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How to Become a Medical Assistant in Illinois

How to Become a Medical Assistant in Illinois

Are you interested in learning how to become a medical assistant in Illinois? MTI’s medical assistant programs in Illinois can help you earn your certification in as little as nine months. MTI will empower you with the essential skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in this growing allied health field. This article outlines what you can expect when you attend one of MTI’s medical assistant schools in Illinois–located in East Peoria, Moline, and Springfield. 

Medical Assistant Scope of Practice in Illinois

Medical assistants play a key supporting role within medical offices and clinics. Medical assistant jobs in Illinois typically require medical assistants to fulfill a variety of professional duties related to patient care and clinical administration, making medical assistants an essential part of the team. 

Medical Assistant Certification in Illinois: What You Need to Know 

Certified Medical Assistants(CMA’s) have a wide scope of practice, performing a variety of both clinical and administrative functions, including:

Clinical Responsibilities

  • Patient intake, i.e. reviewing medical history
  • Informing patients on their procedures
  • Supporting physicians throughout the exam
  • Collecting and storing samples
  • Using and maintaining laboratory equipment

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Greeting patients
  • Processing insurance 
  • Scheduling and sending appointment reminders
  • Overseeing certain aspects of billing 

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How to Become a Medical Assistant in Illinois: Things to Consider

  • A common pathway toward working professionally as a medical assistant is earning your certification through a postsecondary education program. If you’ve already received your high school diploma or obtained your GED, you’re eligible to apply to MTI’s medical assistant schools in Illinois.   
  • Although Illinois and many other states do not have strict requirements to become a medical assistant, the BLS notes that many employers are seeking certified medical assistants (CMAs) who have completed a postsecondary program. 
  • Are you considering a less conventional path to becoming a medical assistant instead of completing a postsecondary program? Be advised, on-the-job training (meaning you learn the job after you’re officially hired) comes with some important considerations. For example, this type of training generally only trains workers to work for the specific employer. In contrast, attending medical assisting schools in Illinois at MTI will prepare you for a wide range of medical assistant duties and working environments.  
  • Not all medical assisting programs in Illinois are the same. While virtually all postsecondary programs provide a comprehensive review of subject areas like anatomy and medical terminology, medical assisting programs may significantly vary in terms of the time it takes to earn your certification, as well as the types of classes you will take. For example, MTI does not require any general education (GE) classes. Most community colleges offer two year courses, but MTI’s Medical Assisting Program is just nine months (35 weeks). 
  • Medical assistant training at MTI prepares you to take  the American Association of Medical Assistants’ (AAMA) National Medical Assistant (CMA) Certification Exam. MTI’s Medical Assisting Program provides hands-on training in relevant areas such as body organization and systems, billing and coding, office management, and assisting in routine patient care. 
  • To help prepare you for the certification exam, MTI offers one-on-one and group tutoring, as well as additional support services from MTI’s Student Success Specialists.
  • Learning to transform your hands-on education to a real-world career setting is an important step in preparing for medical assistant jobs in Illinois. The externship portion of MTI’s Medical Assisting Program gives students hands-on experience within a real-world medical environment in Illinois. The medical assisting externship is an opportunity for students to temporarily work in a healthcare facility alongside medical professionals. Externships provide students the opportunity to apply their hands-on training to a real-world experience within a medical facility.

How to Become a Certified Medical Assistant in Illinois in 9 Months

If you’re interested in earning your medical assistant certification, the following steps explain the process in greater detail. 

Step 1: Obtain a High School Diploma or GED

Medical assisting programs are primarily categorized as postsecondary education options, meaning you’ll first need to begin the certification process by graduating from a high school and receiving a diploma or an equivalent GED. 

Step 2: Enroll in MTI’s Medical Assisting Program

MTI’s Medical Assisting Program spans 35 weeks (nine months) and provides hands-on education from instructors with real-world experience. Over the course of your program, you’ll learn how to perform routine lab tests, administer medications, assist in examinations, and oversee different aspects of medical coding. 

MTI conveniently offers medical assisting programs in Illinois at the following campuses: 

Step 3: Pass the National Medical Assistant Certification Exam 

Near the end of your program at MTI, you’ll be scheduled to sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants’ (AAMA) National Medical Assistant (CMA) Certification Exam. Upon successfully completing the exam, you’ll officially be certified as a medical assistant and be eligible for employment opportunities in the field. 

Medical Assistant Jobs in Illinois

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects this field will grow by 18% between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations (8%). This is expected to create 132,600 employment opportunities throughout the country as a result. 

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) estimates an average of 2,848 annual job openings for medical assistants in Illinois through 2028. You can find this data in the Long-Term COVID-impacted Occupational Projections (2018-2028).

MTI is proud to partner with Springfield Clinic in Illinois to provide hands-on educational opportunities for our students. The medical assisting externship program at Springfield Clinic is designed to empower MTI students to gain experience working within today’s medical field. Externs will be a part of the healthcare community, and get real-world experience managing everyday aspects of patient care at Springfield Clinic. Many of MTI’s graduates go on to work at Springfield Clinic as CMA’s.  

Watch this video for more information on the MTI & Springfield Clinic partnership, and hear from MTI graduates who completed the externship and went on to work at Springfield Clinic!

Medical Assisting Training at MTI

If you’re interested in pursuing medical assistant jobs in Illinois, attending MTI prepares you to earn your certification in nine months and develop in-demand skills to work in medical offices around the country helping to provide patient care. 

Take the first step toward a new career in healthcare – start today by requesting more info about medical assistant training at an MTI campus near you!