How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Erie Colorado
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Erie CO, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many future 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 cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Erie CO clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. 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 giving direct support 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
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Colorado law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the choices 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 most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Erie 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 two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education 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 often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good alternative for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be performed in Erie CO area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice 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 potential Erie CO medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received 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). In order to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Erie CO with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Erie CO employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Erie CO area health care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students establish relationships within the Erie health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Landing that first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Erie CO area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Erie CO, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any 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 emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Erie Colorado?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Erie CO area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins
Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (1938), is a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in which the Court held that federal courts did not have the judicial power to create general federal common law when hearing state law claims under diversity jurisdiction. In reaching this holding, the Court overturned almost a century of federal civil procedure case law, and established the foundation of what remains the modern law of diversity jurisdiction as it applies to United States federal courts.
Erie began as a simple personal injury case when the plaintiff filed his complaint in diversity in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. As explained by the Second Circuit in its decision below, Harry Tompkins—a citizen and resident of Pennsylvania, was walking next to the Erie Railroad's Erie and Wyoming Valley Railroad tracks in Hughestown, Pennsylvania, at 2:30 a.m. on July 27, 1934. A friend of Tompkins had driven him to within a few blocks of his home, which was located on a dead-end street near the tracks. Tompkins chose to walk the remaining distance on a narrow but well-worn footpath adjacent to the tracks. A train approached in the darkness, and an object protruding from one of the cars struck Tompkins. When he fell to the ground, his right arm was crushed beneath the wheels of the train.
The train was owned and operated by the Erie Railroad company, a New York corporation. Tompkins sued this railroad company in a federal district court—the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The district court, following the federal law at that time, applied neither New York nor Pennsylvania common law, but instead applied federal common law, which applied an 'ordinary negligence' standard in determining the duty of care owed to persons not employed by the railroad or otherwise acting in the course of their employment walking along railroad tracks. In applying the federal common law standard, the federal court declined to apply Pennsylvania's common law standard of 'wanton negligence' for the duty of care owed by railroads to trespassers. The case was decided by a jury which was instructed by Judge Samuel Mandelbaum in accordance with the federal negligence standard. It found in favor of Tompkins and awarded him damages. The railroad appealed to the Second Circuit, which affirmed, then petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari, which was granted; Justice Benjamin Cardozo granted the railroad a stay of its obligation to pay the judgment in Tompkins' favor until the Court decided the case.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Erie CO
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire 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 individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, 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 Medical Assistant Description. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan 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 supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Erie CO.
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