Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate Program Orange CT

How to Pick a Medical Assistant School Program near Orange Connecticut

Orange CT medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Orange CT, it’s time to select 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 prospective students begin 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 very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors also. You might decide 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 complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.

The Role of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Orange CT nursing home patientThe responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their job is ensure that the Orange CT hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and filing claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Providing basic support during exams and procedures

Although medical assistants may perform almost any task they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some elect to specialize in a particular 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 Education

In contrast to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Orange CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.

Medical Assistant Online Schools

woman attending medical assistant school online in Orange CTThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good option 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 working full-time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be carried out in Orange CT area health care facilities. If you can learn without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education might be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Orange CT medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained certification or accredited formal training. 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 examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.

Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Orange CT medical assistant programsBefore you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. As soon as 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 students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Orange CT with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when assessing schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the college you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the education 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 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 exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Orange CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, 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 methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can decide to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take about 2 years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, verify that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant schools sponsor internship programs with Orange CT area healthcare providers. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also help students develop relationships within the Orange health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.

Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that initial job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Orange CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the college you select offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Orange CT, verify that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Orange Connecticut?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Orange CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Orange, Connecticut

The Paugusset, an Algonquian people, once lived in the area that is now Orange. In 1639, the Rev. Peter Prudden purchased the land from the Native Americans for six coats, ten blankets, one kettle, twelve hatchets, twelve hoes, two dozen knives and a dozen small mirrors.[2] When originally settled by English colonists, Orange was simply the northern and eastern district of the now neighboring city of Milford; however, by 1822, the population of the area had grown to the point where residents desired to form their own separate community, thus forming the town of Orange.

The town is named after William III of England, who was Prince of Orange from birth.[3] William is remembered for succeeding James II, deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. James II had been considered a despot in Connecticut; he had famously and unsuccessfully commissioned Edmund Andros to seize Connecticut's Charter.[4]

The town continued to grow throughout the 19th century. As early as 1848, a separation of Orange and West Haven was considered. It was not until 1921 that the two were officially separated by act of the Connecticut General Assembly and the new city of West Haven was formed out of the southeastern portion of Orange.[4] This gave the remnant town of Orange a very rural feel, as the bulk of the urbanized population was ceded to West Haven. In the post-war years, however, Orange began suburbanizing at a rapid pace.

Pick the Right Medical Assistant Course Orange CT

Orange CT medical assistant studentIt’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant college that will provide the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many schools 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, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Clinical Medical Assistant Certificate Program. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently begin a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Orange CT.

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