Online Medical Assistant Certification Programs Durham CT

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Program near Durham Connecticut

Durham CT medical assistant checking pulseOnce you have decided to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Durham CT, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate 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 critical factors also. You may want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools 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 credentials and training that are offered.

The Duties of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Durham CT nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Durham CT clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
  • Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants can perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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 Education

Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Durham CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a clinical component 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 similar field.

Online Medical Assistant Courses

woman attending medical assistant school online in Durham CTThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are an excellent option for students who might not have the 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 pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Durham CT area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical 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 a good idea for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Durham CT medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Durham CT medical assistant programsBefore you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Durham CT with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Durham CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Durham CT area health care providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Durham medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Finding that very first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Durham CT area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Durham CT, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still need to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Durham Connecticut?

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

Durham, Connecticut

Durham is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. Durham is a former farming village on the Coginchaug River in central Connecticut. The population was 7,388 at the 2010 census. Every autumn, the town hosts the Durham Fair, the largest volunteer agricultural fair in New England.

The Durham town center is listed by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place in the 2000 census. The core of the town center has also been listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 23.8 square miles (62 km2), of which, 23.6 square miles (61 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (40 ha or 0.67%) is water. The town center CDP has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16 km2). 6.3 square miles (16 km2) of it is land and 0.16% is water.

Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Durham CT

Durham CT medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right info on available programs before making your decision. 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 covered in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Online Medical Assistant Certification Programs. 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, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Durham CT.

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