How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant Training School near Southbury Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Southbury CT, it’s time to choose a college that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal 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 lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical factors as well. You might choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Southbury CT hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Depending on the type or size of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other medical practitioners but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential functions 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 tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Supplying basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices 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 Training Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to earn a college degree. However, a number of Southbury CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics 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 available at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical element involving 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 numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good alternative for those who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies can be lessened as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be carried out in Southbury CT area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for graduates who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also enhance initial salary negotiations. Many possible Southbury CT medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly 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 be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the colleges that are closest to Southbury CT with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should look at when researching schools. To assist you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several great reasons to confirm that the school 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 need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many prospective Southbury CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then of course you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are reviewing provide the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Southbury CT area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students establish relationships within the Southbury health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding that very first job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Southbury CT area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates 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 personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a school to observe what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it’s imperative that the college you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Southbury CT, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online school, but you will also need to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Also, 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 Southbury Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Southbury CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Southbury comprises sprawling rural country areas, suburban neighborhoods, and historic districts. It is a short distance from major business and commercial centers, and is within 80 miles (130 km) of New York City and 40 miles (64 km) of Hartford; the latter the capital of Connecticut.
The town of Southbury was one of several towns formed out of a parcel of land purchased from the Paugussett Indians in 1659. Southbury was originally part of Woodbury, which was settled in 1673. A meetinghouse for the Southbury Ecclesiastical Society was built in 1733, and in 1845 the town of Southbury was incorporated. Although incorporated as part of Litchfield County, Southbury has been in New Haven County for most of its existence.
In the 1800s, water power became essential to the growth of Southbury's industries, which included mills, tanneries, and distilleries. The power for these industries came primarily from the Pomperaug River and the Housatonic River. As the industrial revolution progressed, many of these businesses left for Waterbury.
Select the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Southbury CT
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you must acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Skills. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided 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 picking the right program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Southbury CT.
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