Medical Assistant School Cost Groton CT

How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near Groton Connecticut

Groton CT medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Groton CT, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You might want to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Groton CT nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their job is ensure that the Groton CT clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate successfully. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Providing general support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Training Programs

Unlike most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Groton CT health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally 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 earn an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Online Medical Assistant Classes

woman attending medical assistant school online in Groton CTThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good option for those who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized as well. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be carried out in Groton CT area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Groton CT medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received 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, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Groton CT medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Groton CT with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to explore when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive 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 either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Groton 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 schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.

Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about two years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Groton CT area medical care providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Groton healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Landing that very first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Groton CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent 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 might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a couple of classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

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 enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Groton CT, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Groton Connecticut?

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

Groton, Connecticut

Groton /ˈɡrɒtən/ is a town in New London County, Connecticut located on the Thames River. It is the home of General Dynamics Electric Boat, which is the major contractor for submarine work for the United States Navy. The Naval Submarine Base New London is located in Groton, and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer is also a major employer. Avery Point in Groton is home to a regional campus of the University of Connecticut. The population was 40,115 at the 2010 census.[2]

Groton was established in 1705 when it separated from New London, Connecticut. The town was named after Groton, Suffolk in England.[4] A hundred years before it was established, the Niantic people settled in the area between the Thames River and Pawcatuck River, but they eventually settled in Westerly, Rhode Island. The newcomers to the land were the Pequots, a branch of the Mohawk people who moved eastward into the Connecticut River Valley.

The summer of 1614 was the first time that the Pequots encountered white settlers. They started trading furs for the settlers' goods, such as steel knives, needles, and boots. In 1633, the Dutch bought land from them and opened a fur trading post. Meanwhile, the English bought land for settlement from the local tribes. The Dutch had unintentionally killed the Pequots' chief, and this prompted revenge by the Pequot tribe, and this escalated into the Pequot War (1636–38). On the night of May 26, 1637, the Colonial forces arrived outside the Pequot village near the Mystic River. The palisade surrounding the village had only two exits, and their leader Colonel John Mason gave the order to set the village on fire and block off the exits. Those who tried climbing over the palisade were shot; anyone who succeeded in getting over was killed by the Narragansett forces.[5]

Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Groton CT

Groton CT medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant School Cost. But regardless of the type 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 provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Groton CT.

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