How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Burlington Connecticut
Now that you have decided to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Burlington CT, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most prospective students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest 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 important issues as well. You may decide to take a look at 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 must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Burlington CT hospitals, clinics and other medical care facilities where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties 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 rooms and instruments for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Even though 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 offered 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 Training Programs
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Burlington CT health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options available for a formal education. The first and fastest route 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 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent choice for individuals 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 solution for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Burlington CT area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Burlington 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 respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Burlington CT with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Burlington CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must 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 obviously you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in 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 one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Burlington CT area medical care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Burlington health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Getting that first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Burlington CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get throughout 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 monitor a few classes before enrolling in a school to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full time, it’s important that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Burlington CT, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Burlington Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Burlington CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Situated at the foot of the Berkshires and bordering the Farmington River, Burlington is a scenic hill town, rural in nature, located 20 miles (32 km) west of Hartford. Incorporated in 1806, the population was 9,301 at the 2010 census. Burlington is home to the State of Connecticut Fish Hatchery, the Nepaug Reservoir and Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area. Almost half of the land in the town is owned by three public water supply companies and the State of Connecticut.
The town was once part of larger Farmington Plantation. In 1785, it split away and became a part of the town of Bristol. In 1806, Burlington separated from Bristol and became a town in its own right.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 30.4 square miles (78.8 km2), of which 29.7 square miles (77.0 km2) is land and 0.66 square miles (1.7 km2), or 2.19%, is water.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Burlington CT
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Scope Of Practice. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Burlington CT.
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