How to Pick a Medical Assistant Training School near Taconic Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Taconic CT, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the best one? Most future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important issues also. You may decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of Medical Assistants
The job of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is to make sure that the Taconic CT clinics, hospitals and other medical care facilities where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the possible responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some prefer to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices offered 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
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Taconic CT health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about a year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually two year programs provided at junior and community colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They often have a clinical component involving an internship with a local healthcare 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.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good alternative for students who may not have the time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus alternatives. Supplemental costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just remember that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be carried out in Taconic CT area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this mode of getting your education might be the best option for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Taconic CT medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. The most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to determine which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Taconic CT with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should examine when assessing programs. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several great reasons to make certain that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Taconic CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is 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 Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are generally two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about 2 years to accomplish in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, make certain that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Taconic CT area medical providers. They are a great way to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also help students build relationships within the Taconic medical community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that initial job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Taconic CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size might be an indication of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and face to face interaction. If practical, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a school 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 college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s important that the program you choose offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Taconic CT, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still have to schedule all internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Taconic Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Taconic CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Salisbury is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States of the New York metropolitan area. The town is the northwest-most in the State of Connecticut. The MA-NY-CT (Massachusetts-New York-Connecticut) Tri-State Marker is located just on the border of Salisbury. The population was 3,977 at the 2000 census.
Salisbury was established and incorporated in 1741, and contains several historic homes, though some were replaced by larger modern structures in the late 20th century. Salisbury was named for Salisbury, a city in England. Historian Ed Kirby tells us that traces of iron were discovered in what was to become Salisbury in 1728, with the discovery of the large deposit at Old Hill (later Ore Hill) in 1731 by John Pell and Ezekiel Ashley. Beginning before the Revolution, during the Federal period, and until around 1920, Salisbury was the seat of an important iron industry.
Additional iron mines were opened, mostly in the Western end of the township, although historian Diana Muir dismisses them as "scarcely big enough to notice," with the further disadvantage of not being near a river large enough to ship iron to market at a reasonable cost. The solution, according to Muir, was to pour labor into the iron, working it into a quality of wrought iron so high that it could be used even for gun barrels. This fetched a high price and made Salisbury iron the celebrated choice of Connecticut's early nineteenth-century arms industry as well as the preeminent source of cast iron railroad car wheels until they were superseded by steel wheels. Peter P. Everts, an agent of the mid-19th-century mines, however, stated the quality of Salisbury iron varied. The iron industry in Salisbury became inactive following World War I, a plan to revive it during World War II was never implemented, and the mines remain under water.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant Training Program Taconic CT
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have covered in this article, make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the right program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Taconic CT.
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