Medical Assistant Information Hamden CT

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Hamden Connecticut

Hamden CT medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to join the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hamden CT, it’s time to choose a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may want to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about 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 examining. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.

The Job of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Hamden CT nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Hamden CT hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Weighing and taking patients vital signs
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Supplying general support during exams and procedures

Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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

Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Hamden CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical 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 requiring 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 Classes

woman attending medical assistant school online in Hamden CTThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online also. They are a good alternative for students who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Hamden CT area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for those who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Hamden CT medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained 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 examination, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Hamden CT medical assistant programsBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Hamden CT with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should examine when researching programs. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the college you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Hamden CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the School’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain 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 more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Hamden CT area healthcare providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Hamden medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Finding that initial job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Hamden 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 health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the college you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hamden CT, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hamden Connecticut?

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

Hamden, Connecticut

Hamden is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The town's nickname is "The Land of the Sleeping Giant." The population was 60,960 at the 2010 census.[1] Hamden is a suburb of the city of New Haven.

The town of Hamden ranked #53 in the CNN Money list of "America's best small cities" in 2012. In 2008, Fortune Magazine and CNN Money picked Hamden as #33 on their "Best Place to Live and Launch" list, citing Hamden's great blend of urban and suburban lifestyles. The article also pointed out Hamden's exceptional education system as well as its "New England Charm".[2]

Originally settled by Puritans as part of the town of New Haven, Hamden was purchased by William Christopher Reilly and the Reverend John Davenport in 1638 from the local Quinnipiack Native American tribe. It remained a part of New Haven until 1786 when 1,400 local residents incorporated the area as a separate town, naming it after the English statesman John Hampden.[3]

Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Hamden CT

Hamden CT medical assistant studentIt’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Regardless if 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 get the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Information. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Hamden CT.

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