How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Blythe California
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Blythe CA, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You might decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Blythe CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions 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 providing direct support 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 possible functions 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 tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under California law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Blythe CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about a year to complete, 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 alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent alternative for individuals 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 alternative for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be carried out in Blythe CA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Blythe CA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably 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 be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Blythe CA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Blythe CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Blythe CA area medical providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students establish relationships within the Blythe medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Getting that initial job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Blythe CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and just 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 essential that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Blythe CA, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Blythe California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Blythe CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Blythe is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Palo Verde Valley of the Lower Colorado River Valley region, an agricultural area and part of the Colorado Desert along the Colorado River, approximately 224 miles (360 km) east of Los Angeles and 150 miles (240 km) west of Phoenix. Blythe was named after Thomas H. Blythe, a San Francisco financier, who established primary water rights to the Colorado River in the region in 1877. The city was incorporated on July 21, 1916. The population was 20,817 at the 2010 census.
In the early or mid-1870s, William Calloway (known as Oliver Calloway in some sources), an engineer and a former captain of the 1st California Infantry Regiment, explored an area across the Colorado River from Ehrenberg, Arizona and found its potential for development. Calloway made preliminary surveys and filed land claims under the Swamp Land Act of 1850. He interested the wealthier Thomas Henry Blythe (real last name Williams), who was born in Mold, Wales, to undertake development and settlement of an "empire" located next to the Colorado. On July 17, 1877, Blythe filed his first claim for Colorado River water on what was to become the "Blythe Intake". Blythe appointed another man named George Irish as manager to assist Calloway in building an irrigation system. Calloway died in a Chemehuevi attack in March 28, 1880, and was replaced by C.C. Miller, the father of Frank Augustus Miller. Thomas Blythe died on April 4, 1883; his only revisit to the valley was in November 1882. After his death, the work in the valley halted and Blythe's estate subsequently went into litigation between his illegitimate daughter Florence and other claimants, the trial beginning on 1889. By the 1900s, Florence was awarded the estate, after several years of preceding rulings in favor of her and appeals against her.
Frank Murphy and Ed Williams, who were involved on the cattle industry in southeastern Arizona, came to the area in 1904 and were convinced it was well-suited for cattle and farming. With the Hobson brothers from Ventura County, they bought Blythe's estate and formed the Palo Verde Land and Water Company. During 1911–1912, W.F. Holt, who helped develop nearby Imperial Valley, was the company's general manager.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Blythe CA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Classes Cost. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Blythe CA.
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