How to Find the Right Medical Assistant Training Program near Killingworth Connecticut
Once you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Killingworth CT, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You may decide to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished 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 kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Killingworth CT clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work run efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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 Training
Compared to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Killingworth CT health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs available at junior and community colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical 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 related field.
Medical Assistant Online Colleges
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be carried out in Killingworth CT area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the best choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary 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 a good idea for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Killingworth CT medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Killingworth CT with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you need to look at when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are many great reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many potential Killingworth CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must find out which of the certifications the schools 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 want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Next, learn 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 evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically 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 about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Killingworth CT area health care providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Killingworth healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing that initial job can be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Killingworth CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school 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 broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small 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 convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a college to witness 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 program while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Killingworth CT, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, ask what the protocol 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 Killingworth Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Killingworth CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Killingworth was established from the area called Hammonasset, taken from the local Native American tribe of the same name. The area originally incorporated the town of Clinton, which were separated along ecclesiastical borders. Part of New London County prior to May 1785, Killingworth was then included in the newly formed Middlesex County, where it remains today.
It was named after Kenilworth, England in honor of one of the first settlers, Edward Griswold. Kenilworth's name was more similar to "Killingworth" during the American colonial period, and over time the pronunciation and spelling drifted towards the modern one. Coincidentally, there is a town and village in England called Killingworth and Killingworth Village in the county of Tyne and Wear, which do not seem to have any connection with Killingworth, Connecticut.
In the late 17th century, Killingworth became the birthplace of what would eventually become Yale University. The Rev. Abraham Pierson, the college's first president, taught some of the first classes in his Killingworth home - which is actually in present-day Clinton, Connecticut. However, in 1701, the college's first official home was constructed in Old Saybrook on the peninsula known as Saybrook Point. Eventually the school was moved to its present-day home in New Haven.
Select the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Killingworth CT
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Registration. 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 provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Killingworth CT.
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