How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School Program near Silverthorne Colorado
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Silverthorne CO, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their job is ensure that the Silverthorne CO clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may 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
- Scheduling and verifying 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
While medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Colorado law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Silverthorne CO health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Silverthorne CO area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Silverthorne CO medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Silverthorne CO with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to verify that the school you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Silverthorne CO employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Silverthorne CO area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Silverthorne 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 may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Silverthorne CO area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before choosing a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the school you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Silverthorne CO, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Silverthorne Colorado?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Silverthorne CO area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The town was named for Judge Marshall Silverthorn who served as the judge of the miner's court in Breckenridge. The judge first came to town as a prospector and claimed a section of the Blue River in 1881. After patenting his claim in April 1882, he was disappointed to find the gold to be sparse and the claim a poor bet. The land passed to his daughters on his death in 1887 and was then sold several times to various mining companies. In 1953 Clayton Hill bought the property and subdivided it for homes and stores.
Silverthorne served as a makeshift camp for workers during the construction of the Dillon Reservoir from 1961-1963, and later as a stop along Interstate 70. It was eventually incorporated on April 5, 1967.
Silverthorne is located at 39°38′18″N 106°04′35″W / 39.638391°N 106.076505°W / 39.638391; -106.076505, at 8,730 feet above sea level (2661 meters). The town is situated between the Gore Range to the west and the Continental Divide to the east. The two most visible mountains are Buffalo and Red Mountains. Also surrounding the valley are Ptarmigan, Tenderfoot, and Ten Mile Peaks.
Select the Best Medical Assistant Program Silverthorne CO
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re goal is 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 get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Good Medical Assistant Schools. 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 supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Silverthorne CO.
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