How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training Program near Redding Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Redding CT, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? A number of future students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might want to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Basically their function is ensure that the Redding CT clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities 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 responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some opt 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) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
In contrast to many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Redding CT health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to complete, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs offered at junior and community colleges in addition to 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 classes. They frequently have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. 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 similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Schools
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good alternative for those who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be completed in Redding CT area health care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As previously mentioned, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in securing employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Redding CT medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the schools that are closest to Redding CT with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are several great reasons to ensure that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Redding CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to select a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are generally two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Redding CT area health care providers. They are an excellent method to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Redding medical community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Getting that first job can be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Redding CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a program 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 large network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full-time, it’s essential that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Redding CT, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that will be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Redding Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Redding CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
At the time colonials began receiving grants for land within the boundaries of present-day Redding, Native American trails crossed through portions of the area, including the Berkshire Path running north-south.
In 1639, Roger Ludlow (also referenced as Roger Ludlowe in many accounts) purchased land from local Native Americans to establish Fairfield, and in 1668 Fairfield purchased another tract of land then called Northfield, which comprised land that is now part of Redding.
For settlement purposes, Fairfield authorities divided the newly available land into parcels dubbed "long lots" at the time, which north-south measured no more than a third of a mile wide but extended east-west as long as 15 miles. Immediately north of the long lots was a similar-sized parcel of land known as The Oblong.
Enroll in the Right Medical Assistant School Redding CT
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must obtain the appropriate info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training. But irrespective of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Redding CT.
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