Medical Assistant Colleges Waterbury CT

How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Waterbury Connecticut

Waterbury CT medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Waterbury CT, it’s time to select a college that will provide the proper training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most future students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You might decide to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have furnished several questions that you should ask all 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 type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Role of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Waterbury CT nursing home patientThe role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their function is to make sure that the Waterbury CT clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. 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 responsible for giving direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many functions of a medical assistant include:

  • Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
  • Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
  • Supplying general support during examinations and procedures

While medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and attain certification. Two of the options offered 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 Programs

Compared to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Waterbury 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 2 choices provided for a formal education. The first and fastest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs typically take about a year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges together with trade and vocational schools. They are more extensive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.

Online Medical Assistant Colleges

woman attending medical assistant school online in Waterbury CTThere are many accredited medical assistant programs available online as well. They are a good choice for students who might not have the time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good option for students who continue working full time while earning their certificate or degree. As an extra benefit, many online schools have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. But keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Waterbury CT area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of attending supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the best option for you. Between the online courses and the clinical 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 mandate, but is an excellent option for graduates who want to advance their careers. Not only will it help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Waterbury CT medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available as well, such as the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.

Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Waterbury CT medical assistant programsPrior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to decide which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, some prospective students limit their searches to the colleges that are closest to Waterbury CT with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to look at when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final choice.

Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction 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 approved 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 either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Waterbury CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.

What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.

Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Waterbury CT area health care providers. They are an excellent way to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Waterbury medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that initial job can be a daunting task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have some help from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Waterbury CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a large network of employers to help place students in jobs.

How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much individual attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to sit in on a few classes before enrolling in a college to observe what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work full time, it’s essential that the program you enroll in offers classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waterbury CT, make sure that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out 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 Waterbury Connecticut?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Waterbury CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Waterbury, Connecticut

Waterbury (nicknamed "The Brass City") is a city in the U.S. state of Connecticut on the Naugatuck River, 33 miles southwest of Hartford and 77 miles northeast of New York City. Waterbury is the second-largest city in New Haven County, Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, Waterbury had a population of 110,366,[3] making it the 10th largest city in the New York Metropolitan Area, 9th largest city in New England and the 5th largest city in Connecticut.[4]

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, Waterbury had large industrial interests and was the leading center in the United States for the manufacture of brassware (including castings and finishings), as reflected in the nickname the "Brass City" and the city's motto Quid Aere Perennius? ("What Is More Lasting Than Brass?"). It was also noted for the manufacture of watches and clocks.

The city is along Interstate 84 (Yankee Expressway) and Route 8 and has a Metro-North railroad station with connections to Grand Central Terminal. Waterbury is also home to Post University and the regional campuses of the University of Connecticut, University of Bridgeport, Western Connecticut State University as well as Naugatuck Valley Community College.

Choose the Right Medical Assistant College Waterbury CT

Waterbury CT medical assistant studentIt’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether 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 must acquire the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are so many schools offering training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you anticipate taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Colleges. But irrespective of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Waterbury CT.

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