How to Choose a Medical Assistant School Program near Cripple Creek Colorado
Once you have decided to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Cripple Creek CO, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Many potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences 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 important issues as well. You might choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have included some questions that you need to 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 training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Basically their role is to make sure that the Cripple Creek CO hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Colorado law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Training Courses
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Cripple Creek CO health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized also. But remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be performed in Cripple Creek CO area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education might be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Cripple Creek CO medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you must decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Cripple Creek CO with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should look at when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 organizations, you will not be qualified 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 last, as previously mentioned, many potential Cripple Creek CO employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the program’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. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose 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 closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Cripple Creek CO area health care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Cripple Creek healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Getting that initial job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Cripple Creek CO area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to experience 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 school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cripple Creek CO, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Cripple Creek Colorado?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Cripple Creek CO area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Cripple Creek, Colorado
Cripple Creek is the Statutory City that is the county seat of Teller County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 1,189 at the 2010 United States Census. Cripple Creek is a former gold mining camp located 44 miles (71 km) southwest of Colorado Springs near the base of Pikes Peak. The Cripple Creek Historic District, which received National Historic Landmark status in 1961, includes part or all of the city and the surrounding area. The city is now a part of the Colorado Springs, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area.
For many years Cripple Creek's high valley, at an elevation of 9,494 feet (2,894 m), was considered no more important than a cattle pasture. Many prospectors avoided the area after the Mount Pisgah hoax, a mini gold rush caused by salting (adding gold to worthless rock).
On the 20th of October, 1890, Robert Miller "Bob" Womack discovered a rich ore and the last great Colorado gold rush began. Thousands of prospectors flocked to the region, and before long Winfield Scott Stratton located the famous Independence lode, one of the largest gold strikes in history. In three years, the population increased from five hundred to ten thousand by 1893. Although $500 million worth of gold ore was dug from Cripple Creek, Womack died penniless on 10 August 1909.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Program Cripple Creek CO
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Schools. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Cripple Creek CO.
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