What Does A Medical Assistant Do Redwood City CA

How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Redwood City California

Redwood City CA medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Redwood City CA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many prospective students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes 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 issues as well. You might choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have provided some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Redwood City CA nursing home patientThe job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their function is ensure that the Redwood City CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions 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 facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Giving basic support during exams and procedures

Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any activity 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Courses

Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Redwood City CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive 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 component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often 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 Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in Redwood City CAThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent option for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be carried out in Redwood City CA area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many potential Redwood City CA medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Redwood City CA medical assistant programsBefore you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Redwood City CA with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training 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 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Redwood City CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Redwood City CA area medical providers. They are a great method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Redwood City medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Finding that initial job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Redwood City CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before choosing a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Redwood City CA, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Redwood City California?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Redwood City CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Redwood City, California

Redwood City is a city on the San Francisco Peninsula in Northern California's Bay Area, approximately 27 miles (43 km) south of San Francisco, and 24 miles (39 km) northwest of San Jose. Redwood City's history spans its earliest inhabitation by the Ohlone people to being a port for lumber and other goods. The county seat of San Mateo County, it is the home of several technology companies such as Box, Informatica, Oracle, Evernote, Wealthfront,[7] and Electronic Arts. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 76,815. The Port of Redwood City is the only deepwater port on San Francisco Bay south of San Francisco. Redwood City is the location of the San Mateo County Jail, for both women and men. The Malibu Grand Prix long time landmark was recently demolished along with the city's only Mini Golf, Go-Kart, Video Game Arcade, and Batting Cages. Malibu Grand Prix's previous location is currently the construction site of a new additional Jail and Inmate housing facility. The city has a motto "Climate Best By Government Test" which is a reference to it being one of the top German scouted scientific climates and the city was one of the locations mapped by them during their testing and data collection. The Hetch Hetchy water pipeline runs through Redwood City and supplies a vast majority of the surrounding area with low grain (+/− 3 grains) rated water.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 34.7 square miles (90 km2), of which 19.4 square miles (50 km2) is land and 15.2 square miles (39 km2) (43.91%) is water. A major watercourse draining much of Redwood City is Redwood Creek, to which several significant river deltas connect, the largest of which is Westpoint Slough.

Redwood City stretches from the San Francisco Bay towards the Santa Cruz Mountains between San Carlos to the northwest and Atherton to the southeast with Woodside to the southwest. It is divided by Highway 101 and further inland El Camino Real on the northwest/southeast axis and Woodside Road on the north-northeast/south-southwest axis. Locally, the former two are regarded as north/south and the latter east/west, as 101 and El Camino connects Redwood City to San Francisco and San Jose and Woodside Road runs from San Francisco Bay to the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Select the Right Medical Assistant Course Redwood City CA

Redwood City CA medical assistant studentIt’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as 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 What Does A Medical Assistant Do. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Redwood City CA.

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