How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Reedley California
Now that you have made a decision to join the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Reedley CA, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their job is to make sure that the Reedley CA clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending 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 providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under California law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Reedley CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to finish, 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 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as 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 clinical element involving 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 related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent option for those who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Reedley CA area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Reedley CA medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you must decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Reedley CA with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must explore when assessing programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Reedley CA employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Reedley CA area medical providers. They are a great means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Reedley healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that very first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Reedley CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to observe 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 college while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Reedley CA, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Reedley California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Reedley CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Reedley is a city in Fresno County, California, United States. Reedley is located in the San Joaquin Valley, 22 miles (35 km) east-southeast of Fresno, at an elevation of 348 feet (106 m). The population at the 2010 census was 24,194. Its chief economic source is agriculture, particularly fruit and vegetable cultivation. The city dubs itself "The World's Fruit Basket". Reedley holds many festivals year round. The city of Reedley hosts the annual Reedley Fiesta in October, the Reedley Electrical Christmas Parade in December, the Reedley Street Faire in May, the Reedley Certified Farmers Market (Wednesday evening, in the summer), the Reedley Taste of the Town in September, and many other festivities to keep the residents and visitors busy and entertained. Reedley is situated along the Kings River and in the summer, many local residents and visitors drive to Cricket Hollow Park and Reedley Beach.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.2 square miles (13 km2), of which, 5.1 square miles (13 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.39%) is water.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Reedley had a population of 24,194. The population density was 4,693.2 people per square mile (1,800/km²). The racial makeup of Reedley was 14,105 (7001583000000000000♠58.3%) White, 169 (6999700000000000000♠0.7%) African American, 267 (7000110000000000000♠1.1%) Native American, 797 (7000330000000000000♠3.3%) Asian, 8 (6998300000000000000♠0.03%) Pacific Islander, 7,850 (7001324000000000000♠32.4%) from other races, and 998 (7000410009999999999♠4.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18,455 persons (7001763000000000000♠76.3%).
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Reedley CA
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Registered Medical Assistant. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Reedley CA.
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