How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Wallingford Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Wallingford CT, it’s time to select a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? Most potential students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You may decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to help you with that task, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your “maybe” 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 available.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Wallingford CT hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the many functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain 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 many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Wallingford CT health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are an excellent choice for students who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue working full time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary costs such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Wallingford CT area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your training might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Wallingford CT medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. 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). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to attain, and if you would prefer attending classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students limit their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Wallingford CT with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must examine when researching schools. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to confirm that the program you select is accredited. First, accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your school is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Wallingford CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To start with, you need to determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program targeting that certification. Second, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course programs with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program and obtain 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 get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, verify that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Wallingford CT area health care providers. They are a great method to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students develop relationships within the Wallingford healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Landing that very first job can be a challenging task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Wallingford 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 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 Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before selecting a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full time, it’s important that the school you choose provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Wallingford CT, verify that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any clinical training or internships that may be required. Additionally, ask 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 Wallingford Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Wallingford CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Wallingford is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 45,135 at the 2010 census. The urban center of the town is the Wallingford Center census-designated place, with a population of 18,209 at the 2010 census. The community was named after Wallingford, in England.
The Connecticut General Assembly created the town on October 10, 1667. This original plot of land near the Quinnipiac River is now considered Main Street. Starting on May 12, 1670 there were 126 people who lived in temporary housing, and five years later in 1675 there were 40 permanent homes.
Wallingford has diversified its commercial and industrial base over the past decade attracting high-technology industries as compared to traditional heavy manufacturing. It is the home of a large variety of industries and major corporations spanning the spectrum of the medical, health care, service, high-tech specialty metal manufacturing and research development. The development of the Barnes Industrial Park, Casimir Pulaski Industrial Park, Wharton Brook Industrial Park, and the South Turnpike Road area have greatly contributed to this transition. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, the town's largest taxpayer, has established a research and development facility in Wallingford's MedWay Industrial Park. An Interchange Zone which permits very restrictive commercial development of office parks, research and development centers and hotels has been created at the intersection of Interstate 91 and Route 68.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant College Wallingford CT
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the proper training. Whether you’re planning to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to acquire the appropriate information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are so many colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Is Medical Assistant School. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Wallingford CT.
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