How to Pick a Medical Assistant Program near New Britain Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near New Britain CT, it’s time to select a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest 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, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You may choose to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is to make sure that the New Britain CT hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options 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 Programs
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of New Britain CT health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a practical element involving 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good choice for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be carried out in New Britain CT area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your training may be the best option for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible New Britain CT medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of 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 apply for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online from home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the process of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to New Britain CT with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you should look at when assessing schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the school you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies 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. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential New Britain CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to select a program concentrating on that certification. Next, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest 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 receive a broader education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with New Britain CT area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to get hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the New Britain healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Getting that initial job may be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the New Britain CT area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program 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 broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the school you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near New Britain CT, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near New Britain Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the New Britain CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
New Britain, Connecticut
New Britain is a city in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. It is located approximately 9 miles (14 km) southwest of Hartford. According to 2010 Census, the population of the city is 73,206.
Among the southernmost of the communities encompassed within the Hartford-Springfield Knowledge Corridor metropolitan region, New Britain is home to Central Connecticut State University and Charter Oak State College.
The city's official nickname is the "Hardware City" because of its history as a manufacturing center and as the headquarters of Stanley Black & Decker. Because of its large Polish population, the city is often playfully referred to as "New Britski."
Pick the Right Medical Assistant College New Britain CT
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Info. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan 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 provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in New Britain CT.
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