How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Program near Brookfield Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Brookfield CT, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? A number of prospective students start 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 important issues as well. You might choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Brookfield CT clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some choose 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
In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Brookfield CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with trade 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 practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent choice for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be lessened also. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Brookfield CT area medical facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. Between 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 previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Brookfield CT medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received 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 sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to examining your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Brookfield CT with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to 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 school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Brookfield CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? 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 reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate 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 choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Brookfield CT area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Brookfield healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that initial job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Brookfield CT area and ask 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 medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the program you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Brookfield CT, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy 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 Brookfield Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Brookfield CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Brookfield is an affluent town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, situated within the southern foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. The population was 16,487 at the 2010 census. The town is located 43 miles (69 km) northeast of New York City, making it part of the New York metropolitan area. In July 2013, Money magazine ranked Brookfield the 26th-best place to live in the United States, and the best place to live in Connecticut. Brookfield was first settled in 1710 by John Muirwood, as well as other colonial founders including Hawley, Peck and Merwin. They bartered for the land from the Wyantenuck Nation and the Pootatuck Nation who were ruled under the Sachem Waramaug and Pocono. The purchase of the southern portion of town involved the current Municipal Center where Sachem Pocono then had his village and lived in an enormous palisade along the Still River. Eventually, when the town was settled, it was first established as the Parish of Newbury, which incorporated parts of neighboring Newtown and Danbury. The town of Brookfield was established in 1788. It was named after the first minister of the parish's Congregational church, Reverend Thomas Brooks.
Early people who lived in Brookfield were subsistence farmers, gatherers, and hunters. The main food sources were corn, beans, squash and wild foods found in the rocky, heavily forested foot hills of the Berkshire Mountains of Brookfield and New Milford. Such wild foods that were harvested were white oak acorns, American chestnuts, shag bark hickory nuts, may apples, beach nuts and Solomon's seal. The hunted animals that were taken from the forest and rivers were deer, passenger pigeon, turkey, bass, trout, crawfish, squirrel, rabbit and others. In the 18th century the community was called "Newbury", a name that came from the three towns from which its land was taken – New Milford, Newtown, and Danbury.
As traveling to surrounding churches was difficult in winter, in 1752 the General Assembly granted the community the right to worship in area homes from September through March. In 1754, the General Assembly granted permission for the Parish of Newbury to build its own meeting house and recruit its own minister. On September 28, 1757, the first Congregational Church building was dedicated. The Reverend Thomas Brooks was ordained as the first settled minister. When incorporated in 1778, the town's name was changed to Brookfield in honor of Brooks, who was still the minister.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant School Brookfield CT
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare 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 so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training Near Me. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Brookfield CT.
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