Medical Assistant Overview Plymouth CT

How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Plymouth Connecticut

Plymouth CT medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to enter the rewarding profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Plymouth CT, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You might want to look into several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that process, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Job of Medical Assistants

medical assistant with Plymouth CT nursing home patientThe job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Plymouth CT hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are responsible for giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
  • Supplying general support during examinations and procedures

Even though medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Medical Assistant Courses

In contrast to most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Plymouth CT health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about 1 year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical element requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Online Medical Assistant Programs

woman attending medical assistant school online in Plymouth CTThere are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent option for individuals who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be met, but they can usually be performed in Plymouth CT area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Options for Medical Assistants

As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing a position after graduation, but it can also help with initial salary negotiations. Some possible Plymouth CT medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among 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 be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Plymouth CT medical assistant programsBefore you can start assessing your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending 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, many potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Plymouth CT with the cheapest 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 must explore when researching schools. To help you with that task, 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 College Accredited? There are many great reasons to ensure that the college you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction 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 approved organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, 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 Plymouth CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.

What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must learn which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing 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 focused on that certification. Second, 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 means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can decide to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will take approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are considering provide the kind of program you are interested in.

Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Plymouth CT area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Plymouth medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Offered? Finding that initial job can be a challenging task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Plymouth CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.

How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish greater access to teachers and one-on-one 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 Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the school you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Plymouth CT, verify that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online college, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Plymouth Connecticut?

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

Plymouth, Connecticut

Plymouth is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. It is named after Plymouth, Devon, England. The population was 12,243 at the 2010 census. The town of Plymouth includes the villages of Terryville and Pequabuck.

The community was incorporated in 1795,[4] and became known nationally for the manufacture of clocks.[1] The town was named after Plymouth, Massachusetts.[5] Plymouth (formerly Northbury, a section of Waterbury]) was originally used as a burying ground for Waterbury. History records show that it was founded by a group of people who believed they found a large deposit of lead. This fabled "lead mine" never actually existed (or is still yet to be discovered). The oldest home in the community is on Route 6, and dates to 1690-1700. In the 1790s, George Washington traveled through here, both to visit relatives and to stay away from the coastline. The Terry family participated in a great deal of Plymouth's history. Eli Terry became partners with Seth Thomas and Silas Hoadley to manufacture clocks in the Greystone section of town. Eli gave the factory to Hoadley and Thomas, and opened his own clock factory near Carter Road in Plymouth Center, while Thomas moved to Plymouth Hollow. Eli Terry, Jr. (son of Eli Terry) joined with another man who was interested in the cabinet and lock industry and they opened Eagle Lock Company. In the 1880s, the Plymouth Hollow section of Plymouth decided to split off and become their own town called Thomaston, Connecticut, named after Seth Thomas. The Eagle Lock Company closed in the 1970s and later, in 1975, the entire abandoned site burned, leaving one building left undamaged. The rest of the buildings were torn down or had floors removed.

The Main Street School was located on the green, or Baldwin Park, in Terryville. It was demolished in the 1930s and the new Terryville High School was constructed behind the green on North Main Street. In the mid-2000s, Prospect Street School and Main Street School (previously called East Main Street) were left abandoned, so the construction of the new Terryville High School could begin in the Holt section of town. The Harry S. Fisher Middle School was turned into the Harry S. Fisher Elementary School and the old Terryville High School was turned into the Eli Terry Jr. Middle School.[6]

Pick the Best Medical Assistant Training Plymouth CT

Plymouth CT medical assistant studentIt’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the proper training. Regardless if you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of schools providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Overview. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Plymouth CT.

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