How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Fremont California
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Fremont CA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? Many future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences 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 critical issues also. You might want to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Fremont CA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending 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 responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under California law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options 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 Courses
In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Fremont CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Fremont CA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Fremont 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 arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Fremont CA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Fremont CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Fremont CA area medical providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Fremont healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Getting that very first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Fremont CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Fremont CA, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Fremont California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Fremont CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Fremont (/ˈfriːmɒnt/ FREE-mont) is an affluent city in Alameda County, California, United States. It was incorporated on January 23, 1956, from the annexing of Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San José, and Warm Springs. The city is named after John C. Frémont, an American explorer and former US Senator from California, Governor from Arizona, Major General in the Union Army, and the first Republican presidential candidate, in 1856.
Located in the southeast San Francisco Bay Area and straddling both the East Bay and South Bay regions, Fremont has a rapidly-growing population of around 230,000. It is one of the largest cities by land area and the fourth most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area, behind San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland. It directly borders and is the closest East Bay city to Silicon Valley as formally defined, and is thus often associated with it. The city has an extensive and rapidly expanding base of both tech industry and workers.
The area consisting of Fremont and the cities of Newark and Union City (formed from the annex of Alvarado and Decoto) is known collectively as the Tri-City Area; different from the adjacent Tri-Valley area encompassing Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Fremont CA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant School Online Accredited. But irrespective of the type 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 choosing the best program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Fremont CA.
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