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Continuing Education

Registered Medical Assistant Program

The 720-hour Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) program at Blue Ridge Community College is designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to function effectively as Medical Assistants in a physician’s office, clinic, or other health care setting. BRCC is seeking approval for this newly created program through the American Medical Technologists (AMT).

What does a Medical Assistant do?

Medical Assistants are trained to work in a medical office setting.

  • Clinical tasks include taking medical histories, recording vital signs, educating patients, assisting physician, collecting laboratory specimens, removing sutures, preparing patients for exam and procedures.
  • Office work includes greeting patients, answering phones, scheduling patients, working with Electronic Healthcare Computer systems for scheduling staff, patients, procedures and tracking billing and insurance information.
  • Office managers supervise/manage staff, oversee all financial aspects of the office, maintain safety in the office and understand/implement legal concepts specific to a medical office.

Are there local job openings in this field?

  • According to the US Dept. of Labor Bureau of Statistics, the job outlook for Medical Assistant will increase by 29% (much faster than average).
  • The Virginia Employment Commission’s outlook for Medical Assistants in the Shenandoah Valley is a 34.9% increase.
  • In the Shenandoah Valley employers of Medical Assistants require/prefer the RMA or CMA (AAMA) credentials for Medical Assistants

What is the pay for a Medical Assistant?

According to the Occupational Outlook Quarterly put out by the US Dept. of Labor Bureau of Statistics the annual median wage for Medical Assistants in 2012 was $29,370.

Two different certificates are available

Registered Medical Assistant (eligible to sit for RMA exam, given by AMT)

  • Fundamentals of Medical Assisting
  • CPR
  • Medical Terminology (online and one in person class)
  • Medical Office-Reception
  • Medical Office-Operations
  • Advanced Medical Assisting
  • Practice Management (online)
  • RMA Exam Prep
  • 160-hour externship

Medical Office Assistant Certificate (eligible to sit for the NMOA exam, given by NCCT)

  • Medical Office Reception
  • Medical Office-Operation
  • Medical Terminology

What are the program prerequisites?

  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • High School diploma or GED
  • Proven competency in computer office applications or successful completion of a basic computer course.

How long does the program take?

Students taking a full class load will be able to complete classroom coursework within a year. The required externship will be an additional 160 hours.

How much does the program cost?

The full cost of the program will be approximately $9500.

Blue Ridge Community College used to offer a 6 month Medical Assistant course for the CCMA credential. How is the new RMA program different?

The RMA program delves more deeply into Anatomy and Physiology, Business and Human Resource aspects of the office, as well as advanced clinical skills. Changes in the delivery of healthcare, dictated by insurance regulations, have made this program more desirable to employers of Medical Assistants. Some area employers require either the RMA or CMA (AAMA) credentials for Medical Assistants, and most prefer that certification.

Can I get a job as a Medical Assistant after taking Fundamentals of Medical Assisting?

Completing Fundamentals of Medical Assisting and the 160-hour externship may allow you to work in some medical offices in a limited capacity. To be eligible for the RMA exam you must successfully complete all courses and externships.

Do I have to take the classes in order?

You must take certain courses in order:

  • Fundamentals of Medical Assisting must be completed prior to taking the Advanced Medical Assisting course.
  • Medical Terminology Basics must be taken with or prior to any other course.
  • CPR must be taken prior to any externship placement.

Are there additional requirements for the externship?

Yes. Each student must provide, at his/her own expense, the following:

  • Current physical exam, including tuberculosis screening
  • Current resumé
  • Liability insurance
  • Background check and drug screen