How to Select a Medical Assistant School Program near Troy Idaho
Once you have decided to become a part of the rewarding field of health care and enroll in a medical assistant school near Troy ID, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? Many prospective students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their homes and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are critical issues as well. You might want to take a look at some online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more about that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to assist you with that task, we have furnished several 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 role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of a Medical Assistant
The function of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Troy ID clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the type or size of facility, they can be more of an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct assistance to the physicians, nurses and other medical professionals but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the many responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Supplying general support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants may perform almost any task they are authorized to under Idaho law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and obtain certification. Two of the options 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 Education
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Troy ID health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (more on accreditation later ) that are certified. There are generally 2 choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest way to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take about a year to finish, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs offered at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in design than the diploma or certificate programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They frequently have a clinical component requiring an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are commonly 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 Colleges
There are many accredited medical assistant programs accessible online too. They are an excellent alternative for those who might not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if accessible at home. This is an especially good alternative for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus alternatives. Supplemental expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies might be minimized also. Just keep in mind that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be completed in Troy ID area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the rigid structure of going to supervised classes on-campus, then this method of receiving your training may be the right choice for you. With the online lessons and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting employment after graduation, but it can also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Troy ID medical employers just will not hire a medical assistant that has not received accredited formal training or certification. Among 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 apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you must determine which kind of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online from home. After those selections 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 limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Troy ID with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should explore when evaluating schools. To help you with that task, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to confirm that the school you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be qualified to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, many potential Troy ID employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification exams. To begin with, you must learn which of the certifications the schools you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will need to enroll in a program focused on that certification. Next, ask what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously programs with low rates are ones that you will want to avoid.
Which Programs are Provided? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the fastest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can elect to acquire an Associate Degree and receive a more comprehensive education that will require approximately two years to accomplish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you elect to enroll in, make certain that the colleges you are looking at provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? A large number of medical assistant programs offer internship programs with Troy ID area medical providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students build relationships within the Troy medical community. And as an added perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Supplied? Getting that very first job may be a difficult undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the colleges you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Troy 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 an excellent reputation within the healthcare 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 can be an indicator of how much individual instruction you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer greater access to teachers and face to face interaction. If possible, try to monitor a few classes before selecting a program to see what the teaching environment is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accessible? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s imperative that the college you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Troy ID, make certain that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online college, but you will still need to schedule any internships or clinical training that will be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Troy Idaho?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Troy ID area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Troy is located at 46°44′19″N 116°46′15″W / 46.73861°N 116.77083°W / 46.73861; -116.77083 (46.738571, -116.770785)., east of Moscow on State Highway 8, at an elevation of 2,487 feet (758 m) above sea level.
The community was originally known as Huffs Gulch when J. Wesley Seat homesteaded in the area in 1885. In 1890, area businessman John P. Vollmer rechristened the area with his own surname when he brought the railroad through. Vollmer gained much of his 30,000 acres (47 sq mi; 120 km2) of land by foreclosing on the bank loans of local farmers. This made him so unpopular that in 1897 the residents decided to rename the town. Local legend states that the name Troy was selected when a Greek railroad worker offered free shots of whiskey to any who would support the name.
For bicyclists and pedestrians, the Latah Trail is a paved rail trail near Highway 8 that connects Troy to Moscow and Pullman, Washington. It meets the Paradise Path in Moscow, which continues west as the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail to Pullman alongside Highway 270; the total length of the three trails from Troy to Pullman is 22 miles (35 km).
Pick the Best Medical Assistant School Troy ID
It’s important to start your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re planning to begin a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must acquire the right info on available programs before making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have covered in this article, verify that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 National Registered Certified Medical Assistant. 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, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a rewarding career as a medical assistant in Troy ID.
More Medical Locations in Idaho