How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Manchester Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Manchester CT, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may decide to look into some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Manchester CT clinics, hospitals and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. 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 responsible for providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some choose 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) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Manchester CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to complete, some as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical element involving an internship with a local healthcare 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. Just remember that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Manchester CT area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the right choice for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for those who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting a job after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Manchester CT medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Manchester CT with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should examine when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to verify that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Manchester CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to enroll in, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Manchester CT area health care providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on practical training and experience. They may also assist students build relationships within the Manchester healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Finding that first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Manchester CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere 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 essential that the program you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Manchester CT, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Manchester Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Manchester CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Manchester is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 58,241. The urban center of the town is the Manchester census-designated place, with a population of 30,577 at the 2010 census. The town is named after Manchester, in England.
Manchester was settled by colonists around 1672 as a farming community, although at the time it was known just as Orford Parish (the name that can be found on the memorial to the Revolutionary soldiers from the town). The many rivers and brooks provided power for paper, lumber and textile industries, and the town quickly evolved into an industrial center. The town of Hartford once included the land now occupied by the towns of Manchester, East Hartford, and West Hartford. In 1783, East Hartford became a separate town, which included Manchester in its city limits until 1823.
In 1838, the Cheney family started what became the world's largest silk mill. Eventually, Manchester became an ideal industrial community. The mills, houses of the owners, and homes of the workers are now part of the Cheney Brothers Historic District, a National Historic Landmark.
Select the Right Medical Assistant Training Manchester CT
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example 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 Short Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective 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 supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Manchester CT.
More Medical Locations in Connecticut
Business Results 1 - 10 of 83