Medical Assistant Study Killen AL

How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Killen Alabama

Killen AL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Killen AL, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (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 colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.

The Job of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Killen AL nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Killen AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Giving basic support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Alabama law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Training Programs

Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Killen AL health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Medical Assistant Online Courses

woman attending medical assistant school online in Killen ALThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good choice for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened also. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Killen AL area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education may be the best option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Killen AL medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Killen AL medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Killen AL with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in 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 either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Killen AL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Killen AL area medical care providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Killen healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that very first job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Killen AL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Killen AL, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Killen Alabama?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Killen AL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Killen, Alabama

Killen is a town in Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Florence - Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area known as "The Shoals". It was incorporated in 1957.[5] As of the 2010 census, the population of the town is 1,108, down from its record high of 1,119 in 2000.[3]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 1,119 people, 435 households, and 338 families residing in the town. The population density was 585.0 people per square mile (226.2/km²). There were 484 housing units at an average density of 253.0 per square mile (97.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.26% White, 2.23% Black or African American, 0.45% Asian, 1.61% from other races, and 0.45% from two or more races. 2.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 435 households, 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.9% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.1% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57, and the average family size was 2.94.

Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training Killen AL

Killen AL medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Study. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Killen AL.

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