How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near East Haven Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near East Haven CT, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Most future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You may choose to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their role is ensure that the East Haven CT hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options offered 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
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many East Haven CT health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate 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 commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are an excellent choice for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work 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 added benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. But bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in East Haven CT area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your training may be the ideal choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Some potential East Haven CT medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to East Haven CT with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you must look at when assessing programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education 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 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 one 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 frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective East Haven CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally 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, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with East Haven CT area medical providers. They are a great means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the East Haven medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that first job may be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the East Haven 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 health care community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
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 provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near East Haven CT, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near East Haven Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the East Haven CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
East Haven, Connecticut
East Haven is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 29,257. Located 3 miles (5 km) east of New Haven, it is part of the Greater New Haven area. East Haven is 35 miles (56 km) from Hartford, 82 miles (132 km) from N.Y. City, 99 miles (159 km) from Providence, Rhode Island, and 140 miles (230 km) from Boston.
The area now known as East Haven was obtained by Puritan settlers Reverend John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton on November 29, 1638, as part of the purchase of New Haven from Sachem Momauguin of the local Quinnipiack tribe. Additional land, in what is now known as Foxon, was purchased from Chief Montowese on December 11, 1638.
In 1639 Thomas Gregson petitioned for the purchase of Solitary Cove, later called Morris Cove. This was granted on August 5, 1644, and was the last piece of land that made up the original town of East Haven. The original town boundaries were from the harbor and Quinnipiac River on the west to the Branford and North Branford town line on the east. The southern boundary is Long Island Sound, and the North Haven town line is the northern boundary.
Pick the Best Medical Assistant College East Haven CT
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the right training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Medical Assistant Classes. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided 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 choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in East Haven CT.
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