How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Mead Colorado
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Mead CO, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their job is ensure that the Mead CO hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Based 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 functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Colorado law, some opt 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 Education
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Mead CO health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically 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 usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the 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 to work full time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced also. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Mead CO area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the ideal option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Mead CO medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
What 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 attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Mead CO with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should examine when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make sure that the school you select 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 must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many potential Mead CO employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select 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 choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Mead CO area health care providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Mead health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that initial job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Mead 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 medical community. It also indicates that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mead CO, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Mead Colorado?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Mead CO area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Dodd, Mead & Co.
In 1839, Moses Woodruff Dodd (1813–1899) and John S. Taylor, at that time a leading publisher in New York, formed the company of Taylor and Dodd as a publisher of religious books. In 1840 Dodd bought out Taylor and renamed the company as M.W. Dodd. Frank Howard Dodd (1844–1916) joined his father in business in 1859 and became increasingly involved in the publishing company's operation.
With the retirement of founder Moses Dodd in 1870, control passed to his son Frank Howard Dodd, who joined in partnership with his cousin Edward S. Mead (1847–1894), and the company was reorganized as Dodd and Mead. In 1876, Bleecker Van Wagenen became a member of the firm and the name was changed to Dodd, Mead and Company.
The company was well known for the quality of its publications, including many books on American history and contemporary literature. As a bookseller, the firm was a dealer and leading authority in rare books.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Mead CO
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. 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 covered in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, 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 Medical Assistant Trade School. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Mead CO.
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