varying times including day, evening, and Saturday classes, with select courses offered online.

At South College, the primary goal of each curriculum is to prepare students to pursue the career of their choice. Students will find challenging courses provided in a supportive atmosphere.

Accreditation
South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award degrees at the doctorate, master’s, baccalaureate, associate and certificate levels.

Campus
  • Knoxville
Programs
  • AS Medical Assisting
  • CERT Medical Assisting

South College

At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career. Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.

Enjoy a small college environment with a variety of educational programs and courses offered at varying times including day, evening, and Saturday classes, with select courses offered online.

At South College, the primary goal of each curriculum is to prepare students to pursue the career of their choice. Students will find challenging courses provided in a supportive atmosphere.

Accreditation
South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award degrees at the doctorate, master’s, baccalaureate, associate and certificate levels.

Campus
  • Nashville
Programs
  • AS Health Science

Fortis Institute

Welcome to FORTIS

At FORTIS, students are provided the skills and training needed to enter careers in industries that have employment opportunity over time. What industries you ask? FORTIS offers career education and training programs in the nursing, healthcare, medical, dental, business, information technology, skilled trades, massage and cosmetology career fields. That makes Fortis a post-secondary network of colleges and institutes with a wide variety of educational choices!

FORTIS provides education and training for qualified applicants with the desire to better their career opportunities regardless of previous educational background. Now with forty FORTIS campus locations across the country in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia, more students have the opportunity to experience the FORTIS Difference!

Campus
  • Nashville, TN
Programs
  • Medical Assisting

Career Step

Career Step, a leading online school, focuses on helping students quickly gain the career skills they need to succeed in rapidly growing industries. With 20 years of experience, the school has trained over 70,000 students in the United States and internationally and offers programs in the allied health, administrative services, and technology industries. Career Step’s training programs are offered entirely online, and the school is committed to helping each enrolling student graduate and successfully transition to a rewarding career.

Career Step training offers you the following benefits:

  • Affordably priced programs that prepare you to earn a good living
  • Flexible online training that lets you learn on your schedule
  • One-on-one instructor access throughout the course
  • Graduate resources to help you turn your education into a job

Campus
  • Career Step
Programs
  • Medical Assistant- Certificate
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What other training should you undergo before you begin your medical assisting career?

Whether you complete the certificate course or the associate's degree program, you are required to render certain number of hours for internship. This means you have to actually "work" in a physician's clinic or a hospital to complete your on-the-job requirements. During training, you get to apply the theories you have learned at school in an actual job setting.

For some, this is how they get their first jobs as medical assistants because employers have the option to hire trainees who did extremely well during internship.

Are there benefits in becoming a certified medical assistant?

Certainly, there are benefits to becoming certified in this field. For one, passing the certification test verifies that you possess the desired skills in handling both clinical and clerical procedures. Plus, you get an upper hand when it comes to getting the job, receiving competitive salary package, better career path, and job security.

For the employers, it gives them the assurance that the medical assistants they hire can perform their duties and responsibilities efficiently and effectively.

Tennessee Salaries for Medical Assistants

Table 1 Salary Data Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Level of Experience Hourly Rate Annual Salary
Entry-Level Wage
$9.71
$20,200
Median Wage
$13.04
$27,100
Experienced Wage
$17.85
$37,100

References:
* US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–11 Edition: Medical Assistants. http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos164.htm, website last visited on November 1, 2012.
American Association of Medical Assistants (CMA), website last visited October 30, 2012.
American Medical Technologists (RMA), website last visited October 30, 2012.

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, website last visited on November 1, 2012.

Medical Assistant Programs by State

Alabama Georgia Maine Nevada Pennsylvania Washinton
Alaska Hawaii Maryland New Hampshire Rhode Island West Virginia
Arizona Idaho Massachusetts New Jersey South Carolina Wisconsin
Arkansas Illinois Michigan New York South Dakota Wyoming
California Indiana Minnesota North Carolina Tennessee  
Colorado Iowa Mississippi North Dakota Texas  
Connecticut Kansas Missouri Ohio Utah  
Delaware Kentucky Montana Oklahoma Virginia  
Florida Louisiana Nebraska Oregon Vermont