How to Select a Medical Assistant School near Newark Delaware
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Newark DE, it’s time to select a college that will provide the right training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? A number of future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues also. You may choose to research some online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that process, we have included some questions that you need to ask each of the schools on your short list. But before we start that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The job of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Primarily their job is to make sure that the Newark DE hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions where they work operate successfully. Depending 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 providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may perform almost any duty they are qualified to under Delaware law, some opt to specialize in a particular area and obtain 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
Compared to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, many Newark DE health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 options provided for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about one year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are created to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are normally two year programs provided at community and junior colleges as well as trade and vocational schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a practical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are routinely a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent option for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized also. But keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can often be carried out in Newark DE area healthcare facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the ideal choice for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, certification is not a legal requirement, but is an excellent choice for those who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining employment after graduation, but it might also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Newark DE medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and arguably the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered as well, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you must decide which type of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. As soon as those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Newark DE with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional considerations that you need to explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to verify that the college you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the instruction you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Newark DE employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School’s Passing Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are considering are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will need 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 one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a school’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Available? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can opt to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, verify that the colleges you are looking at provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Sponsored? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Newark DE area healthcare providers. They are an excellent way to get hands-on clinical training and experience. They can also help students establish relationships within the Newark medical community. And as an added benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing that very first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they have a little help from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are interviewing offer job placement assistance in the Newark DE area and find out what their placement rate is. If a school has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also signifies that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will get during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a few classes before choosing a college to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s important that the program you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Newark DE, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or practical training that may be required. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Newark Delaware?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Newark DE area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Newark (/ˈnuːɑːrk/ NEW-ark)[note 1] is a city in New Castle County, Delaware, United States. It is located 12 miles (19 km) west-southwest of Wilmington. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 31,454. Newark is home to the University of Delaware.
Schools have played a significant role in the history of Newark. A grammar school, founded by Francis Alison in 1743, moved from New London, Pennsylvania to Newark in 1765, becoming the Newark Academy. Among the first graduates of the school were three signers of the Declaration of Independence: George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith. Two of which, Read and McKean, went on to have schools named after them in the state of Delaware: George Read Middle School and Thomas McKean High School.
During the American Revolutionary War, British and American forces clashed outside Newark at the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge. Tradition holds that the Battle of Cooch's Bridge was the first instance of the Stars and Stripes being flown in battle.
Pick the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Newark DE
It’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will provide the appropriate 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 need to obtain the right info on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training nowadays that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, verify that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Course Requirements. But regardless 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 so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Newark DE.
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