Certified Medical Assistant Duties Lompoc CA

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Lompoc California

Lompoc CA medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to enter the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lompoc CA, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might want to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included 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 responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Lompoc CA nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Lompoc CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may 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 practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing basic support during exams and procedures

Although medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under California law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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

In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Lompoc CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in Lompoc CAThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good 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 solution for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced 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 Lompoc CA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Lompoc CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Lompoc CA medical assistant programsPrior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Lompoc CA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Lompoc CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma 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 opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Lompoc CA area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Lompoc healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Lompoc CA area and ask 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 health care 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 may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lompoc CA, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lompoc California?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lompoc CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Lompoc, California

Lompoc (/ˈlɒmpoʊk/, LOM-poke) (Purisimeño: Lompo', "Stagnant Water" [10]) is a city in Santa Barbara County, California, on the west coast of the United States. The city was incorporated on August 13, 1888. The population was 42,434 at the 2010 census, up from 41,103 at the 2000 census.

Before European settlers arrived, the area around Lompoc was inhabited by the Chumash people. The name of the city is derived from a Purisimeño term, "Lum Poc", which means "stagnant waters" or "lagoon". The Spanish called it "Lumpoco". In 1837, the Mexican government sold the area as the Rancho Lompoc land grant. After the United States gained control of California in the Mexican–American War (1846–48), the valley was acquired by Thomas Dibblee, Albert Dibblee and William Welles Hollister. Hollister sold his share to the Lompoc Valley Land Company, and it was on that portion of the land that the present-day Lompoc was established as a temperance colony.

Lompoc was originally intended to be named New Vineland, after the temperance colony in New Jersey. It then became a military town with the completion of nearby Camp Cooke (now Vandenberg Air Force Base). The city is known as the flower seed capital of the world.

Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Lompoc CA

Lompoc CA medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Duties. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Lompoc CA.

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