How to Choose a Medical Assistant Program near Clifton Colorado
Now that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Clifton CO, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You might want to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their function is ensure that the Clifton CO hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Colorado law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options available 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 Programs
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Clifton CO health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good option for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be carried out in Clifton CO area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the best option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Clifton CO medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. 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 have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Clifton CO with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should explore when researching programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in 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 either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Clifton CO employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to select a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? 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 shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Clifton CO area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Clifton health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Getting that initial job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Clifton CO area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Clifton CO, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Clifton Colorado?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Clifton CO area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Kevin Clifton (born 13 October 1982) is an English professional dancer born in Waltham, near Grimsby, Lincolnshire. He is a professional dancer on the BBC TV series Strictly Come Dancing, having previously worked as an assistant choreographer. He has also featured on Burn the Floor. He was given the nickname "Kevin is from Grimsby".
Clifton started dancing ballroom and Latin as a child in his home village of Waltham near Grimsby taught by his parents, former World Champions Keith and Judy Clifton. He competed nationally and internationally as a child initially partnering his sister Joanne. Later, when they both chose to move on to different partners he chose Latin as his primary dance style so as not to directly compete against his sister. He was a Youth World Number 1 and four time British Latin Champion and won International Open titles in Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Japan, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Belgium. At the time of his retirement from competitive dancing in 2007, he was ranked 7th in the world.
In 2010 Clifton made his musical theatre debut in Dirty Dancing The Musical at the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End, where he partnered BBC1′s So You Think You Can Dance winner, Charlie Bruce. From January 2008 to June 2013, Clifton and his wife Karen Hauer were principal dancers of the Burn The Floor Dance Company, performing in the show’s record breaking Broadway run as well as starring at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End. He also performed with the show in Japan, Australia, South Africa and the United States, as well as making guest appearances on Dancing with the Stars in the United States and So You Think You Can Dance in the Netherlands. They rejoined Burn The Floor as principal dancers for a short tour of Australia and Japan in Spring 2014.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant College Clifton CO
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch 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 offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as 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 3 Month Medical Assistant Program. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Clifton CO.
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