How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Lebanon Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lebanon CT, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? Many potential students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You may choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have provided several questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Lebanon CT hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the choices 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 Programs
Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, many Lebanon CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 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 normally take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good choice for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be carried out in Lebanon CT area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Lebanon CT medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly 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 exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Lebanon CT with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 program is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Lebanon CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take approximately two years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, confirm that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Lebanon CT area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Lebanon medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Lebanon CT area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lebanon CT, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any clinical training or internships 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 Lebanon Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lebanon CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Lebanon is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 7,308 at the 2010 census. The town lies just to the northwest of Norwich, directly south of Willimantic, 20 miles (32 km) north of New London, and 20 miles (32 km) east of Hartford. The farming town is best known for its role in the American Revolution, where it was a major base of American operations, and for its historic town green, which is one of the largest in the nation and the only one still used partially for agriculture.
Lebanon was originally settled by the Mohegan people, an Algonquian-speaking tribe that inhabited the upper Thames River Valley in eastern Connecticut. The area was known as Poquechaneed and was used primarily for hunting.
The town of Lebanon has its origins with the settlers of Norwich, who wanted to expand beyond the "nine miles square" they had bought from the Mohegan sachem Uncas. In 1663, the first grant in the area was given to Major John Mason, deputy governor of the Connecticut Colony; the next year, Mason accepted 500 acres (2.0 km2) northwest of Norwich. This area, known as "Pomakuck" or "Pomocook" by the Mohegans, is now the Goshen Hill area of Lebanon.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant College Lebanon CT
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether 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 obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. 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, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training Cost. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Lebanon CT.
More Medical Locations in Connecticut
Business Results 1 - 10 of 30