How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Manteca California
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Manteca CA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may decide to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included several questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Manteca CA hospitals, clinics 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 practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any task they are authorized to under California law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 Programs
Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Manteca CA health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Manteca CA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the best choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Manteca CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps 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 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which type of credential you want to attain, 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 covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Manteca CA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must examine when researching programs. To help 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 selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the school you choose is accredited. To begin 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 acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Manteca CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on 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 ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Manteca CA area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students develop relationships within the Manteca health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Getting that initial job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Manteca CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college 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 jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the program you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Manteca CA, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Manteca California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Manteca CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Manteca is a city in the Central Valley of California, 76 miles east of San Francisco. It was founded in 1861 by Joshua Cowell. Cowell claimed around 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) and built houses on what is now the corner of Main and Yosemite, where Bank of America now stands. In 1873, the Central Pacific Railroad laid track directly through the area. The residents wanted to refer to their new train station as "Cowell Station", but there was already a Cowell Station near Tracy. The residents agreed to change the name of the community, choosing "Monteca" as the new name. This was misprinted as "Manteca" (Spanish for lard) by the railroad, and the misspelled version was eventually accepted as the name of the town. This misspelling thus became a town joke that would be laughed at throughout generations to come. Bobby and Shirley Davis popularized the pronunciation /mæn'tikə/, even though the Spanish word is pronounced /man'teka/. In 1918, Manteca was incorporated as a city, and Joshua Cowell became its first mayor.
In 1938, photojournalist Dorthea Lange took photos of William & Mary Dimotakis (immigrants from the Greek island of Crete), and their youngest child, son George, on the family farm in Manteca for the Farm Security Administration. The farm, near the industrial park area, is still owned by the Dimotakis family.
Manteca fashions itself the "Family City", and it lies at a crossroads of major highways and railroads. As recently as the 1970s, Manteca existed primarily on agriculture and was still barely a stop between two freeways, Interstate 5 and State Route 99. The continuing rise in Bay Area housing prices caused Bay Area residents to look further eastward for cheaper places to live. Since the construction of the 120 bypass portion of State Route 120, Manteca has become a popular choice for these commuters. The 1990s saw an increase in the city's population and the construction of its third high school, the first two being Manteca High School and East Union High School. The population of Manteca continues to increase, with some housing being constructed on what was once farmland to the north and southeast.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant College Manteca CA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Can A Certified Medical Assistant Do. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Manteca CA.
More Medical Locations in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 204