How to Select a Medical Assistant Program near Queen Creek Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Queen Creek AZ, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most future 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 cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the Queen Creek AZ clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Arizona law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
In contrast to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Queen Creek AZ 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 essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent choice for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Queen Creek AZ area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Queen Creek AZ 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 respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Queen Creek AZ with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when researching programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Queen Creek AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing 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. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however 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 finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Queen Creek AZ area medical providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Queen Creek medical 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 can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Queen Creek AZ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator 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 offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Queen Creek Arizona?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Queen Creek AZ area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Queen Creek, Arizona
Queen Creek is located at 33°15′47″N 111°38′05″W / 33.26306°N 111.63472°W / 33.26306; -111.63472 (33.263101, −111.634685). The Town of Queen Creek is primarily within Maricopa County, but the Town Limits also extend into Pinal County on the eastern and southern borders. Even further to the east and south of QC Town Limits in Pinal County is the large (est. 87,000 population in 2015) unincorporated community of San Tan Valley.
As of the census of 2010, there were 26,361 people, 8,557 households, residing in the town. The population density was 167.3 people per square mile (64.6/km²). There were 8,557 housing units at an average density of 49.6 per square mile (19.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.14% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 6.53% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 14.30% from other races, and 2.29% from two or more races. 17.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,218 households out of which 50.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.9% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.8% were non-families. 8.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.54 and the average family size was 3.77.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant School Queen Creek AZ
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Course Online. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided 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 choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Queen Creek AZ.
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