How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Kent Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Kent CT, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? A number of prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate 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 choose to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” 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 available.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is ensure that the Kent CT clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Courses
Unlike many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Kent CT health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically 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 ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be reduced as well. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be completed in Kent CT area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Kent CT medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Kent CT with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you must examine when researching programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the college you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved organizations 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 either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Kent CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Programs are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, confirm that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Kent CT area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Kent medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Getting that very first job may be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Kent CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher 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 contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? 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 prone to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a program to witness what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kent CT, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask 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 Kent Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Kent CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Kent is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, alongside the border with New York. The population was 2,858 at the 2000 census. The town is home to three boarding schools: South Kent School, Kent School and The Marvelwood School. The Schaghticoke Indian Reservation is also located within town borders.
Kent is in Litchfield County. Its location is 41°43′29″N 73°28′39″W / 41.72472°N 73.47750°W / 41.72472; -73.47750. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 49.6 square miles (128 km2), of which, 48.5 square miles (126 km2) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) of it (2.26%) is water. Bulls Bridge, one of two covered bridges open to vehicles in Connecticut, is located in the town. The town is bisected by the Housatonic River. The western half contains Macedonia Brook State Park, the Schaghticoke Indian Reservation, as well as a section of the Appalachian Trail.
Macedonia Brook State Park was first opened in 1918 with a donation of 1,552 acres (6.28 km2) from White Memorial Foundation of Litchfield. Since then, it has now grown to a size of 2,300 acres (9.3 km2) and is used for outdoor recreation throughout the year.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant School Kent CT
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the right 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 personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, 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 Community College. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Kent CT.
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