How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Canterbury Connecticut
Now that you have decided to join the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Canterbury CT, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? A number of potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You may choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have provided some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting 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 Duties of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Canterbury CT clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices available 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 most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Canterbury CT health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, some as little as six to nine 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 available at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good choice for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. But bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be completed in Canterbury CT area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Canterbury CT medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you need 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 selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Canterbury CT with the most affordable 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 assist you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Canterbury CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create 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 looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to select 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 means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, verify that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Canterbury CT area health care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Canterbury health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting that first job can be a challenging undertaking 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 Canterbury CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a school to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Canterbury CT, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Canterbury Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Canterbury CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The area was first settled in the 1680s as Peagscomsuck, consisting mainly of land north of Norwich, south of New Roxbury, Massachusetts (now Woodstock, Connecticut) and west of the Quinebaug River, Peagscomsuck Island and the Plainfield Settlement. In 1703 it was officially separated from Plainfield and named The Town of Canterbury. The town's name is a transfer from Canterbury, in England.
In 1832, Prudence Crandall, a schoolteacher raised as a Quaker, stirred controversy when she opened a school for black girls in town. The Connecticut General Assembly passed the "Black Law" which prohibited the education of black children from out of state, but Crandall persisted in teaching, and was briefly jailed in 1832. Mobs forced the closure of the school in 1834, and Crandall married the Reverend Calvin Philleo that same year and moved to Illinois. Connecticut repealed the Black Law in 1838, and later recognized Crandall with a small pension in 1886, four years before her death. In 1995, the Connecticut General Assembly designated Prudence Crandall as the state's official heroine because she opened the first Academy for young black women. The school still stands in Canterbury, and currently serves as the Prudence Crandall Museum and is a National Historic Landmark. In 2009 a life-size bronze statue of Prudence Crandall with one of her African American students was installed in the state capital.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 40.2 square miles (104 km2), of which, 39.9 square miles (103 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.62%) is water.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant School Canterbury CT
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Definition. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied 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 Canterbury CT.
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