How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Felton California
Now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Felton CA, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of prospective students begin by evaluating 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 extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have provided some questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their function is to make sure that the Felton CA hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size 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 physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under California law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options 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 Education
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 Felton CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as technical 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 classes. They frequently have a clinical element requiring 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good choice for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Felton CA area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training may be the right choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it may also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Felton CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably 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 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, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, 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 covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Felton CA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make certain that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Felton CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, verify that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Felton CA area health care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Felton medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Felton CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention 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 instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Felton CA, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that will be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Felton California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Felton CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Felton is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Cruz County, California, United States. The population was 4,057 as of 2010 census and according to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12 km2), all of it land.
Named for John B. Felton, a former Oakland, California mayor, a judge and a San Francisco Bay Area investor in his day, the town is a historic logging community. Felton served as the lower terminus of the San Lorenzo Valley Logging Flume from Boulder Creek, which began construction in 1874 and when formally opened in October 1875 was augmented by a new rail line to transport logs to the wharf in Santa Cruz.
Shortly after the Santa Cruz & Felton Railroad began operation, a second rail line began operation in 1880 from Alameda, California and San Jose, California. A new depot was constructed at "New Felton" using salvaged materials from a dismantled portion of the San Lorenzo Valley Logging Flume from Boulder Creek. The railroads, limekilns and forest in this area provided a majority of the repair materials for the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The standard gauge railroad line came into Felton by 1909.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Felton CA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as 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 Registration. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget 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 ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Felton CA.
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