How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Old Greenwich Connecticut
Now that you have decided to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Old Greenwich CT, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues also. You may decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the colleges you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished a few questions that you should ask all 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 type of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their function is to make sure that the Old Greenwich CT hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Programs
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Old Greenwich CT health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a diploma or a certificate. These programs normally 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 alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to 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 often have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are an excellent option for students who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened also. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be carried out in Old Greenwich CT area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your education might be the right option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent option for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Old Greenwich CT medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Old Greenwich CT with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to explore when assessing programs. To assist you with that process, below are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to make sure that the college you choose is accredited. First, 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 complete 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 exam. 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, many prospective Old Greenwich CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must learn 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 choose a program targeting 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 just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is about 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Old Greenwich CT area health care providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Old Greenwich healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that first job can be a difficult undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Old Greenwich CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a program to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Old Greenwich CT, confirm that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Old Greenwich Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Old Greenwich CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Old Greenwich, Connecticut
Old Greenwich is a neighborhood/section and census-designated place in Greenwich in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 6,611. It was founded in 1641. Old Greenwich has become extremely popular for home buyers and currently ranks at 7th place among the nation's wealthiest communities in an annual Bloomberg report published March 5, 2018, "America's 100 Richest Places".
The town of Greenwich is one political and taxing body, but consists of several distinct sections or neighborhoods, such as Banksville, Byram, Cos Cob, Glenville, Mianus, Old Greenwich, Riverside and Greenwich (sometimes referred to as central, or downtown, Greenwich). Of these neighborhoods, three (Cos Cob, Old Greenwich, and Riverside) have separate postal names and ZIP codes.
One of the founding settlers of Old Greenwich was Elizabeth Fones, niece and daughter-in-law of John Winthrop, founder and Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. What is now called Greenwich Point was known for much of its early history as "Elizabeth Neck" in recognition of Elizabeth (Fones) Feake Hallet and their 1640 purchase of the Point and much of the area now known as Old Greenwich.
Enroll in the Ideal Medical Assistant College Old Greenwich CT
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Schools That Offer Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend 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 supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Old Greenwich CT.
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