How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Firestone Colorado
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Firestone CO, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their job is ensure that the Firestone CO clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run 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 responsible for giving direct assistance 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 filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Colorado law, some choose 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 Courses
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Firestone 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 available for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized also. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Firestone CO area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Firestone CO medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Firestone CO with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must explore when researching programs. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the college you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 program is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Firestone CO employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on 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 methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Firestone CO area medical providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Firestone medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Firestone CO area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? 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 likely to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the program you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Firestone CO, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Firestone Colorado?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Firestone CO area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900 to supply pneumatic tires for wagons, buggies, and other forms of wheeled transportation common in the era. Firestone soon saw the huge potential for marketing tires for automobiles, and the company was a pioneer in the mass production of tires. Harvey Firestone had a personal friendship with Henry Ford, and used this to become the original equipment supplier of Ford Motor Company automobiles, and was also active in the replacement market.
Firestone was originally based in Akron, Ohio, also the hometown of its archrival, Goodyear, and two other midsized competitors, General Tire and Rubber and BFGoodrich. Founded on August 3, 1900, the company initiated operations with 12 employees. Together, Firestone and Goodyear were the largest suppliers of automotive tires in North America for over 75 years. In 1906, Henry Ford chose Firestone to supply tires for its car models.
In 1918, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Canada was incorporated in Hamilton, Ontario, and the first Canadian-made tire rolled off the line on September 15, 1922. During the 1920s, Firestone produced the Oldfield tire, named for racing driver Barney Oldfield.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant College Firestone CO
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in What Do Medical Assistants Do. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make 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 subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Firestone CO.
More Medical Locations in Colorado
Business Results 1 - 10 of 160