How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Redondo Beach California
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Redondo Beach CA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? A number of future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate 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 choose to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have provided several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Redondo Beach CA hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Depending 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 nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under California law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options 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 Programs
Compared to most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Redondo Beach CA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, a few 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 alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a practical element requiring 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 Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good alternative for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Redondo Beach CA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Redondo Beach CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly 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 examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Redondo Beach CA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when assessing programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the program you choose 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 accepted 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 one 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 normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Redondo Beach CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready 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 planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make certain that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Redondo Beach CA area medical providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Redondo Beach healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Redondo Beach CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Redondo Beach CA, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Redondo Beach California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Redondo Beach CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Redondo Beach, California
Redondo Beach is coastal city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, located in the South Bay region of the Greater Los Angeles area. It is one of three adjacent beach cities along the southern portion of Santa Monica Bay. The population was 66,748 at the 2010 census, up from 63,261 at the 2000 census.
Redondo Beach was originally part of the 1785 Rancho San Pedro Spanish land grant that later became the South Redondo area. The city's territory has an unusual shape including an area along the beach (South Redondo Beach) and another strip inland from Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach (North Redondo Beach). The primary attractions include Municipal Pier and the sandy beach, popular with tourists and a variety of sports enthusiasts. The western terminus of the Metro Rail Green Line is in North Redondo Beach.
The Chowigna Indians used the site of today's Hopkins Wilderness Park, formerly Nike missile site LA-57 from 1956 to 1963, in Redondo Beach, California, as a lookout place. The wetlands located at the site of today's AES power plant in Redondo Beach were a source of foods including halibut, lobster, and sea bass, and also of salt. In the 1700s, the Chowigna bartered salt from the old Redondo Salt Lake, "a spring-fed salt lake about 200 yards wide and 600 yards long situated about 200 yards from the ocean", with other tribes. Their village by the lake was called "Onoova-nga", or "Place of Salt." The Chowigna were relocated to missions in 1854, when Manuel Dominguez sold 215 acres of Rancho San Pedro, including the lake, to Henry Allanson and William Johnson for the Pacific Salt Works.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training Redondo Beach CA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Online Medical Assistant Programs. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure 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 rewarding career as a medical assistant in Redondo Beach CA.
More Medical Locations in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4000