How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Bedford Park Illinois
Now that you have decided to become a part of the gratifying field of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Bedford Park IL, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the appropriate training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Most prospective students begin by researching the medical assistant schools that are closest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are critical issues also. You might decide to research some online medical assistant programs as an option as well (more on that later). The main point is that before you select a program you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. And to assist you with that task, we have included some questions that you should ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the role of a medical assistant and the type of credentials and training that are available.
The Role of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Primarily their job is ensure that the Bedford Park IL clinics, hospitals and other healthcare centers where they work operate efficiently. Based on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with giving direct support to the nurses, doctors and other health practitioners but may also be found working at the front desk or in an office. A few of the potential functions of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and submitting claims
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Taking vital signs and weighing patients
- Taking blood and other tissue and fluid specimens
- Preparing instruments and rooms for doctors
- Supplying general support during examinations and procedures
Even though medical assistants may carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Illinois law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain 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 Courses
Unlike most other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Bedford Park IL health care employers would rather hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are basically two choices offered for a formal education. The first and fastest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a diploma or a certificate. These programs usually take about one year to finish, some as little as six to nine months. They are developed 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 normally 2 year programs offered at junior and community 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 classes. They frequently have a clinical component involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are commonly a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Medical Assistant Online Classes
There are many accredited medical assistant programs offered online as well. They are an excellent alternative for individuals 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 alternative for students who continue to work full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies can be lessened as well. But remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can usually be carried out in Bedford Park IL area medical care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this method of getting your education may be the right option for you. Between the online classes and the clinical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, certification is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent choice for individuals who want to boost their careers. It will not only help in getting a job after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. Some possible Bedford Park IL medical employers just will not employ a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. The most popular and possibly the most highly regarded certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant 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 discussed earlier which are offered by the NHA.
Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Schools
Prior to evaluating your medical assistant school alternatives, you have to decide which type of credential you would like to earn, and if you would prefer attending classes on campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, some potential students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Bedford Park IL 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 considerations that you must look at when researching programs. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons to ensure that the school you choose is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the approved 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 program is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, many potential Bedford Park IL employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited program.
What is the School’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools design their programs to ready students to pass one or more certification examinations. To begin with, you must determine which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for example, then naturally you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Obviously schools with lower rates are those that you will want to eliminate.
Which Programs are Offered? As we previously covered, there are essentially two paths to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and receive entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will require approximately 2 years to complete in a junior college or trade school. Whatever program you elect to enroll in, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Available? Numerous medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Bedford Park IL area healthcare providers. They are a great way to get hands-on practical experience and training. They can also help students develop relationships within the Bedford Park healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews as well.
Is Job Placement Service Provided? Finding that first job can be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they receive some help from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Bedford Park IL area and find out what their placement rate is. If a program has a high job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the medical community. It also signifies that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in jobs.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to sit in on 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 Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue to work on a full time basis, it’s essential that the college you choose provides classes that fit your schedule. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bedford Park IL, make certain that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Additionally, find out what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Bedford Park Illinois?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Bedford Park IL area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Bedford Park, Illinois
Bedford Park is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 580 at the 2010 census. Bedford Park consists of a small residential area and vast amounts of heavy industry sprawling to the east and a small amount to the west. A large FedEx Ground facility is located in Bedford Park at 6833 West 75th Street.
According to the 2010 census, Bedford Park has a total area of 6.036 square miles (15.63 km2), of which 5.93 square miles (15.36 km2) (or 98.24%) is land and 0.106 square miles (0.27 km2) (or 1.76%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 574 people, 211 households, and 160 families residing in the village. The population density was 96.2 people per square mile (37.1/km²). There were 218 housing units at an average density of 36.5 per square mile (14.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 96.86% White, 1.05% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 1.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.62% of the population.
Choose the Ideal Medical Assistant Course Bedford Park IL
It’s essential to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant program that will provide the right training. Whether you’re goal is to launch a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your lifetime career, you need to obtain the right information on available programs prior to making your decision. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection 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 especially critical if you plan on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in National Medical Assistant. But irrespective of the type of credential that you intend 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 in order to evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by selecting the right program you can ultimately start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Bedford Park IL.
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