Medical Assistant Job Description Pennington AL

How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Pennington Alabama

Pennington AL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Pennington AL, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? Most prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Pennington AL nursing home patientThe job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Pennington AL hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:

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

Even though medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Alabama law, some prefer to specialize in a specific 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

Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Pennington AL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in Pennington ALThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent option for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Pennington AL area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Pennington AL medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Pennington AL medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Pennington AL with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the college you choose is accredited. First, 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 accepted 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Pennington AL employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Pennington AL area healthcare providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Pennington health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that initial job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Pennington AL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pennington AL, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Pennington Alabama?

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

Pennington, Alabama

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 353 people, 142 households, and 103 families residing in the town. The population density was 188.6 people per square mile (72.9/km²). There were 197 housing units at an average density of 105.3 per square mile (40.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 64.31% White, 34.84% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.57% from other races.

There were 142 households out of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the town, the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.6 males.

Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant College Pennington AL

Pennington AL medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Job Description. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Pennington AL.

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