How to Become a Medical Assistant in Iowa

                            Medical Assistant Requirements in Iowa

Is any prior education or training required?

No particular education or training is necessary. Yet most medical assistants complete a post-secondary education program, usually preferred by employers. All of the medical assistant programs in Iowa are accredited, and will allow you to eventually become certified. You can find a list of schools in Iowa offering medical assistant courses at this link.

Are medical assistants required to be certified?

No, Iowa law does not require medical assistants to be certified. Many employers, however, will require that a medical assistant is certified. National certification is awarded as a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), by American Medical Technologists (AMT), or as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

How can a medical assistant become certified by AMT?

American Medical Technologists requires the successful completion of a certification exam. AMT lists study resources to help prepare for the exam. To apply for certification by AMT, you must:

  • Meet one of the five eligibility criteria.
  • Fill out and mail the application, supporting documents, and $95 application fee.
  • Schedule the certification exam once the application is processed.

How can a medical assistant become certified by AAMA?

The American Association of Medical Assistants requires the successful completion of a certification exam. AAMA lists study resources to help prepare for the exam. To apply for certification by AAMA, you must:

  • Graduate from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program.
  • Fill out and mail the application, supporting documents, and application fee.
  • Schedule the certification exam once the application is processed.

Is continuing education necessary?

Yes, both AMT and AAMA require that medical assistants keep their membership current.

  • AMT requests an annual fee to renew membership. Every three years, members are required to complete continuing education credits. You can read more about AMT’s continuing education program here.
  • AAMA requires recertification every 60 months. In addition to completing either continuing education credits or a recertification exam, medical assistants will be required to show proof of a current CPR certification. The current recertification requirements are listed on the AAMA website.

What tasks is a medical assistant legally allowed to perform?

Qualified medical assistants are allowed to perform any medical tasks delegated by a physician, with the exception of duties requiring a professional medical license. They are allowed to administer injections and call in prescriptions, for example.

Additional Information

The Iowa Society of Medical Assistants provides additional information and resources such as job opportunities and workshops for medical assistants.



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