How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near New Haven Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near New Haven 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 subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors as well. You might want to research several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are evaluating. 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 before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Responsibilities of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their job is ensure that the New Haven CT clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
Even though medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some elect to specialize in a particular 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 Training Programs
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of New Haven CT health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about 1 year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are normally 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good option for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in New Haven CT area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the right choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible New Haven CT medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and perhaps 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 have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those decisions have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to New Haven CT with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you must examine when assessing programs. 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 ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the college you enroll in 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 intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted 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 organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential New Haven CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with New Haven CT area medical care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the New Haven healthcare community. And as an additional perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that first job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the New Haven CT area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a school to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s important that the school you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near New Haven CT, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still 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 responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near New Haven Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the New Haven CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is a coastal city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern shore of Long Island Sound in New Haven County, Connecticut, and is part of the New York metropolitan area. With a population of 129,779 as determined by the 2010 United States Census, it is the second-largest city in Connecticut after Bridgeport. New Haven is the principal municipality of Greater New Haven, which had a total population of 862,477 in 2010.
New Haven was the first planned city in America. Founded in 1638 by English Puritans, a year later eight streets were laid out in a four-by-four grid, creating what is commonly known as the "Nine Square Plan". The central common block is the New Haven Green, a 16-acre (6 ha) square, and the center of Downtown New Haven. The Green is now a National Historic Landmark and the "Nine Square Plan" is recognized by the American Planning Association as a National Planning Landmark. The Green also serves as a free public WiFi hotspot.
New Haven is the home of Yale University. As New Haven's biggest taxpayer and employer, Yale serves as an integral part of the city's economy. Health care (hospitals and biotechnology), professional services (legal, architectural, marketing, and engineering), financial services, and retail trade also contribute to the city's economic activity.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant School New Haven CT
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools 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, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Course Outline. But regardless 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, be 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 subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in New Haven CT.
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