How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Gordo Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Gordo AL, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Most future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You may decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the Gordo AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Alabama law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Compared to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Gordo AL health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent alternative for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Gordo AL area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Gordo AL medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Gordo AL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Gordo AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Gordo AL area medical providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Gordo health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Landing that very first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Gordo AL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Gordo AL, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Gordo Alabama?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Gordo AL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Gordo is a town in Pickens County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,750, up from 1,677 in 2000. It was the second largest town in Pickens County as of 2010, taking the title from Reform, which it previously held in 1960 and 1970. The town incorporated in 1900.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,750 people residing in the town. 58.9% were White, 37.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.9% from some other race and 2.0% of two or more races. 1.5% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,677 people, 728 households, and 474 families residing in the town. The population density was 527.1 people per square mile (203.6/km²). There were 810 housing units at an average density of 254.6 per square mile (98.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 58.91% White, 40.31% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.30% from other races, and 0.30% from two or more races. 1.25% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Gordo AL
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Gordo AL.
More Medical Locations in Alabama