Certificate or Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
Our Program Licensure/Certification Rates How and When to Apply Background Preparation Clinical Experience Faculty Job Outlook Gainful Employment
Become a Medical Assistant. A medical assistant (MA) is a multi-skilled health professional specifically educated to work in ambulatory settings performing administrative and clinical duties. As an MA, you may have clinical duties within the offices of physicians, podiatrists and other health practitioners. Some common tasks include taking medical histories and vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examinations and assisting physicians during examinations. You might instruct patients about medications and special diets, prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician, authorize drug refills as directed, telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy, draw blood, take x-rays electrocardiograms, remove sutures, change dressings and much more.
Our three-semester certificate program will include classroom instruction, practice in skills lab, and clinical experience in an ambulatory care setting. We give you the academic and clinical experiences needed to become a caring, ethical and competent health care professional. Your instruction will include skills practice and clinical experience in limited radiography.
Upon completion of the MA certificate, you may take an additional 25 credit hours to earn an Associate of Science Completion degree.
Our MA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Once you successfully complete these programs, you have the opportunity to advance into the Health Care Administration or Health Science degree programs at Mercy College.
Licensure and Certification First Time Pass Rates
National Percent (2011)
Mercy 3-year average
Number who passed exam or certification (last 3 years)
Number who took exam or certification (last 3 years)
How and When to Apply
We accept students into the MA program each fall semester. Once you have completed that curriculum, you may be admitted into the Associate of Science Completion degree program and take one or more courses per semester--choose the pace that's right for you.
Applications to the MA certificate program must be received by the Office of Admissions by June 15. Your admission into this program is on a competitive basis, so early application is encouraged. Following general College admission, students may enroll in Liberal Arts and Science (LAS) courses in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences prior to admission into the MA program.
You need to successfully complete one year high school (or college equivalent) algebra I, biology and English coursework before admission. Students are encouraged to take LAS courses at Mercy College to meet any unmet program requirements above.
You will experience direct patient contact during your clinical experience (called practicums) within Mercy Clinics. You will also work at many other leading health care providers in central Iowa to gain hands-on learning throughout your course of study.
Our MA faculty team includes a full-time program chair as well as many medical professionals in the clinical setting. As a student, you will receive an exceptional level of personalized instruction.
Once you have completed your MA degree, you’ll have the knowledge and clinical experience needed to become nationally certified, and you will be qualified to take the state limited radiographer exam. Your opportunities for employment will be excellent, as employment is projected to grow much faster than average, ranking medical assistants among the fastest growing occupations over the 2008-2018 decade. For more details and statistics about specific roles and job opportunities go to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
Medical Assisting Certificate (CIP Code 51.0801): Three-Semester (12 months)
Program Costs: (Costs based on 2013-2014 Academic Year)
- Tuition and fees: $22,560
- Room and Board: Not Applicable
- Estimated Books and Supplies: $2,100
Debt at Program Completion (2011-2012):
- Median Title IV loan debt: * See below
- Median private loan debt: * See below
- Median institutional financing plan debt: * See below
On-time Completion Rate (2011-2012):
- Students completing program: * See below
- Students completing program in normal time: * See below
- On-time completion rate: * See below
Job Placement Rate (2011-2012):
Students completing the program: * See below
* Due to federal privacy concerns, certain data is not reported when fewer than 10 students complete the program.