Best Medical Assistant Programs Hartford CT

How to Choose a Medical Assistant School near Hartford Connecticut

Hartford CT medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Hartford CT, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Most potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean 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 issues as well. You may decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.

The Job of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Hartford CT nursing home patientThe function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Essentially their role is ensure that the Hartford CT clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but can 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 filing claims
  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Giving basic support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a particular 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 Programs

Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Hartford CT health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices available for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about a year to finish, some 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 acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred 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 Hartford CTThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent option for students who may not have the 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 working full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Supplemental expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened also. But remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Hartford CT area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your training might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a job after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Hartford CT medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Hartford CT medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Hartford CT with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should explore when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.

Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Also, if you intend on obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Hartford CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to 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 want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the means to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make sure that the colleges you are considering offer the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Hartford CT area medical providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Hartford medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Help Supplied? Finding that very first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Hartford CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the college you enroll in offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hartford CT, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Hartford Connecticut?

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

Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford is the capital city of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. The city is nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", as it hosts many insurance company headquarters and is the region's major industry. It is the core city in the Greater Hartford area of Connecticut.

Hartford was founded in 1635 and is among the oldest cities in the United States. It is home to the nation's oldest public art museum (Wadsworth Atheneum), the oldest publicly funded park (Bushnell Park), the oldest continuously published newspaper (the Hartford Courant), and the second-oldest secondary school (Hartford Public High School). It also is home to Trinity College, a private liberal arts college, and the Mark Twain House where the author wrote his most famous works and raised his family, among other historically significant attractions. Mark Twain wrote in 1868, "Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see this is the chief."

Hartford was the richest city in the United States for several decades following the American Civil War.[3] Today, it is one of the poorest cities in the nation, with 3 out of every 10 families living below the poverty threshold. In sharp contrast, the Greater Hartford metropolitan area is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and 8th out of 280 metropolitan statistical areas in per capita income.[4]

Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant College Hartford CT

Hartford CT medical assistant studentIt’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get 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 decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Best Medical Assistant Programs. But regardless 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 supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Hartford CT.

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