How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Golden Colorado
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Golden CO, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? A number of future students begin by researching 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, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have included some questions that you should ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their role is ensure that the Golden CO hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can 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 confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Colorado law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Golden CO health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed 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 two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent alternative for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced as well. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Golden CO area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may be the right option for you. Between the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Golden CO medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Golden CO with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, 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 school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Golden CO employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Golden CO area health care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Golden health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing that first job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Golden CO area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a school to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Golden CO, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Golden Colorado?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Golden CO area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Western Publishing, also known as Western Printing and Lithographing Company, was a Racine, Wisconsin, firm responsible for publishing the Little Golden Books. Its Golden Books Family Entertainment division also produced children's books and family-related entertainment products. The company had editorial offices in New York City and Los Angeles, California. Western Publishing became Golden Books Family Entertainment from 1996 to fall 2001. As of 2016, Little Golden Books remains as an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Edward Henry Wadewitz, the 30-year-old son of German immigrants, worked at the West Side Printing Company in Racine, Wisconsin. When the owner was unable to pay Wadewitz his wages, Wadewitz in 1907 took the opportunity to purchase the company for $2,504, with some of the funds provided by his brother Albert. Knowing that the company needed staff with more knowledge of the business than he had, Wadewitz hired Roy A. Spencer, a printer at the Racine Journal Company.
At the end of its first year sales were $5,000 and the company increased its staff of four to handle a growing number of commercial jobs. It installed a cylinder press, two smaller presses, and an automatic power cutter. In 1910, the company changed its name to Western Printing and Lithographing Company after the purchase of its first lithographic press. By 1914, sales were more than $127,000. The company installed a larger offset press and added electrotyping and engraving departments. Wadewitz was approached by the Hamming-Whitman Publishing Company of Chicago to print its line of children’s books. Unable to pay its bills, Hamming-Whitman left Western with thousands of books. As a result, Western acquired Hamming-Whitman on February 9, 1916 and formed a subsidiary corporation, Whitman Publishing Company. It employed two salesmen and, in the first year, grossed more than $43,500 liquidating the remaining Hamming-Whitman books. In 1916, Sam Lowe joined Western. He convinced Western and Whitman to publish a 10-cent children’s book in 1918 and convinced retailers that children's books could be sold year-round.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Golden CO
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Classes Online. But irrespective 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, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Golden CO.
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