How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Waterford Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Waterford CT, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of potential students start by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical factors as well. You may choose to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a college you must finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your “maybe” list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their role is ensure that the Waterford CT clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are responsible for providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. A few of the possible functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may 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 offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training Courses
Compared to most other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Waterford CT health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to complete, a few 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 earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to trade and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They frequently have a clinical element 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Courses
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good alternative for those who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, some online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced also. But keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Waterford CT area medical care facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your training might be the best choice for you. Between the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is a good option for graduates who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some potential Waterford CT medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must have graduated or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. After those selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, some students restrict their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Waterford CT with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you must examine when researching programs. To help you with that process, below are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are many great reasons to make certain that the school you choose is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to 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 school is not accredited by one of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Waterford CT employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges design their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will want to select a program targeting that certification. Second, learn what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is just one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are basically two paths to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the fastest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will require about two years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, verify that the colleges you are looking at offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Offered? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Waterford CT area healthcare providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Waterford medical community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding that initial job may be a difficult task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Waterford CT area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size might be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a couple of classes before enrolling in a program to see what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you enroll in provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waterford CT, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online program, but you will still have to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Waterford Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Waterford CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Waterford is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States. It is named after Waterford, Ireland. The population was 19,517 at the 2010 census.  The town center is listed as a census-designated place (CDP) and had a population of 2,887 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 44.6 square miles (115.4 km2), of which 32.8 square miles (84.9 km2) is land and 11.8 square miles (30.5 km2), or 26.43%, is water. The town center CDP has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all land. Waterford is bordered on the west by the Niantic River.
Other minor communities and geographic features are Dufree Hill, East Neck, Fog Plain, Gilead, Goshen, Great Neck, Harrisons, Lake's Pond, Logger Hill, Mago Point, Magonk, Mullen Hill, Oswegatchie, Pepperbox Road, Pleasure Beach, Ridgewood Park, Riverside Beach, Spithead, Strand, West Neck.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Program Waterford CT
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by picking a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to launch a career in healthcare starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right info 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 individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Career. But regardless of the kind of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the ideal program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Waterford CT.
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