How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Stanfield Arizona
Now that you have decided to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Stanfield AZ, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their function is ensure that the Stanfield AZ clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing 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
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Arizona law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Programs
Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Stanfield AZ health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to 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 classes. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical 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.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent alternative for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be carried out in Stanfield AZ area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Stanfield AZ medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps 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, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Stanfield AZ with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to explore when assessing schools. To help you with that task, following 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 College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Stanfield AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin 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 obviously you will want to enroll in a program concentrating 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 ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Stanfield AZ area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Stanfield healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that very first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Stanfield AZ area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Stanfield AZ, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Stanfield Arizona?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Stanfield AZ area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
As of the census of 2000, there were 651 people, 187 households, and 146 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 164.2 people per square mile (63.5/km²). There were 202 housing units at an average density of 51.0/sq mi (19.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 50.69% White, 3.99% Black or African American, 11.37% Native American, 0.92% Pacific Islander, 30.88% from other races, and 2.15% from two or more races. 61.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 187 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 23.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.9% were non-families. 17.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.48 and the average family size was 3.94.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 32.6% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 17.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.5 males.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant College Stanfield AZ
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Credentials. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Stanfield AZ.
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