How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Commerce City Colorado
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Commerce City CO, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean 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 factors also. You may decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Commerce City CO hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type 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 nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Colorado law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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
Unlike many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Commerce City CO health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine 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 provided at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be performed in Commerce City CO area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good idea for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Commerce City CO medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Commerce City CO with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you should examine when researching schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Commerce City CO employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Commerce City CO area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Commerce City health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Commerce City CO area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s important that the school you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Commerce City CO, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Commerce City Colorado?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Commerce City CO area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Commerce City, Colorado
The City of Commerce City is a Home Rule Municipality located in Adams County, Colorado, United States. Commerce City is a northern suburb of Denver and as of 2013[update] is the 18th most populous municipality in Colorado. The city population was 45,913 at the 2010 United States Census, a population increase of 118.7% in the ten years since the 2000 census.
Commerce City is a mixed residential and industrial community that is known for an oil refinery with a capacity of 90,000 barrels per day (14,000 m3/d), operated by Suncor.Dick's Sporting Goods Park, a soccer stadium in Commerce City, hosts the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.
In 1859 after fighting in Bleeding Kansas, pro-slavery John D. "Colonel Jack" Henderson built a ranch, trading post, and hotel on Henderson Island in the South Platte River in Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory north of Denver, from which he sold meat and provisions to gold seekers on their way up the South Platte River Trail to the gold fields during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. Henderson Island was the first permanent settlement in the South Platte River Valley between Fort Saint Vrain in the Nebraska Territory and the Cherry Creek Diggings in the Kansas Territory. Henderson Island is today the site of the Adams County Regional Park and Fairgrounds.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant College Commerce City CO
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to get 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, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Tech. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided 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 picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Commerce City CO.
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