Tarrant County College Trinity River’s Medical Assistant program has been awarded initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The initial five-year accreditation followed a rigorous review process, which included self-study and a virtual site visit to TCC Trinity River Campus East. The five-year term is the maximum amount permitted for an initial accreditation.
“Here at TCC, we are committed to delivering quality education across all of our Allied Health programs,” said Program Director Miguel Gonzalez. “Earning CAAHEP accreditation for our Medical Assistant program affirms we are delivering on our promise to offer quality education for the people of Tarrant County. Also, employers in Tarrant County know that we are training our students to CAAHEP standards, which makes them some of the most sought-after graduates in the region.”
The job outlook for medical assistants is quite promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 18 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for medical assistants was $35,850 in May 2020.
“Medical assisting is a field with high demand, both locally and nationally, and is a great enhancement to our portfolio of quality allied health programs,” added Gonzalez. “The benefit of being accredited by CAAHEP is to have an outside quality assurance to make us accountable of what we are teaching. Another benefit is to keep us current in our curriculum so that students can be marketable and up to date on skills.”
The initial accreditation from CAAHEP enables students to sit for the National Certified Medical Assistant or Certified Medical Assistant exam at the conclusion of the program. Most employers hiring medical assistants are seeking those who are well-trained.
TCC’s Medical Assistant program at TCC prepares medical assistants to work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as medical office and clinics,” Gonzalez explained. “Medical assistants are cross trained to perform administrative and clinical duties. Instruction includes preparing patients for examination and treatment, routine laboratory procedures, diagnostic testing, phlebotomy and administrative duties.”
In addition to rigorous classroom instruction, TCC’s Medical Assistant program includes a 195-hour off-site externship to provide real-life experience. Upon successful completion of this program, the students are prepared to take the NCMA exam from National Center for Competency Testing or the CMA exam from American Association of Medical Assistants.
“Students with an NCMA or CMA certification have been educated and tested in a wide scope of general, clinical and administrative responsibilities,” Gonzalez explained.
Approximate cost for the program is $3,500 (in-county tuition), which is significantly less expensive than private for-profit institutions in Fort Worth. For example, tuition at Brightwood College in Arlington is approximately $29,500 for the same 10-month program.
Students in the TCC Medical Assisting program, benefit from a blend of rigorous classroom instruction and hands-on training that enables them to enhance their newfound knowledge and skills.
The CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor of the health sciences professions. In collaboration with its Committee on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits more than 2,100 individual education programs in 30 health science occupations. CAAHEP accredited programs are assessed on an ongoing basis to ensure that they meet the standards and guidelines of each profession.
To learn more about the Medical Assisting program at TCC, please contact Miguel Gonzalez at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.tccd.edu/academics/courses-and-programs/programs-a-z/credit/medical-assistant/