How to Select a Medical Assistant Training School near Woodstock Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Woodstock CT, it’s time to select a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently pick the best one? Many future students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the lowest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might decide to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to assist you with that process, we have provided some questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as demanding. Primarily their role is to make sure that the Woodstock CT hospitals, clinics and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the type or size of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals 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:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants can perform almost any activity they are authorized to under Connecticut law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the options available 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 most other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, many Woodstock CT health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are basically two options offered for a formal education. The first and quickest route to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs available at community and junior colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently 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 similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online also. They are a good choice for individuals who might not have time to attend classes on campus but could work them in if accessible at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full-time while attaining their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies may be lessened also. Just bear in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Woodstock CT area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the ideal option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for individuals who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining employment after graduation, but it may also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Woodstock CT medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school alternatives, you must choose 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 selections have been made, you can begin the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Woodstock CT with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important qualifiers, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you should examine when evaluating programs. To help you with that task, following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the college you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, many prospective Woodstock CT employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you need to learn which of the certifications the colleges you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to enroll in a program focused on 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 ways to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to acquiring 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 one year. Or you can opt to obtain an Associate Degree and get a broader education that will require approximately two years to finish in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you decide to pursue, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Many medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Woodstock CT area health care providers. They are a great means to receive hands-on clinical experience and training. They may also assist students build relationships within the Woodstock health care community. And as an additional benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Landing that first job may be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Woodstock 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 a good reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a large network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Large are the Classrooms? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual 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 monitor a couple of classes before selecting a college to experience what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant school while you continue working full time, it’s essential that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Woodstock CT, make sure that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online college, but you will also need to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Woodstock Connecticut?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Woodstock CT area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
In the mid-17th century, John Eliot, a Puritan missionary to the American Indians, established "praying towns" where Native Americans took up Christianity and were expected to renounce their religious ceremonies, traditional dress, and customs. One Praying town, called Wabaquasset (Senexet, Wabiquisset), six miles west of the Quinebaug River in present-day Woodstock, was the largest of the three northeastern Connecticut praying towns.
In 1675, when King Philip's War broke out, some of the town's Indians, (especially in the southern part of the town) sided with the Mohegans and the English while others sided with the Indians led by Philip, rallying to arms on what is now Curtis Island in present Holland, Massachusetts and Brimfield, Massachusetts. During the war, the Praying town became deserted, and the English with their Indian allies marched through Woodstock to present day Thompson in the summer of 1676 burning any crops or stored corn they could find.
In 1682, Massachusetts bought a tract of land, which included Woodstock, from the Mohegans. A group of 13 men from Roxbury, Massachusetts (home of the Pastorate of Woodstock's earlier visitor, John Eliot), settled the town in 1686 and named it New Roxbury. Judge Samuel Sewall suggested the town change its name to Woodstock in 1690, citing its proximity to Oxford, Massachusetts, and in 1749 the town became part of Connecticut. The present name is after Woodstock, in England.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant Training Woodstock CT
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re goal is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must get the right info 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 personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, such as 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 Medical Assistant Colleges Near Me. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can ultimately begin a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Woodstock CT.
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