How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Moraga California
Now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Moraga CA, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their role is ensure that the Moraga CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are qualified to under California law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Moraga CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally 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 prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical element involving 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 Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra 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 may be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Moraga CA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Some possible Moraga CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Moraga CA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete 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 either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Moraga CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Moraga CA area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Moraga health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that initial job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Moraga CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Moraga CA, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Moraga California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Moraga CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Moraga (incorporating the former communities of Moraga Town, Rheem, and Rheem Valley) is a suburban incorporated town located in Contra Costa County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is named in honor of Joaquin Moraga, whose grandfather was José Joaquin Moraga, second in command to Juan Bautista de Anza. As of 2010, Moraga had a total population of 16,016 people.
Moraga is located at 37°50'06" North, 122°07'47" West, at an elevation of 499 feet (152 m). It is located adjacent to the cities of Lafayette and Orinda, as well as the unincorporated community of Canyon. Other nearby cities include Walnut Creek, Oakland, San Francisco, Concord and Berkeley.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24 km2), of which, 9.4 square miles (24 km2) is land and 0.09% is water. Originally Moraga was abundant with pears, but, over the years more houses have been built and it is losing its pear trees. The old orchards are now reduced to but a few acres. Rimer Ranch has begun planting new fruit trees on the south edge of town. The new trees are bearing first-fruit this year. 
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Training Moraga CA
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Online School. 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, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Moraga CA.
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