Medical Assistant Training School Antioch IL

How to Find the Right Medical Assistant School Program near Antioch Illinois

Antioch IL medical assistant checking pulseNow that you have decided to join the rewarding field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Antioch IL, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the proper training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the medical assistant schools that are closest 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 critical factors as well. You may decide to look into a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more on that later). The bottom line is that before you select a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are reviewing. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.

The Job of a Medical Assistant

medical assistant with Antioch IL nursing home patientThe duties of a medical assistant can be diverse as well as challenging. Essentially their job is ensure that the Antioch IL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers where they work run efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but can also be found working in an office or at the front desk. A few of the potential duties of a medical assistant include:

  • Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Taking vital signs and weighing patients
  • Taking blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
  • Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
  • Giving basic support during examinations and procedures

Although medical assistants can carry out almost any duty they are authorized to under Illinois law, some elect to specialize in a particular area and earn 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

Unlike many other medical professionals, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to earn a college degree. However, many Antioch IL health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (more on accreditation later ) that have earned certification. There are generally two options provided for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to finish, some as little as 6 to 9 months. They are created to teach the basics of medical assisting and ready graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to obtain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs provided at junior and community colleges as well as vocational and technical schools. They are more expansive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They frequently have a practical component involving 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 Courses

woman attending medical assistant school online in Antioch ILThere are a number of accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent alternative for students who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is an especially good solution for students who continue working full-time while earning their degree or certificate. As an added benefit, a number of online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more conventional on campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be reduced as well. But keep in mind that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be carried out in Antioch IL area medical facilities. If you can learn without the formal structure of participating in supervised classes on-campus, then this approach to receiving your education might be the best option for you. With the online courses and the practical training, everything needed to achieve proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.

Certification Programs for Medical Assistants

As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for graduates who wish to boost their careers. It will not only help in obtaining a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of possible Antioch IL medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not received certification or accredited formal training. 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 sit for the CMA exam, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Alternative certifications are available also, including the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.

Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Antioch IL medical assistant programsPrior to assessing your medical assistant school options, you have to determine which kind of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can start the procedure of researching medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, some prospective students confine their searches to the schools that are nearest to Antioch IL with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are not the only ones. There are a number of additional factors that you need to examine when researching programs. To help you with that process, following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the instruction you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you intend to become certified, you must enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate obtaining a student loan or financial aid, they are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of potential Antioch IL 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 design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To start with, you need to learn which of the certifications the schools you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program targeting that certification. Next, ask what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with lower rates are ones that you will want to eliminate.

Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the fastest 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 broader education that will take about two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you elect to pursue, verify that the schools you are considering provide the type of program you have an interest in.

Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant programs sponsor internship programs with Antioch IL area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students develop relationships within the Antioch health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing that initial job can be a daunting undertaking for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Antioch IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a higher job placement rate for its graduates, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the healthcare community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of contacts to help place students in positions.

How Big are the Classrooms? Class size might 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 likely to furnish greater access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on a few classes before selecting a program to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and how much attention the students receive.

Is Class Scheduling Practical? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working full-time, it’s important that the program you enroll in provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Antioch IL, make certain that those times are available. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule any internships or practical training that may be required. Additionally, find out 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 Antioch Illinois?

If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Antioch IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.

Antioch, Illinois

The Pottawatomi Indian Tribe, semi-nomadic hunters who lived in wigwams, inhabited Antioch when white men began to arrive. They fought with the British in the War of 1812 and then with the American settlers in the Blackhawk War of 1832. It was in 1832 that the American Indians began to leave the area, although arrowheads and other remnants of their history can still be found today if one knows where to look. The winding Highway 173 was once an Indian trail and Highway 83 was the Muquonago Trail.[5]

The first permanent white settlement in Antioch was the Gage Brothers' cabin on Sequoit Creek, a tributary of the Fox River. In 1839, Hiram Buttrick built a sawmill along the creek, making Antioch a center of commerce. A replica of the mill has been built a few hundred feet downstream from where it once stood.[5]

The influence of the Gage brothers is important when trying to understand the history and names of the Antioch area, as many local businesses, as well as ACHS sports teams, bear the word "Sequoit." There is no Native American tribe named "Sequoit" or any Native American word for that matter stemming from Antioch's Pottawatomi inhabitants. Though the word "sequoit" has Native American origins, the story behind the name is as complicated as it is historically interesting. Fred Willman explains in his in-depth book examining Illinois high school nicknames, "Why Mascots Have Tales", "The word Sequoit is a form of spelling of the Iroquois Indian word Sa-da-quoit, which was the name the Iroquois Indians gave to a stream that flows through Oneida County in New York state. In the Iroquois language, Sa-da-quoit literally means ‘smooth pebbles in the bed of a stream.’ When white settlers moved into Oneida County, they modified the spelling and pronunciation of the stream to Sequoit Creek." This was later transplanted and modified when the Gage brothers moved from New York State to northern Illinois.

Enroll in the Best Medical Assistant Program Antioch IL

Antioch IL medical assistant studentIt’s important to begin your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the appropriate training. Regardless if you’re planning to launch a career in health care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your lifetime career, you must obtain the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges offering training these days that you can make a decision based on your individual circumstances and personal preferences. 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 particularly critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Training School. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have supplied in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Antioch IL.

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