How to Select a Medical Assistant Training Program near Craigmont Idaho
Once you have decided to join the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Craigmont ID, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Most potential students start by checking out 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 as well. You may decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask each of the colleges on your “maybe” list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties 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 Craigmont ID clinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions where they work run successfully. Depending on the type or size 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 medical professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for physicians
- Giving general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Idaho law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the options available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Programs
Compared to many other healthcare professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Craigmont ID health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are essentially 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and quickest way to becoming a medical assistant is to attain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics 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 provided at junior and community colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more extensive 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 medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Programs
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are a good option for those who may not have time to attend classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary costs including those for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be reduced also. Just keep in mind that any requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be completed in Craigmont ID area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education might be the right choice for you. With the online classes and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for individuals who wish to advance their careers. Not only will it help in securing employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Many possible Craigmont ID medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must have graduated or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are offered also, for instance the CCMA and the CMAA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Topics to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you must determine which type of credential you want to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. After those choices have been made, you can start the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students limit their searches to the schools that are nearest to Craigmont ID with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional issues that you need to examine when researching programs. To help you with that task, below are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to confirm that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in 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 one of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you plan on applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many prospective Craigmont ID employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Second, learn 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 assess the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we previously covered, there are generally two routes to getting medical assistant training. You can choose a diploma or certificate program and get 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 earn an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to complete in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Craigmont ID area medical care providers. They are a great way to receive hands-on clinical training and experience. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Craigmont healthcare community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Landing that first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the colleges you are researching provide job placement assistance in the Craigmont ID 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 contacts to help place students in jobs.
How Large are the Classes? Class size can be an indicator of how much individual 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 teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a school to witness what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you anticipate attending a medical assistant program while you continue working 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 Craigmont ID, confirm that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Craigmont Idaho?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Craigmont ID area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Craigmont is a city in the northwest United States in Lewis County, Idaho. Located on the Camas Prairie in north central Idaho, it is within the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. The population was 501 at the 2010 census, down from 556 in 2000.
The city is named for Colonel William Craig (1809–69), a mountain man who had a Nez Perce wife. He settled at Lapwai near his father-in-law Hin-mah-tute-ke-kaikt or James in 1840 when he gave up being a fur trapper due to the collapse of the market for beaver.
The Nez Perce Reservation was opened to white settlement 123 years ago in 1895, and a town named "Chicago," a mile west of the current Craigmont, was founded in 1898. In response to not getting their mail from the post office, it was renamed "Ilo" four years later, after Ilo Leggett, daughter of town founder and merchant W.O. Leggett. A fire burnt the town in 1904 and shortly thereafter the Camas Prairie Railroad bypassed the town and started a settlement, platted by Lewiston financier John P. Vollmer, on the northeast side of the railroad tracks, and he named it "Vollmer." Ilo responded and moved its community to the southwest side of the tracks, adjacent to Vollmer. After a decade-long feud and the consolidation of the school districts, the communities merged in 1920 to become Craigmont.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Training Program Craigmont ID
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant college that will furnish the proper training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right information on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, confirm that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you anticipate taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Job Description. But irrespective of the kind 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 in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Craigmont ID.
More Medical Locations in Idaho