Registered Medical Assistant Ashford CT

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Ashford Connecticut

Ashford CT medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Ashford CT, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Many prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Ashford CT nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their job is to make sure that the Ashford CT hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers 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 physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Providing basic support during exams and procedures

While medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Connecticut 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 Programs

In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Ashford CT health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical element 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 related field.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Ashford CTThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can often be carried out in Ashford CT area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Ashford CT medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. 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). To qualify to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Ashford CT medical assistant programsBefore you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Ashford CT with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to explore when researching programs. To assist you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations 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 one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Ashford CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, learn what the school’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 lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose 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 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Ashford CT area healthcare providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Ashford healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Finding that first job can be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Ashford CT 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 suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication 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 provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ashford CT, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Ashford Connecticut?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Ashford CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Ashford, Connecticut

Ashford is a town in Windham County, Connecticut, United States.[2] It is part of the Connecticut Quiet Corner. The population was 4,317 at the 2010 census. It was founded in 1714. Eastford was a part of Ashford until 1847, when the former split off to organize its own town.[3] For this reason North Ashford is located in northeast Eastford.

Ashford is home to the largest boy scout camp in Connecticut, the June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation; to Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children with cancer and other serious illness; to the Salvation Army CONNRI Lodge and Conference Center;[4] and to the Evangelical Christian Center, a retreat, camp and conference center.[5]

President George Washington, returning from his tour of the country in the fall of 1789, was chagrined to be involuntarily abandoned in the village on a Sunday. It was contrary to law to hire a conveyance on that day, which was observed by villagers, to Washington's great annoyance.[6]

Pick the Right Medical Assistant Program Ashford CT

Ashford CT medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Registered Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Ashford CT.

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