How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Lakeside Connecticut
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lakeside CT, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the right one? Many future students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You may choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the Lakeside CT clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run efficiently. Based 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 professionals but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Education
In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Lakeside CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to trade 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 courses. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent choice for those 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 choice for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in Lakeside CT area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your education might be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Lakeside CT medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Lakeside CT with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to explore when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, below 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 College Accredited? There are many great reasons to verify that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education 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 organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Lakeside CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Lakeside CT area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Lakeside health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Getting that first job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Lakeside 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 health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the school you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Lakeside CT, verify that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lakeside Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lakeside CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Morris is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 2,388 at the 2010 census. The town consists of rolling hill country surrounding Bantam Lake, the largest natural lake in the state, covering about 1,200.5 acres (4.858 km2).
Morris was settled about 1723 and organized in 1767 as the South Farms parish of Litchfield. Morris was initially a farming community. It was incorporated as a separate town in 1859 and named for James Morris (1752–1820) a Revolutionary War soldier.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.7 square miles (48 km2), of which, 17.2 square miles (45 km2) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) of it (8.17%) is water.
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Lakeside CT
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as 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 National Registered Certified Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend 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 supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Lakeside CT.
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