How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near San Jose California
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near San Jose CA, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You might choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the San Jose CA clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under California law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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
Unlike most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of San Jose CA health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 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 generally take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good choice for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in San Jose CA area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education may be the ideal option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible San Jose CA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided 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 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to San Jose CA with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the program you choose is accredited. First, 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 enroll in 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective San Jose CA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive 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 get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with San Jose CA area health care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the San Jose medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Landing that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the San Jose CA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s important that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near San Jose CA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near San Jose California?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the San Jose CA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
San Jose, California
San Jose[A] (/ˌsæn hoʊˈzeɪ, -ˈseɪ/; Spanish for 'Saint Joseph'; Spanish: [saŋ xoˈse]), officially the City of San José,[B] is an economic, cultural and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California (both in population and area). With an estimated 2017 population of 1,035,317, it is the third-most populous city in California (after Los Angeles and San Diego) and the tenth-most populous in United States. Located in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay, San Jose covers an area of 179.97 square miles (466.1 km2). San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County, the most affluent county in California and one of the most affluent counties in the United States. San Jose is the most populous city in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area, which contain 7.7 million and 8.7 million people respectively.
San Jose is a global city, notable as a center of innovation, for its affluence,Mediterranean climate, and extremely high cost of living. San Jose's location within the booming high tech industry, as a cultural, political, and economic center has earned the city the nickname "Capital of Silicon Valley". San Jose is one of the wealthiest major cities in the United States and the world, and has the third highest GDP per capita in the world (after Zürich, Switzerland and Oslo, Norway), according to the Brookings Institution. The San Jose Metropolitan Area has the most millionaires and the most billionaires in the United States per capita. With a median home price of $1,085,000, San Jose has the most expensive housing market in the country and the fifth most expensive housing market in the world, according to the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. Major global tech companies including Cisco Systems, eBay, Adobe Systems, PayPal, Brocade, Samsung, Acer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Western Digital maintain their headquarters in San Jose, in the center of Silicon Valley.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area around San Jose was inhabited by the Tamien nation of the Ohlone indigenous peoples of California. San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as the Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, the first city founded in the Californias. It then became a part of Mexico in 1821 after the Mexican War of Independence. Following the American Conquest of California during the Mexican–American War, the territory was ceded to the United States in 1848. After California achieved statehood two years later, San Jose became the state's first capital. Following World War II, San Jose experienced an economic boom, with a rapid population growth and aggressive annexation of nearby cities and communities carried out in the 1950s and 1960s. The rapid growth of the high-technology and electronics industries further accelerated the transition from an agricultural center to an urbanized metropolitan area. Results of the 1990 U.S. Census indicated that San Jose had officially surpassed San Francisco as the most populous city in Northern California. By the 1990s, San Jose and the rest of Silicon Valley had become the global center for the high tech and internet industries, making it California's fastest-growing economy.
Select the Best Medical Assistant School San Jose CA
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate 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 lifetime career, you need to obtain the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Courses Near Me. 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 provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in San Jose CA.
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