How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program near Cupertino California
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Cupertino CA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? Many future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might want to research some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their job is ensure that the Cupertino CA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under California law, some prefer to specialize in a particular 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 Programs
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Cupertino CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often 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 Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra 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. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Cupertino CA area medical care 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 might be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options 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 employment after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Cupertino CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly 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 exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Cupertino CA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when researching schools. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction 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 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 agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Cupertino CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive 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 choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Cupertino CA area health care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Cupertino healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Cupertino CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cupertino CA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Cupertino California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Cupertino CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Cupertino (/ˌkuːpərˈtiːnoʊ/ KOOP-ər-TEEN-oh) is a U.S. city in Santa Clara County, California, directly west of San Jose on the western edge of the Santa Clara Valley with portions extending into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The population was 58,302 as of the 2010 census.
In 2015, Forbes ranked Cupertino as one of the most educated places in the U.S. in respect to the percentage of high school and college graduates. An affluent area, Cupertino is the nation's 11th wealthiest city with a population over 50,000. It is known as the home of Apple Inc.'s corporate headquarters.
Cupertino was named after Arroyo San José de Cupertino (now Stevens Creek). The creek had been named by Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza's cartographer, who named it after Saint Joseph of Cupertino. Saint Joseph was born Giuseppe Maria Desa, and later known as Giuseppe da Copertino. Joseph of Cupertino was named after the town of Copertino, where he was born, in the Apulia region of Italy. The name Cupertino first became widely used when John T. Doyle, a San Francisco lawyer and historian, named his winery on McClellan Road "Cupertino". After the turn of the 20th century, Cupertino displaced the former name for the region, which was "West Side".
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Cupertino CA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training Near Me. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Cupertino CA.
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