How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Thomaston Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Thomaston CT, it’s time to select a school that will furnish the proper training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the ideal one? Most potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors also. You might choose to take a look at a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all 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 type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Thomaston CT clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Thomaston CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 choices available for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as 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 often have a clinical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often 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 a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent alternative for students who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue to work full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, many online programs have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be minimized as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Thomaston CT area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of getting your education may be the best choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything needed to attain 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 individuals who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Thomaston CT medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. One of the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to determine which type of credential you want to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Thomaston CT with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when researching programs. To assist you with that process, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of great reasons to confirm that the college you enroll in is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must 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 qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Thomaston CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will need to choose a program focused on that certification. Second, ask what the school’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 programs with low rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Thomaston CT area medical providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students establish relationships within the Thomaston healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Finding that very first job may be a challenging undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Thomaston CT area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to attend a couple of classes before choosing a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Thomaston CT, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still have to schedule any internships or clinical training that may be required. Additionally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Thomaston Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Thomaston CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Thomaston is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 7,887 at the 2010 census. The urban center of the town is the Thomaston census-designated place, with a population of 1,910 at the 2010 census.
The town, originally part of Plymouth, Connecticut, and referred to as 'Plymouth Hollow' was first settled by Henry Cook ("the soldier in the wilderness," 1683–1750) around 1728. The town is known for clockmaking, which started in 1803, when Eli Terry established a factory in the town. Terry brought mass production to the clockmaking industry, helping to reduce the cost of clocks. He introduced and patented the shelf clock in 1814, which reduced the cost of a clock from $25 to $5. His clocks were sold throughout the US. It was incorporated in its own right and under the name "Thomaston" in 1875. The name derives from Seth Thomas, the early clockmaker, who established a factory in town in 1812. The Seth Thomas clock factory building still exists; however, the clockmaking industry has long since left the state as well as the country.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total size of 12.2 square miles (31.7 km²). 12.0 square miles (31.1 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (1.80%) is water.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Program Thomaston CT
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning 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 obtain the right information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, for example 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 Education. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have decided to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure 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 subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Thomaston CT.
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