How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near El Dorado Hills California
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near El Dorado Hills CA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their role is ensure that the El Dorado Hills CA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under California law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered 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 professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many El Dorado Hills CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good alternative for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in El Dorado Hills CA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the ideal option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential El Dorado Hills CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to El Dorado Hills CA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should look at when assessing programs. To assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. 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 potential El Dorado Hills CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, 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 instance, then of course you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school’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 college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with El Dorado Hills CA area health care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the El Dorado Hills healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing that initial job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the El Dorado Hills CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near El Dorado Hills CA, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near El Dorado Hills California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the El Dorado Hills CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
El Dorado Hills, California
El Dorado Hills (EDH) is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) in El Dorado County, California, 22 miles (35 km) east of the state capital of Sacramento. The population was 42,108 at the 2010 census, up from 18,016 at the 2000 census. This growth is a combination of population increase within the 2000 CDP boundaries and expansion of the boundaries. The area of EDH was expanded from 17.9 square miles (46 km2) in 2000 to 48.606 square miles (125.89 km2) in 2010.
El Dorado Hills residents and businesses are most closely affiliated with El Dorado County, a generally rural area. El Dorado County is part of the Sacramento Metropolitan Area because it is socially and economically integrated with the much larger Sacramento County and especially the city of Folsom. El Dorado Hills is recognized nationally for its high median household income, ranking 77th in CNN Money Magazine's best places to live in 2007, with the median household income for 2007 over $115,000.
El Dorado Hills lies about 18.6 miles from the 1848 gold find site in Coloma, the impetus for the California Gold Rush. Gold was washed down the South Fork of the American River, into areas now in El Dorado Hills and Folsom, but farming and ranching supplanted the Gold Rush. Portions of two Pony Express routes in this area from 1860-1861 remain as modern El Dorado Hills roads. El Dorado Hills includes the longest surviving section of the Lincoln Highway, the first U.S. transcontinental highway. This section, part of the Pioneer Branch, passes through historic Clarksville and is the predecessor of the modern US 50 route.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant School El Dorado Hills CA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will furnish the right 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 life long career, you need to get the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Certification. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend 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 so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in El Dorado Hills CA.
More Medical Locations in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 435