How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Beale Afb California
Once you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Beale Afb CA, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might want to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Beale Afb CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. 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 giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many functions 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 fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under California law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain 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
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Beale Afb CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed 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 typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good alternative for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized also. But bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Beale Afb CA area medical 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 ideal option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Beale Afb CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections 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 students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Beale Afb CA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Beale Afb CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take about two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Beale Afb CA area medical providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Beale Afb healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing that first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Beale Afb CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Beale Afb CA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Beale Afb California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Beale Afb CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Beale Air Force Base
The host unit at Beale is the 9th Reconnaissance Wing (9 RW) assigned to the Air Combat Command and part of Twelfth Air Force. The 9 RW collects intelligence essential for Presidential and Congressional decisions critical to the national defense. To accomplish this mission, the wing is equipped with the nation's fleet of U-2 Dragon Lady and RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft and associated support equipment. The wing also maintains a high state of readiness in its combat support and combat service support forces for potential deployment in response to theater contingencies.
Beale AFB was established in 1942 as Camp Beale and is named for Edward Fitzgerald Beale (1822–1893), a former Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and a Brigadier General in the California Militia who was an explorer and frontiersman in California. Camp Beale became a United States Air Force installation on 1 April 1951 and was renamed Beale Air Force Base.
Beale AFB is the home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing (9 RW), which also serves as the host wing for the base. The installation is located outside of Linda, about 10 miles (16 km) east of the towns of Marysville and Yuba City and about 40 miles (64 km) north of Sacramento. Beale is a large base in terms of land and has five gates providing access on all sides of the base. Visitors enter the base through a main gate that local merchants, individuals and the Beale Military Liaison Committee donated $100,000 to construct. The base is home for approximately 4,000 military personnel.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Course Beale Afb CA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the right 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 life long career, you must acquire the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant To Rn. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Beale Afb CA.
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