How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Port Hueneme California
Once you have decided to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Port Hueneme CA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You may decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their function is ensure that the Port Hueneme CA clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under California law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn 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
Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Port Hueneme CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be reduced as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be completed in Port Hueneme CA area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the right option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential Port Hueneme CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, for instance 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 examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Port Hueneme CA with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must explore when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Port Hueneme CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially 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, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Port Hueneme CA area health care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students build relationships within the Port Hueneme healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding that initial job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Port Hueneme CA area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Port Hueneme CA, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol 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 Port Hueneme California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Port Hueneme CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Port Hueneme, California
Port Hueneme (/waɪˈniːmi/ wy-NEEM-ee) is a small beach city in Ventura County, California surrounded by the city of Oxnard and the Santa Barbara Channel. The name derives from the Spanish spelling of the Ventureño phrase wene me, meaning "Resting Place". Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo explored this area and the adjacent Channel Islands in October 1542. The town's name was officially changed to Port Hueneme in 1939 and was incorporated March 24, 1948.
Thomas Bard learned of the submarine canyon at Point Hueneme and took advantage of the canyon depth to construct the Hueneme Wharf in 1871 here. The existing street grid of the town was formally laid out in 1888. Until the construction of the Montalvo Cutoff that brought the railroad to nearby Oxnard, the wharf was the principal means of transportation for that portion of Ventura County lying south of the Santa Clara River. Hueneme was the second largest grain shipping port on the Pacific coast between 1871 and 1895. Both the Port of Hueneme and Naval Base Ventura County lie within city limits.
Port Hueneme has a south-facing sand beach, known for its surfing. The beach has a wooden fishing pier and is about a mile long between Ormond Beach downcoast and Point Hueneme Light at the harbor entrance shared by the naval base and the port. The Waterfront Promenade, also known as the Lighthouse Promenade, provides a paved public access along the shoreline with two historic sites at view points: the 1872 Wharf and the Oxnard Packing House.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Course Port Hueneme CA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate Program. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Port Hueneme CA.
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