How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Cromwell Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Cromwell CT, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Many potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. 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 before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask each 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 offered.
The Job of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Cromwell CT clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run 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 responsible for giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Connecticut 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 Programs
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Cromwell CT health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent choice for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be performed in Cromwell 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 receiving your education may be the right option for you. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Cromwell CT medical employers simply will not hire 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 take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Cromwell CT with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should explore when researching programs. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the program you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete 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 allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Cromwell CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Cromwell CT area medical care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Cromwell healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Finding that first job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Cromwell CT area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before enrolling in a program to witness 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 to work full time, it’s essential that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cromwell CT, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Cromwell Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Cromwell CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
The town was named after a shipping boat that traveled along the Connecticut River, which runs along Cromwell. The ship was named after Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England. Other theories are that the town was named after the 1776 warship Oliver Cromwell, or named directly after the Lord Protector Cromwell.
A major north/south highway, Interstate 91, with two Cromwell exits, runs through the Town. The Central Connecticut Expressway (Route 9), opened at the end of 1989, enhances the Town's location as it connects I-95 in Old Saybrook, I-91 in Cromwell and I-84, the State's major east/west highway in New Britain.
As of the census of 2010, there were 14,005 people, 5,212 households, and 3,262 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,038.5 people per square mile (401.1/km²). There were 5,365 housing units at an average density of 432.9 per square mile (167.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.08% White, 3.13% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.24% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.03% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.19% of the population.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Course Cromwell CT
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Qualifications. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Cromwell CT.
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