How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Marlborough Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Marlborough CT, it’s time to select a college 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? Many potential students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues as well. You may want to research some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Marlborough CT clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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 Courses
In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Marlborough CT health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good alternative for those who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just bear in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can usually be completed in Marlborough CT area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to receiving your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good choice for individuals who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Marlborough CT medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Marlborough CT with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Marlborough CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the School’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, verify that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges sponsor internship programs with Marlborough CT area medical providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Marlborough medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Supplied? Landing that first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Marlborough CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication 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 teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a program to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marlborough CT, make sure that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Marlborough Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Marlborough CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Marlborough is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. It contains the census-designated place (CDP) of Terramuggus. The town's population was 6,404 at the 2010 census. Marlborough is a middle class suburban and rural community. The local high school is RHAM High School. In 2013, Marlborough ranked third (of 24) in Connecticut Magazine's biannual ranking of Connecticut small towns, median home sale price between $175,000 and $224,999. Educationally, RHAM High School, which serves Marlborough, Hebron, and Andover students, was the top-ranked regional high school in the state on the SAT in 2017, and 11th highest-performing school in the state on the test.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 23.5 square miles (60.9 km2), of which 23.4 square miles (60.5 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.73%, is water. Marlborough is adjacent to four other Connecticut towns (Glastonbury to the north, East Hampton to the west, Colchester to the south, and Hebron to the east). East Hampton, Colchester and Hebron are each in different counties from each other and from Marlborough.
Route 2, a two-lane highway (sometimes three) in most sections, bisects the town, and there are three Marlborough exits, at South Main Street, Route 66, and West Road, although there are exits westbound only for South Main and eastbound only for West Road. It takes approximately 15– 20 minutes to get to Hartford, 40 minutes to New London, 45 minutes to New Haven, and 40 minutes to Springfield, MA. Marlborough is generally equidistant between Boston and New York. Boston is an hour and 45 minutes away, while New York City is a two-hour car ride, pending traffic conditions. Popular vacation areas are also reasonable drives from Marlborough. The Berkshire Mountains are an hour and 20 minutes away, and popular Rhode Island beaches, depending on which one you go to, are an hour (Misquamicut, Westerly) to an hour and 20 minutes away (Narragansett).
Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant School Marlborough CT
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, verify that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Summer Medical Assistant Programs. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make 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 ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Marlborough CT.
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