How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Monterey Park California
Once you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Monterey Park CA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Monterey Park CA clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size 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 nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under California law, some choose to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options 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 Programs
In contrast to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Monterey Park CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals 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 offered at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical 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 Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent option for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Monterey Park CA area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Monterey Park CA medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. 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). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing 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. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Monterey Park CA with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the program you enroll in 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 acknowledged 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 organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Monterey Park CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. 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 obviously you will need to enroll in 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. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Monterey Park CA area medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Monterey Park medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Finding that very first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Monterey Park CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school 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 attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Monterey Park CA, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, 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 Monterey Park California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Monterey Park CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Monterey Park, California
Monterey Park is a city located in the western San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, United States, approximately seven miles (11 km) from the Downtown Los Angeles civic center. The city's motto is "Pride in the past, Faith in the future". Monterey Park is part of a cluster of cities (Alhambra, Arcadia, Temple City, Rosemead, San Marino, and San Gabriel in the west San Gabriel Valley) with a growing Asian American population. According to the 2010 Census, the city had a total population of 60,269. Monterey Park has consistently ranked as one of the country's best places to live due to its good schools, growing economy, and central location.
For at least seven thousand years the land was populated by the Tongva (Gabrielino) Native Americans. The Tongva lived in dome like structures with thatched exteriors, an open smoke hole for ventilation and light at the top. Both sexes wore long hair styles and tattooed their bodies. During warm weather the men wore little clothes but the women would wear minimal skirts made of animal hides. During the cold weather they would wear animal skin capes and occasionally wore sandals made from hide of yucca fiber. With the arrival of the Spaniards, Old World diseases killed off many of the Tongva, and by 1870 very few Native-Americans had survived. In the early 19th century the area was part of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel mission system and later, the Rancho San Antonio.
Following the Civil War, an Italian, Alessandro Repetto, purchased 5,000 acres (20 km2) of the rancho and built his ranch house on the hill overlooking his land, about a half-mile north of where Garfield Avenue crosses the Pomona Freeway, not far from where the Edison substation is now located on Garfield Avenue.
Select the Best Medical Assistant Course Monterey Park CA
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper 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 need to obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Does It Take To Become A Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Monterey Park CA.
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