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 performed by an MA 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, phone in prescription refills per physician’s direction to pharmacies, draw blood, take x-rays, perform electrocardiograms, remove sutures or change dressings.
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 healthcare professional. Your instruction will include skills practice and clinical experience in limited radiography.
For those enrolling in our Associate of Science in Medical Assisting (ASMA) program, you will take an additional 25 credit hours to complete the degree.
Our MA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
- Retention Rate (5 year average, 2012-2016) 92.86%
- Licensure & Certification First-Time Pass Rates:
- National % (2016): 65%
- Mercy 3-year average: 86%
- Number who passed exam or certification (last 3 years): 12
- Number who took exam or certification (last 3 years): 14
How to Apply
College Admission First
The first step in the admissions process is to apply using the Mercy College Application. Early application is encouraged. For a complete list of College application deadlines, click here. Students admitted to the College may enroll in Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS) courses prior to admission to any academic program.
Program Admission Second
Following College admission, students will receive instructions to complete an Academic Program Application in order to begin the process. Once all requirements have been satisfied, the applicant’s file is considered complete and will be given to the program chair for consideration. It is the applicant’s responsibility to complete the professional program application process.
The program chair will begin reviewing completed files by the program admission deadline. Admission to this professional program is limited.
You will experience direct patient contact during your clinical experience (called practicums) within Mercy Clinics. You will also work at many other leading healthcare 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. Our full-time liberal arts and sciences faculty members are Ph.D.-prepared and adept at integrating their subject matter into a comprehensive health science curriculum. As a student, you will receive an exceptional level of personalized instruction.
Once you have completed your MA program, 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 assisting among the fastest growing occupations. 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.
To view the graduation, employment, tuition, and debt information referred to as the "Gainful Employment Disclosures", please click here.