How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Gales Ferry Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Gales Ferry CT, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? A number of future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You might choose to research 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 must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have provided a few questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their role is ensure that the Gales Ferry CT hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities 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 general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are qualified 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) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Gales Ferry 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 two options provided for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good option for individuals who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized also. But remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Gales Ferry CT area medical facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Gales Ferry 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 possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Gales Ferry CT with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you should examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Gales Ferry CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, 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 shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Gales Ferry CT area medical providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Gales Ferry healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Supplied? Landing that very first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Gales Ferry CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gales Ferry CT, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Gales Ferry Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Gales Ferry CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Gales Ferry, Connecticut
Gales Ferry is a village in the town of Ledyard, Connecticut, United States. It is located along the eastern bank of the Thames River. The village developed as a result of having a ferry to Uncasville located at this site, and from which the village was named. Gales Ferry was listed as a census-designated place for the 2010 Census, with a population of 1,162.
Much of the core of the original settlement at the site of the former ferry has been included in two separate historic districts, each with several farmstead buildings from the late colonial and early national periods (late 18th and early 19th century). The two historic districts are irregularly shaped, and are separated by a railroad cut and some non-contributing buildings.
Several farmsteads that are individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places are located close to Gales Ferry. These are the Nathan Lester House on Vinegar Hill Road, the Perkins-Bill House at 1040 Long Cove Road, and the Capt. Mark Stoddard Farmstead at 24 Vinegar Hill Road.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant Course Gales Ferry CT
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant program that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Credentials. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the best program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Gales Ferry CT.
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