How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Wilton Connecticut
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Wilton CT, it’s time to select a college that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to help you with that process, we have provided a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges 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 available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Essentially their role is to make sure that the Wilton CT hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are qualified to under Connecticut law, some opt 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 Courses
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Wilton CT health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a diploma or a certificate. These programs generally take about one year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs offered at community and junior colleges in addition to technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They often have a practical component involving an internship with a local healthcare practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online also. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good solution for students who continue to work full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, many online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on campus options. Supplemental costs including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be reduced also. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can often be performed in Wilton CT area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this mode of receiving your education may be the right choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for graduates who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many potential Wilton CT medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained certification or accredited formal training. Among the most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, a candidate must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. As soon as those choices have been made, you can begin the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are nearest to Wilton CT with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, below are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the program you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you must complete 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 one of these organizations, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Wilton CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passing Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you need to find out which of the certifications the colleges you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the program’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 college’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes 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, from as little as 6 months, however the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to acquire an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require about 2 years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you decide to enroll in, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Available? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Wilton CT area medical providers. They are an excellent method to obtain hands-on clinical experience and training. They can also assist students build relationships within the Wilton healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Getting that initial job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Wilton CT area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also suggests that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive during your training. Smaller classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If possible, try to attend a few classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s imperative that the college you select offers classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes at night or on weekends near Wilton CT, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will still have to schedule any clinical training or internships that will be required. Also, 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 Wilton Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Wilton CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Officially recognized as a parish in 1726, Wilton is today, like many other Fairfield County towns, an expensive residential community with open lands (a testament to its colonial farming roots), historic architecture and extensive town services. Residents commonly commute to New York City, Stamford, and Norwalk, although there are a number of office buildings in town.
Wilton is home to many successful start-up companies, national strategy and professional services and consulting firms, and global corporations such as ASML, Deloitte & Touche, Sun Products, Breitling USA, Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, Melissa & Doug, Clear Conscience Pet and the Blue Buffalo Company. Many Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered within a 30-minute train or car commute. AIG Financial Products was headquartered in the town. Its trading in credit derivatives essentially bankrupted its parent company, AIG, and helped create the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.
The original 40 families of the parish began their own Congregational church and were allowed by Norwalk to hire a minister (Robert Sturgeon, who also became the town's first schoolmaster), open schools and build roads. During the Revolutionary War in 1777, the British used Wilton as an escape route after their successful raid on Danbury. Several homes were burned, but the town remained intact. In 1802, Wilton was granted a Town Charter by the Connecticut General Assembly and became a political entity independent from Norwalk.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Wilton CT
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of schools offering training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your individual circumstances and personal preferences. And as we have discussed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Near Me. But irrespective of the kind 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 so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Wilton CT.
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