How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training School near Monroe Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Monroe CT, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest 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 critical issues also. You may choose to look into some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have provided some 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 function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Function of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their job is ensure that the Monroe CT hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they may 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 medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Providing general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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 Training Programs
Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Monroe CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about a year to complete, a few 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 option is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They often have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are routinely 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 Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good alternative for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized also. But bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Monroe CT area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training might be the best option for you. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for those who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in attaining a position after graduation, but it might also help with initial salary negotiations. Many potential Monroe CT medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and arguably 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, a candidate must be a graduate or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can start the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Monroe CT with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you need to look at when evaluating programs. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to 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 allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of prospective Monroe CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine 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 example, then obviously you will need to select a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are considering offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Monroe CT area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Monroe health care community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding that very first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Monroe CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indication of how much personal attention 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 instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to experience what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Monroe CT, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still need to schedule all clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Monroe Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Monroe CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 26.3 square miles (68 km2), of which 26.1 square miles (68 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2), or 0.76%, is water. The Pequonnock River begins in Monroe in Wolfe Park.
On May 15, 1656, the Court of the Colony of Connecticut in Hartford affirmed that the town of Stratford included all of the territory 12 miles (19 km) inland from Long Island Sound, between the Housatonic River and the Fairfield town line, to include the southern portion of present-day Monroe. In 1662, Stratford selectmen Lt. Joseph Judson, Captain Joseph Hawley and John Minor secured all the written deeds of transfer from the Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Nation for this vast territory that comprises the present-day towns of Trumbull, Shelton and Monroe. In 1671, Stratford purchased from the Paugusset Indians the territory which included the remainder of the northern portions of Monroe, Trumbull and Shelton, in what is known as "The White Hills Purchase", and officially annexed it to the Township of Stratford.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,247 people, 6,481 households, and 5,346 families residing in the town. The population density was 736.5 people per square mile (284.4/km²). There were 6,601 housing units at an average density of 252.6 per square mile (97.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.87% White, 0.20% African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.52% Asian, 0.50% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 1.50% of the population.
Select the Best Medical Assistant Program Monroe CT
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Course Requirements. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided 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 ideal program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Monroe CT.
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